In the campaign against Islam, Chinese authorities have ordered all the Muslims living in the northwestern region of Xinjiang to hand over religious material such as prayer mats and copies of the Koran. If the Islam-related items are discovered later, they will face severe punishment.
According to the reports from the Radio Free Asia, officials have been warning Muslim minorities such as Kazakh, Uyghur and Kyrgyz to hand over the material as soon as possible. A Kazakh source in Altay prefecture, near the border with Kazakhstan, told RFA:
“Officials at village, township and county level are confiscating all Qurans and the special mats used for namaaz [prayer]. Pretty much every household has a Quran, and prayer mats.”
A spokesman for the exile World Uyghur Congress group, Dilxat Raxit said: “We received a notification saying that every single ethnic Uyghur must hand in any Islam-related items from their own home, including Qurans, prayers and anything else bearing the symbols of religion.”
“All Qurans and related items must be handed into the authorities, and there are notices to this effect being broadcast via WeChat.”
“Three Illegals and One Item”
Earlier this year, a campaign in China called Three Illegals and One Item was started according to which police began confiscating all Qurans published more than five years ago. The campaign was basically against “illegal” religious items owned by mostly Muslim Uyghurs.