Some Chinese Muslims hoping to go on the annual Hajj pilgrimage must first pledge their allegiance to the Communist Party before they will be allowed to exit the country.
Uyghur Muslims from the Xinjiang autonomous region, must create a profile online applying for permission to travel on the Hajj.
China has been cracking down on Uyghurs’ freedom, limiting their ability to travel, communicate, and use technology.
Chinese Muslims from the autonomous Xinjiang region hoping to embark on the annual Hajj pilgrimage must first pledge their allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party.
A government website, operated by the Urumqi City Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, requires local Muslims to submit a travel request to attend the Hajj by setting up an online profile.
The site asks users to register their age, job, health, and economic status and provides strict guidelines for applicants, who must be aged between 50 and 70 and have lived in Urumqi, the region’s capital, for at least five years.
Users must also pledge allegiance to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and national unity.
Registration appears to now be closed but was open between September 1 2017 to November 1 2017. This indicates applicants for the 2018 Hajj, taking place in mid-August, may have been required to make the pledge.
China closely controls and vets applicants for the Hajj each year. Authorities seem to believe that religious travel for minority groups could act as “potential cover for subversive political activity,” Human Rights Watch has reported.
But while other regional government websites list similar conditions for Hajj applicants, these applications don’t appear to require CCP allegiance. This indicates China is more concerned about subversive activity by Uyghurs in particular.
Uyghurs face strict travel laws and restrictive policies
The Chinese government is increasingly monitoring and restricting travel by Uyghur Muslims in an attempt …read more
Source:: Business Insider