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Chinese Police Reportedly Order Muslims To Hand In All Copies Of The Koran

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Chinese Police Reportedly Order Muslims To Hand In All Copies Of The Koran

According to reports, Chinese authorities have asked Muslims to hand over copies of the Koran, or face 'harsh punishments'.

"We received a notification saying that every single ethnic Uyghur must hand in any Islam-related items from their own home, including Qurans, prayers and anything else bearing the symbols of religion," Dilxat Raxit, of the exile World Uyghur Congress, told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

"They have to be handed in voluntarily. If they aren't handed in, and they are found, then there will be harsh punishments.

"The announcements say that people must hand in any prayer mats of their own accord to the authorities, as well as any religious reading matter, including anything with the Islamic moon and star symbol on it.

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"They are requiring people to hand in these items of their own accord."

The actions appear to originate from the north-western region of Xinjiang, where police have issued the warnings in neighbourhoods and mosques, the Daily Mail reports.

Items like the religious book and prayer mats must he handed into the government authorities and there are will be notices being broadcast on the country's most popular social media, WeChat.

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Korans in China have been targeted for the past five years, as authorities believe they include 'extremist content'.

The campaign is known as the 'Three Illegals and One Item', which opposes 'illegal' religious items, activities and teachings.

The Uyghur American Association recently said in a press release that it was shocked at the new regulations, which criminalise beliefs, asking China to respect international human rights standards on freedom of religion, the Mail reports.

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A Muslim devotee reading Koran. Credit: PA

Director of The Uyghur American Association, Omer Kanat, said: "The new religious regulations demonstrate how Xi Jinping's administration is founded on division.

"In Xi's China loyalty is demanded and not earned. Ethnic minorities, dissidents and people of faith present a challenge to Beijing's vision of unquestioned allegiance to the state.

"If these groups do not fall into line, their vilification creates a convenient scapegoat for a morally compromised government."

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The capital city of China, Beijing, has blamed the rise of Islamist militants across the world for the ban, although rights organisations say the violence in the country is in reaction to the Chinese policy.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: religion, muslim, China, islam

Mark McGowan
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