China’s latest move in its Uighur crackdown is forcing Muslims to redecorate their homes to make them look more Chinese
China is reportedly forcing members of its Uighur Muslim minority to redecorate their homes to make them look more traditionally Chinese.
Radio Free Asia reported that officials in China’s Xinjiang western region are ordering Uighurs get rid of their their traditional home decoration and to “modernize” the spaces to make them more Chinese-influenced.
This includes replacing rugs and pillows traditionally used to sleep on with beds and the introduction of other furniture like desks, Radio Free Asia reported — with the threat of being placed in an internment camp if they do not comply.
The US State Department estimated last year that China could have up to three million Uighur people detained in these camps and in prisons across Xinjiang.
China calls them “re-education” camps, while those who have left speak of torture and medical experiments in the places. China denies such actions.
As well as these camps, China has taken steps to remove features of Uighur culture.
China also runs a “Pair Up and Become Family” program, where it sends Chinese men to live with Uighur women, many of whose husbands have been sent to these camps.
Radio Free Asia previously reported that the men often sleep in the same bed as the women, and discuss the ideology of China’s Communist Party during their stay.
One US-based Uighur activist, whose family are detained, called it “mass rape.”
“The government is offering money, housing, and jobs to Han people to come and marry Uighur people,” the unnamed activist said.
According to Radio Free Asia, China has created a $575 million fund to “modernize” the Uighur people, which includes destroying traditional design features in their homes.
Radio Free Asia spoke to one person in the region who said that Uighur people are complying with the order, and that around 80% or 90% of people in one village have complied.
It also spoke to one resident whose husband is at a Chinese camp who said that she had changed her home such that “you can’t even recognize it anymore” and that she had “gotten rid of pretty much all of the carpets” under the order.
“We don’t even wait for the officials to tell us what to do anymore because we all are so enlightened now,” she said.
China sees Uighurs’ religion as a threat, and began its movement against the people in 2016.
Reports have detailed a coordinated government effort detain them, and to subject them to extremely high levels of surveillance, including installing spyware on their phones and forbidding them from communicating with people outside of the Xinjiang region.
China has also been accused of harvesting organs from persecuted groups including Uighurs, though it denies this.
Source: Business Insider