lørdag 17. juli 2021

Purge of Mosque Clergy in Xinjiang’s Ghulja Leaves Nobody Left to Conduct Ceremonies

Nearly all Uyghur clergymen from a mosque in a city in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have been imprisoned, leaving no one in the community who is able to conduct religious ceremonies, said two sources familiar with the current situation in a corner of Xinjiang near Kazakhstan.

Chinese authorities have taken into custody all seven religious leaders from the Tahtiyun Mosque in the Chinese bazaar district of Ghulja (in Chinese, Yining) in the Ili Kazakh (Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture, said a source from outside the area who requested anonymity to speak freely. Among the seven detained in early 2018 were a khatib (a man who delivers a sermon) Kudrat Qarim (an honorific used for people who can recite the Koran), a muezzin (a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque) Ahmatjan, and imam Saydahmat, the source said. They all were sentenced to prison not long afterwards, the person added.

The Tahtiyun Mosque had been under surveillance for nearly two years by an “excessively active” police officer, who even turned the lower floor of the building into a dedicated interrogation room, the source said.