The Uighurs and China’s Long History of Trouble with Islam

A Uighur woman walking past a statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar City, northwestern Xinjiang, China, 2017. Photo credit: Guillaume Payen / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images.

A Uighur woman walking past a statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar City, northwestern Xinjiang, China, 2017. Photo credit: Guillaume Payen / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images.

Islam was of little concern to China’s rulers when the religion arrived in the seventh century. Then problems began to arise.

In late 2018, I spent several days at the Forbidden City, the gargantuan palace in the middle of Beijing where China’s emperors ruled the land for nearly five hundred years. I was there to attend a conference on religion and power in imperial China, but my thoughts were drawn to more contemporary concerns: the plight of the Uighurs in China’s far western province of Xinjiang, including re-education camps aimed at breaking their faith in Islam.

Source: The Uighurs and China’s Long History of Trouble with Islam

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