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By Douglas R. Farenick

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The PRC shut down and repurposed religious buildings all over China, including Xinjiang (for example, by converting a mosque courtyard to a slaughterhouse for pigs, which Muslims consider unclean animals36). 37 In 1998, China’s central government directed Xinjiang authorities to develop more stringent policies on religious matters. 38 Official punishments range from mandatory indoctrination courses to fines to prolonged detention, sometimes without charge. Harassment is commonplace. Today, the PRC’s program of surveillance, regulation, and intimidation extends beyond the clergy to the laity, severely curtailing the practice of Islam in Xinjiang.

PRC officials monitor their behavior for signs that they are preaching Islam to minors, spreading “fundamentalism” (which is defined at the whim of the state), or connecting China’s Muslim community to other Muslim communities abroad. ”47 24 The ETIM The PRC also exercises control over Muslim leadership by requiring official imams to hold a degree from the Institute for the Study of Islamic Texts in Urumqi. 48 The imams of major mosques are all government employees subject to removal if their preaching somehow offends the state.

120 The WUC is the more influential and respected of the two rival umbrella organizations. Its current president is Rebiya Kadeer, the wealthy Uyghur The Contemporary and Historical Contexts of Uyghur Separatism 35 businesswoman and activist formerly detained by the PRC. She also leads the Uyghur American Association (UAA) and International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation (IUHRDF), both based in Washington, DC. S. 121 Kadeer, sometimes called “the mother of all Uyghurs,” is probably the most widely recognized Uyghur leader today.

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