Skip to comments.CHINA: What you can't do in a mosque
Posted on 10/17/2004 10:41:41 PM PDT by Destro
This article was published by F18News on: 28 September 2004
CHINA: What you can't do in a mosque
By Igor Rotar, Central Asia Correspondent, Forum 18 News Service, and Magda Hornemann, Forum 18 News Service
In Xinjiang region, Forum 18 News Service has seen an instructional display outlining banned activities. Such instructional displays are normally hidden from the public, and are thought to apply in mosques throughout China. Among banned activities are: teaching religion "privately"; allowing children under 18 to attend a mosque; allowing Islam to influence family life and birth planning behaviour; propaganda associated with terrorism and separatism; religious professionals acquiring large sums of money; the declaration of "holy war" (jihad); and promoting "superstitious thoughts". These displays are not compulsory in non-Muslim places of worship and Forum 18 found no such displays in Xinjiang's two Orthodox churches. Also, the mosque's "democratic management committee" must conduct regular sessions propounding legal regulations and party policies. Such party-appointed committees oversee activities in places of worship and are also known to exist in Tibetan Buddhist temples.
On 21 September, Forum 18 News Service studied a display that the authorities have ordered local imam Musu Ma to hang in his office in the Dungan mosque in the town of Burqin, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the district centre of Altai [Altay], in the far north of China's north-western Xinjiang-Uighur autonomous region. The display believed to be typical of those required by the authorities in mosque offices and normally hidden from public view spells out what the authorities will not allow in a mosque, including teaching religion "privately", allowing children under 18 to attend and allowing Islam to influence behaviour in the areas of family life and birth planning.
The Dungan mosque serves mainly members not of the Uighur population (the largest Muslim community in Xinjiang) - or at least the majority of worshippers are not Uighurs. Most of the Muslims who attend, according to the display, are Huis - Muslims of Han Chinese ethnicity - and Dongxiang.
Musu Ma reported that similar displays hang in the offices of virtually all the imams of Xinjiang's mosques. Such displays are known to exist in Hui mosques in Beijing and elsewhere in China, while places of worship of other ethnic minority faiths especially Tibetan Buddhist temples are believed to have similar displays.
At the top of the Chinese-language display at the Dungan mosque are photographs of the mosque leaders while underneath are photographs of officials of the mosque management committee.
The display is divided into sections setting out the restrictions on the mosque's activity. The top right hand section lists the five items that should not be brought into the mosque, including personal and family disputes; disputes over marriage and birth planning; youths under the age of 18; and statements and "illegal propaganda materials" associated with the "three forces" of terrorism, "splittism" (the official term for separatism) and extremism.
The display sets out the prohibition on religious professionals acquiring large sums of money and material goods for presiding over weddings, funerals and other ceremonies. It also warns against performing the reading of the "Nikha" (the Muslim marriage contract) to couples who have yet to receive marriage certificates from the state authorities.
In addition to the other prohibitions, one section lists a further ten items that must be resolutely cracked down. These include the propagation of ethnic separatism, the declaration of "holy war" (jihad) and inciting religious fanaticism; using religion to intervene in administrative, judicial, education, marriage, and birth planning matters; using religion to promote reactionary views such as "pan-Islamism" and "pan-Turkism"; holding "private" religious classes and acquiring "private" students in religious venues and by religious professionals; and promoting "superstitious thoughts".
Also required, according to the display, is that the mosque's "democratic management committee" (DMC) should conduct regular sessions for religious professionals and lay persons propounding legal regulations and party policies. Such committees are party-appointed bodies that oversee what goes on in each religious venue.
Similar "democratic management committees" are known to exist in Tibetan Buddhist temples. The International Campaign for Tibet reported that they have been set up "in all monasteries and nunneries" in Tibet to implement Party policies and regulations. "DMCs act as the eyes and ears of the Party in monasteries and nunneries," it reported. "In conjunction with ad hoc government 'work teams', DMCs search for suspected dissidents in monasteries and nunneries. A number of monks and nuns have been expelled from their institutions and even arrested on the recommendation of their DMC."
Forum 18 notes that national-religious committees, which form part of the administration of every city, at least in areas of China with large ethnic minority populations, also maintain control over the lives of believers. Communities may only function once they have registered with the national-religious committee, and their leaders have to be drawn from people whose candidacy has been approved by the authorities. The leaders of all religious communities have to attend meetings of the national-religious committees. At the meetings, officials explain to leaders of religious communities what policy they should pursue with believers (see F18 News 20 September 2004 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=414 ).
The display also requires all religious venues to display land certificates, building certificates, imam qualification certificates, operating permit, joint management contract, and the appointment certificate of the head of the religious venue.
