China Confiscates Muslims Passports

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China Confiscates Muslims Passports

    HONG KONG—Authorities in northwestern China have begun confiscating the passports of Muslims, mostly ethnic Uyghurs, in an apparent bid to prevent them from making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, local residents and officials say.

    An officer who answered the phone at the Tengritagh district public security bureau [police department] of the Xinjiang regional capital, Urumqi, said local residents were required to "register" their passports with local neighborhood committees, the basic building blocks of social control in China.

    “The authorities of local residential offices are collecting the passports,” he told RFA’s Uyghur service.

    “Local residential offices are collecting the passports in order to register them...The authorities will keep the passports for the public. If they want to go to other countries, they can come to fetch their passports. The authorities will give the passports back to them accordingly.”

    I think the word is that it is to prevent some problems, like preventing people from going on the Hajj pilgrimage. So, that is why they are collecting,

    Officials working together

    “The [passports] will become invalid if they do not hand them in.”

    An official at a neighborhood committee in a town near the city of Kashgar confirmed the move, adding that passports were being collected only from Muslims, especially the Uyghur people.

    “Today is the 18th,” the official said. “We were told to collect them within five days, and we've just started this afternoon ... the Muslims' and the Uyghur people's passports.”

    “I think the word is that it is to prevent some problems, like preventing people from going on the Hajj pilgrimage. So, that is why they are collecting [them],” the official said.

    He said local governments, provincial government, and the police were cooperating to accomplish the task.

    Sept, 2003: Xinjiang Communist Party secretary Wang Lequan. Photo: AFP/Frederic J. Brown

    “Here what's happened. They've ordered us to collect all the passports within five days and the authorities will finish investigating and registering the passports within 20-odd days. The authorities are not only collecting a few people's passports...They are collecting all the passports. We do not really know what is happening in other parts of Xinjiang,” he added.

    “Every Muslim who owns a passport must hand it to the authorities.”

    On June 19, the Tengritagh News Web site printed an article titled "Tightening the Pilgrimage Policy and Protecting the Public,” which carried a report on a speech by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Party chief Wang Lequan the previous day to religious leaders from the Bureau of Religious Administration.

    Wang called on the government to tighten its pilgrimage policy and to harshly punish "illegal" pilgrimage organizers. He said the government should halt underground pilgrimage activities and either restructure the current pilgrimage policy or make new pilgrimage policy.

    The Xinjiang authorities began to confiscate passports immediately following the speech.

    All able-bodied Muslims are expected to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, birthplace and holy city of Islam, once in a lifetime if they can afford it. Additional pilgrimages are recommended.

    With around 2 million Muslims making the pilgrimage annually, airlines and operators offer specialized Hajj packages. This year’s Hajj will begin Dec. 18, so the passport registration drive comes just as people would start to think about booking tickets.

    RFA’s Uyghur service was contacted initially by Uyghurs overseas who said their parents’ passports had been taken, making them unable to join them on the pilgrimage.

    The Hajj is traditionally undertaken with family, or with fellow pilgrims from a local mosque, and would constitute a deep show of unity for any group making the pilgrimage together.

    Uyghurs, who number more than 16 million, constitute a distinct, Turkic-speaking, Muslim minority in northwestern China and Central Asia. They declared a short-lived East Turkestan Republic in Xinjiang in the late 1930s and 40s but have remained under Beijing's control since 1949.

    China Confiscates Muslims Passports


    ***************************

    China really cares for its people and minorities.

    China keeps her people safe from bad influence of the outside world.

    They keep all safe and sound within China as lovingly as animals are kept in the Zoo so that they do not become endangered!

    Or maybe I have missed something!
     
    Blackwater likes this.
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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    im more interested in reaction of paki thekedars
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Thakedars will be mum as long as they are of leash of Han masters.
     
  5. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    thakedar becomes bhigi billi in front of papa china. they might loose theeka you know
     
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    india should take this matter to UN.this is against the creation of pakistan:rofl:
     
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  7. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    that is actually a good diplomatic move!
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The news is dated, but the practice continues.

    Many Uighurs go for Haj but do not return to face the repression in China and instead take up residence in Pakistan, having been exposed to radical thinking in Saudi Arabia.

    They have formed Uighur colonies in towns of Pakistan.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China's Uighur Muslims yearn for liberal Hajj regime

    BEIJING, October 29, 2011

    Next week, 13,800 Muslims from around China will undertake a pilgrimage to Makkah.

