Tuesday, November 20, 2018
 
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Pak duplicity on Islam and Muslims





Manzoor Ahmed



As China is tightening its control over its Muslim citizens, rumblings of protest and indignation is being heard from its ``all-weather`` ally, Pakistan. The state and the deep state are of course looking the other way as Muslims in China continue to be jailed and punished for following their religion. The same Generals of Rawalpindi, who claim to be guardians of Islam, have chosen to remain mute and dumb as their new friend, China, is leaving no stone unturned to humiliate Islam.


Take for instance the most recent case of persecution. The Chinese Muslims going to Makkah this year have been asked to wear tracking devices on their person. These devices allow the government to track the movement of the Muslims during their Haj. The device include a GPS tracker and personal data. These data are obtained to label Muslim residents as `safe` and `unsafe` .


The Muslims in China, despite the overwhelming atmosphere of fear in which they live, decided to come out into the street when the authorities threatened to demolish a 600-year old mosque in the town of Weizhou early August this year.


In Pakistan, the threat of demolishing the mosque had a rare reaction—Jamat-e-Islami Sindh chief, Dr Mehrajul Huda, condemned the move and called it the `` worst state tyranny against Muslims.``He pointed out that despite having a good relationship with many Muslim countries, China has been systematically persecuting its Muslim citizens. He said ``sometimes ban is being imposed on keeping the beard or wearing hijab, sometimes free movement of Muslims is being restricted. The Muslims of the majority areas of China are in stress. ``


Early this year, there was another whisper of protest in Pakistan when the Chinese authorities locked up the wives of many Pakistani men for `re-education`. These men are from Gilgit-Baltistan, an area besieged by the Chinese project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. People here have been upset by the environmental destruction wreaked by the project which has severely damaged forests, meadows, mountains, rivers and streams. Scores have lost their livelihood, farms and grazing lands to the road project. So when the Chinese authorities locked their Uighur wives in the name of `re-educating` them, a palpable anti-China sentiment ran across the mountainous region. So serious was the anger that the Gilgit Baltistan Assembly passed a resolution condemning the large-scale detention.


A local leader was quoted in a media report stating that `` it is not only the people of Gilgit-Baltistan but many Pakistani Pashtuns and Punjabis have also Chinese wives. China needs to take into account the cultural sensitivity regarding this issue. We are a Muslim society and having our wives in someone else's custody is not acceptable to us. ``


But Pakistan’s silence on the issue of forced denigration of Islam and brutal suppression of Muslims is telling. Pakistan has been drumming up funds and support under the pretext of safeguarding the interests of Muslims in the region. But when it comes to the Muslims of China, Pakistan has maintained a stoic silence. Even the terrorist groups, which have been collecting huge funds from within and outside in the name of protecting Islam, have been deaf to the pleas of the Muslims of China.




(The author is a Kashmir based freelance journalist)




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