Patriotic songs and self-criticism: why China is ‘re-educating’ Muslims in mass detention camps

Patriotic songs and self-criticism: why China is ‘re-educating’ Muslims in mass detention camps. By Michael Clarke.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies their existence. But extensive reporting by international media and human rights groups indicates upwards of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs — a Muslim-minority ethnic group — have been detained in sprawling “re-education” centres in the far-western Xinjiang region of China. …

The camps are not only massive, with some exceeding 10,000 square metres, but have also been likened to prison-like compounds, with, “reinforced security doors and windows, surveillance systems, secure access systems, watchtowers, and guard rooms or facilities for armed police”.

The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China calls it, “The largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today”.

China has long been wary of its Uighur population, particularly in the wake of deadly riots, terrorist attacks and the flow of Uighur militants to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State in recent years. …

The Government calls them “transformation through education” centres, which harks back to the institutions of “thought reform” established under Mao Zedong in the 1950s.

Those camps sought to “transform” and “rehabilitate” prisoners through such tactics as patriotic indoctrination, self-criticism sessions and forced labour. A similar theme can be seen in the current re-education camps in Xinjiang, where detainees are forced to sing patriotic songs, take part in self-criticism sessions and sit through lectures on Xi Jinping “thought”, Chinese language, Chinese law and the dangers of Islam.

Communism versus Islam. I wouldn’t like to bet to on the outcome. Stalin once jeered at the Pope, asking how many (army) divisions he had — but look who’s smiling now.

hat-tip Stephen Neil