    But Mehmet Ali (name changed) will not be among them. Neither will his father and two brothers, who have long given up hope of ever undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage.

    For the eight million Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang — a desert region in China's far west — travelling to Makkah has become harder than ever following recently imposed curbs on issuing passports to Uighurs. The measures came into force in the wake of violent attacks in the city of Kashgar and Hotan in July.

    The Chinese government has also clamped down on “unofficial” travels to Makkah. The State Administration for Religious Affairs earlier this year mandated new rules to improve “the management of Hajj work”, saying Uighurs, and other Chinese Muslims, were only allowed to travel to Makkah if they go on trips organised by the state-controlled Islamic Association of China (IAC).

    The government fears that Uighurs may either illegally emigrate or become indoctrinated by extremist groups — concerns that many Uighurs say are exaggerated and have effectively made it impossible for ordinary Uighurs to leave China. Ali, and a dozen other Uighur residents in the Sanshixia district of Urumqi, Xinjiang's regional capital, said in recent interviews with The Hindu that the IAC rarely accepted applications, and police stations across Xinjiang had, in recent months, completely stopped issuing passports. Without “connections”, they said, it was impossible to obtain a passport and travel to Makkah. The Xinjiang regional government's press office could not be reached for comment.

    The regional government has put in place intermittent passport bans since 2008, ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Following attacks in Kashgar and Hotan in July, which were blamed by the regional government on terrorists with links to camps in Pakistan, local authorities have once again put a blanket ban on issuing passports to Uighurs across Xinjiang, though Han residents — China's majority group — are still issued passports.

    China has 20 million Muslims. The 10-million-strong Hui ethnic community, residing mainly in western Ningxia, is the biggest group.

    The state-run Xinhua news agency reported that 13,800 pilgrims from across China will travel to Makkah this year on 41 chartered flights, between November 5 and 9.

    Every pilgrim will be on an official trip, run by the IAC. Many trips, officials said, would include “patriotic education”. Officials from Xinjiang and other provinces will accompany the pilgrims and supervise the tour.

    In October last year, the Xinjiang government said it had “investigated, prosecuted and curbed” activities of “illegal organisations” that organised independent pilgrimages. In Uighur neighbourhoods in Urumqi and in Kashgar, the government has put up signs warning locals to avoid going on “illegal” pilgrimages.

    In 2007, Chinese authorities initiated a campaign to restrict "unsanctioned pilgrimages" from Xinjiang, according to diplomatic cables from the United States Embassy in Beijing, leaked by whistleblower website Wikileaks.

    A cable from December 19, 2007 quoted a Saudi diplomat telling U.S. officials that China had asked Saudi Arabia to bar issuance of Hajj permits to Chinese citizens outside of China. Chinese officials had also said they would "definitely stop any would-be pilgrims seeking to depart China by means other than a government-organised tour."

    "They would not allow the Hajj pilgrims to board the plane," the Saudi Consul in Beijing was quoted as telling U.S. diplomats.

    An offical in the Xinjiang regional government, who was also a member of the State-run Xinjiang Islamic Association, told U.S. diplomats that Xinjiang's Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission wanted "zero" unsanctioned pilgrimages.

    The cable also quoted a Pakistani businessman in Kashgar as saying that authorities were denying border-crossing cards to Uighurs - but not to Han residents - to prevent overland Hajj journeys through Islamabad.

    The Xinjiang official said individuals could not join the official trips unless they passed a health exam, were between 50 and 70 years of age and paid 22,000 yuan (Rs. 1.71 lakh) from their personal funds.

    The age restrictions applied only to pilgrims from Xinjiang, and not other provinces.

    Between two and three thousand pilgrims are expected to travel from Xinjiang this year. Local officials acknowledge that demand for official trips, despite the high costs involved, have far exceeded the slots available.

    Ali's father said it was “impossible to travel if you don't work for the government, or know someone who does”.

    “We cannot get a passport,” he said. “If we want to go on a government trip, we will have to pay 70,000 yuan (Rs.5. 46 lakh). Even we can afford it, it's difficult to get the approval.” “The government,” he added, “does not want Uighurs to travel on their own. So we can never go to Makkah.”



    The Hindu : News / International : China's Uighur Muslims yearn for liberal Hajj regime
     

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