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Religious Repression

The Chinese government is directing a crushing campaign of religious repression against the Uyghurs. According to a report released by Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China on April 11, 2005, “the world-wide campaign against terrorism has given Beijing the perfect excuse to crack down harder than ever in East Turkestan. Other Chinese enjoy a growing freedom of worship, but Uyghurs, like Tibetans find that their religion is being used as a tool of control.” Most recently the Chinese authorities have also tightened curbs on Uyghurs, banning any government official, state employees, Party members, children, and in some cases women from entering the mosques. At present, the number of mosques in East Turkestan is not sufficient to meet the needs of the Muslims. Building of new mosques has been prohibited. There are no private religious schools and private religious instruction is banned. There is a shortage of well educated clerics, Korans and Islamic publication.