We are in an age where xenophobia is common and racial profiling is an epidemic in even the biggest democracies of the world. Take the great United States for example. What’s more?
Today you could be the most well-educated individual and full of polish but merely browsing at any of the videos posted from time to time on Facebook’s Occupy Democrats
We are also in an age where merely hailing from the Middle East, not necessarily having allegiance to Islam can gather you prying eyes, suspicious looks, and raised eyebrows.
It’s happened to hundreds and thousands of American and European airports. It happens even today in broad daylight. But what’s most shocking is that even the most developed economies in the world, steamed by a vibrant literacy rate continue to dabble with outright biases such as the ones against the Muslims.
In 2015, according to a national survey conducted inside China, as many as 96.4 percent of its population was found to be ‘literate.’
Yet, one of the most baffling instances of xenophobic indifference hails from the economic powerhouse itself. A recent case of very transparent Muslim bias emanated from the highly industrious and cosmopolitan city of Beijing.
In a recent shocking episode, the government workers from varied bodies in the city of Beijing asked a noodle shop manager to remove all Arabic symbols that stated, “Halal.” The manager, at once, promptly covered the Halal signs in the shop. What was strange and cold was that the issuers of the rather extreme order watched on as the manger did the needful.
Soon, the directive from one random noodle shop extended to several shops and restaurants that sold ‘Halal’ meet. The number moved on to 11. But the instructions to curb the Arabic symbols didn’t just stop there. It would move on to covering even the crescent moon symbol, a poignant note in the Islamic culture.
The manager, when quizzed about what exactly happened was only able to reveal the following, “they said, that is foreign culture and that more Chinese culture should be used and incorporated.”
But make no mistake. This is not an individual or standalone case of racism against the Muslims in China. The campaign to suppress Islamic symbols and Arabic culture first gained momentum in 2016. It was started to ensure that all religions ensured conformity with mainstream Chinese culture.
That being said, what is most surprising about the entire incident that took place cold-bloodedly is that it isn’t that China comprises of only a handful of Muslims. According to confirmed numbers, there are over 20 million Muslims living in China. They are in jobs, run shops, operate businesses an do their very best to contribute to the country’s staggeringly growing GDP.
Above all of this, to suggest that China is only on strangely negative stance against the Muslims would be conveying only the half-truth. A few months ago, when the autocratic regime asked a proper crackdown on several churches, it felt that there was some anti-Christian movement occurring in the Xi Jinping-land.
Not too long ago, the Cross Signs on many Churches across several Chinese cities were torn down the ground. What’s absurd is that while the country guarantees ‘freedom of religion’ to all beings, the country has begun to take a strong stance against both Christians and Muslims.
But in the end, should this really come as a surprise because of all the countries in the entirety of Asia, only China happens to run forced labor camps in this part of the 21st century, albeit extending upon the ‘slow’ or not so bright basic skill-development, cognitive learning skills. But at the end of the day, what have human rights come to in China?