Within hours of China winning a seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council, it was reported that Beijing has banned private hajj trips and ordered Muslim citizens under a new law
“to prove that they are patriotic and law-abiding before they are allowed to undertake the hajj”.
The new regulation issued for hajj pilgrimage has a total of 42 articles, including one that stipulates that the Chinese Islamic Association is the only organisation authorised to arrange for Chinese Muslims to go to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj.
All pilgrims will be subjected to a vetting and “education” process and accompanied by officials to Saudi Arabia.
There are 20 million Muslims in China, mostly Uyghurs and Hui Muslims, who are of Chinese ethnic origin. Every year, about 10,000 Chinese Muslims complete the hajj, the annual pilgrimage made by Muslims all over the world to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
This is the latest measure China has taken to suppress its Muslim population. Over recent years, Xi Jinping’s regime has been presiding over the mass imprisonment of over one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang who have been subjected to atrocities including forced labour, sterilisation, torture and unlawful killings. Likewise in Tibet, China uses criminal laws to justify ethnic and religious persecution.
Efforts to assimilate ethnic minority groups across China have accelerated under the leadership of Xi as have the introduction of repressive policies resulting in what has been described as ‘cultural genocide’.
As reported this week by the International Observatory of Human Rights, this is one of many human rights violations taking place in China, a country which is now a member of the UN body responsible for making sure
“that all people understand their rights; makes sure that all people have the same rights; checks what governments do to protect the rights of people in their countries; checks if governments do what they agreed on at the United Nations and ultimately helps people whose rights were taken away.”
Moreover, China has voted negatively on UN General Assembly resolutions speaking out for human rights victims in Iran, Syria, Cuba, Crimea and Myanmar. Most recently, China voted against a resolution in support of human rights victims in Belarus.