by Noah Garfinke
The Chinese capital is beginning to clamp down on Muslim and Arabic symbols.
Beijing has ordered halal restaurants and food stalls to begin removing Arabic script and Islamic symbols from their signs. The move is part of a national effort to “Sinicize” or forcefully integrate the Muslim population into Chinese culture, which also includes the removal of Middle Eastern domes in favor of Chinese pagodas.
The campaign to “Sinicize religion” began in 2015 when President Xi Jinping passed a policy to bring religions in line with Chinese culture and the Chinese Communist Party. While Islam is one of the five officially recognized religions in China, the Chinese leadership is beginning to show its unease toward Islam as well as Christianity. The latest phase of taking down Arabic script and Islamic symbols represents an escalation in the Sinicization of Islam, especially in Beijing.
The effort has led to a painful result for Uighur Muslims in the country, many of whom have been arrested and killed on mass levels in part of a crackdown on terrorism. Many critics have claimed the attacks on the Uighur Muslims violate human rights