Musu Ma told Forum 18 that the mosque can conduct marriage ceremonies and celebrations of childbirth only with the specific permission of the authorities. He also emphasised that the authorities do not prevent children from being circumcised.
Forum 18 saw posters in mosques in Kashgar (southern Xinjiang) in 2003 stating that underage children were not allowed to attend mosque, but did not see such posters this September in the cities of northern and central Xinjiang. Believers who preferred not to be named told Forum 18 that such posters are not generally hung at mosque entrances, but usually there are displays in the imams' offices containing detailed instructions from the authorities, which will only be shown to foreigners with the utmost reluctance.
Interestingly, such displays are not compulsory in non-Muslim places of worship. For example, Forum 18 found no such displays in Xinjiang's two Orthodox churches, in the towns of Ghulja (Yining), capital of Ili-Kazakh autonomous prefecture, or Urumqi [Ürümqi].
For background information see Forum 18's Xinjiang religious freedom survey at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=414 and survey of the prospects for religious freedom in China at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=292
A printer-friendly map of China is available from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/atlas/index.html?Parent=asia&Rootmap=china
It doesn't mean anything if it's not enforced.
I think it is enforced.
This is good. Now the Muslims will start bombing buses and cars all over China, and we will gain yet another ally in the War Against Islam.
ChiComs historically have been worse than the Jihadists.
Uighurs have not been radical islamicists at all historically. The communists still took them over and banned their moderate religion and killed huge amounts.
The communists had no right to take over that region.
In this case the bad guys are not the Muslims.
The Communists did not take these lands per say - the have always been part of China's empire. You kind of skewed history a bit - the Muslims last went on a jihad against Qing Dynasty China in the 1850s-1860s. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
You got it backwards - in the 90s Muslims were doing that and these rules went im effect.
Big lie. You really reflect the ChiCom worldview I've noticed. Why is that?
Xinjiang has either been inside China or Russia's empire. You claim otherwise?
In the first half of 2004 alone, hundreds of believers have been arrested and detained. In recent incidents, more than 100 house church leaders were arrested by public security officers and military police on 6 August in Tongxu County, Kaifeng City, Henan Province. The same day, police arrested eight Roman Catholic priests and seminarians in Quyang County, Shijiazhuang Village, Hebei Province.
Meanwhile, public security agents throughout China maintain active surveillance over Falun Gong practitioners, punctuated by periodic crackdowns. According to the Falun Gong, over 100,000 practitioners have been sent to reeducation-through-labour (laojiao) camps operated by the public security system. In Xinjiang and Tibet, public security officers work against individual believers and organisations in the name of countering "terrorism", "splittism" and "extremism".
What you posted has very little to do with antiterrorism or antijihadism. The same policies are enacted for Falun Gong, Christianity (Catholicism and house church prtestantism), Buddhism and any other religious belief.
The policies against any religions or like one pre-date 911 and were not enacted in response to 911.
Communist states have always had such polcies to control religion.
The day befoe 911 the commies were trying to hype investment in Xinjiang and an article in a Hong Kong daily stated that there is no terrorism in Xinjiang.
Then, immediately after 911 the communists began talking about how all their "splittists" were terrorists and their figfht against splittists was part of the war on terror and that included Taiwan and Tibet as well as Xinjiang.
The ChiComs are opportunists and propagandists. They have in reality done more to support jihadists historically and currently in their recent support for pre-911 taliban, support the Hussein and current support for the Iranian regime.
Overt lie. The communists in China (and every country where communists took over) instituted such policies against any religion in the nation they took over.
Why do they have harsher polcies against house Church Christians? Have the Christians been bombing etc...
The communists took over the region known as Xinjiang or East Turkestan in about 1950 and implemented these sort of policies. Today they are much less harsh than decades ago.
Why have you decided to start spreading minsinformation meant to benefit the CCP?
This also means teaching the Bible. Many more Christians than Muslims are jailed or tortured for violating these standard communist laws.
Do you think that is smart?
Huh? You deny that there has been violence and bombings in the NW of China because of Muslim Separatists?
What does Xinjiang mean and when was it given that name?
You overtly lied in saying policies repressive of Islam were put in place in response to acts of violence on the part of Uighurs against the government.
The fact is, and what you overtly lied about is, that repressive policies are in place for not just Islam but for Christianity, Buddhism and any other religion.
And you overtly lied in stating these policies were put in place in the 1990's or more recently when they were policy from very early on in the rule of the communist regime.
The are standard policies for all communist regimes.
Christians also are subject to the same polcies are are jailed and tortured much more frequently for religious violations than Muslims.
Why is that?
The point is clear about destro's distortions.
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