China says internment camps are ‘free vocational training’

Religion News Service | 10/16/2018 | Staff
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BEIJING (AP) — China is saving Muslim ethnic minorities from the lure of religious extremism by teaching them to speak Mandarin and accept modern science, a senior Chinese official said in a report Tuesday, Beijing’s latest propaganda effort to defend its internment of Muslims against mounting criticism.

The ruling Communist Party’s resistance to Western pressure over the camps highlights China’s growing confidence under President Xi Jinping, the country’s most powerful leader in decades, who has offered Beijing’s system of authoritarianism and economic growth as a model for other countries.

Report - Xinhua - News - Agency - Party

The report published by the official Xinhua News Agency indicated that key to the party’s vision in the far west Xinjiang region is the assimilation of the indigenous Central Asian ethnic groups into Chinese language, culture and history — and in turn, a “modern” way of life.

Despite growing alarm from the U.S. and the United Nations — which estimates that around 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities have been arbitrarily detained — China has maintained that Xinjiang’s vast dragnet of police surveillance is necessary for countering latent extremism and preserving stability.

Uighurs - WEE-gurs - Restrictions - Practices - Discrimination

Meanwhile, the Turkic-speaking Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs) have long resented restrictions placed on their religious practices. They say they meet widespread discrimination in jobs and access to passports.

In the Xinhua report, Xinjiang Gov. Shohrat Zakir described the extrajudicial internment of Muslims as a network of “free vocational training” centers where people are taught employable skills that will help them find work in the manufacturing, food and service industries. Zakir said they are paid a “basic income” during the training, in which free food and accommodations are provided.

Report - Move - Communist - Party - Detainees

The report was a rare move by the ruling Communist Party to publicly outline what it is trying to achieve with what former detainees have characterized as political indoctrination camps where they are forced to denounce Islam...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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