Crime is a sad reality in most modern societies and we as a nation experience collective shock at terrible ongoing occurrences, such as rape, murder and paedophilia, which happen with increasing regularity as our religious values disintegrate. Most Western nations, however, still allow for the freedom of expression, which allows residents to practice their religions and show their personal beliefs openly. Let us hope that despite the political climate of Islamophobia that we are witnessing, we never end up with the level of injustice that is currently occurring in China where keeping a beard, which apparently shows a religious affiliation, could lead to a longer stint in prison than rape. If you have found this article to be of interest then please Like, Tweet and share - Yamin Zakaria and the Team @ Radical Views
A Muslim was jailed for six years in China for refusing to shave off his beard, while his wife was imprisoned for two years for wearing a burqa, as part of a severe crackdown on religious "extremism" in the far-Western province of xinjiang, local media reported.
China blames rising violence in Xinjiang on Muslim fanatics and terrorists, and the government has been trying to force people to abandon conservative forms of Islam. Under an initiative known as Project Beauty, men wearing long beards and women in face-covering veils can be fined, as well as face surveillance and reeducation. Criminal punishments for these offenses were introduced in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, in February.
But the six-year jail sentence, reportedly for “picking quarrels and making trouble,” would represent a particularly severe punishment. According to the Kashgar Special Zone News, the 38-year-old man had grown a beard in 2010 and refused to shave it off despite repeated demands from local officials. It was unclear if he faced other charges: the maximum sentence for the reported charge is normally five years.
Critics see the crackdown on Islam as an intensification of long-standing repression of the culture and rights of Xinjiang’s ethnic Uighur people, who face widespread economic and social discrimination. China sees it is a justifiable response to a series of bomb and knife attacks by extremists bent on violent jihad.
The man’s wife was sentenced to two years because she wrote a confession to local authorities. The article quoted her as saying the court had given her “a chance to be reborn” and as vowing to repent for her mistakes when she is released.
The original report, issued Friday, cited the political and legal affairs committee of the Kashgar government as the source. It was picked up by major Chinese Web portals on Sunday, but later deleted by censors. On Monday, the reporter concerned wrote an apology for filing “a false report,” although there was considerable skepticism online about whether this apology was genuine or made under pressure from red-faced local officials.
Dilxat Raxit, spokesman of the exiled World Uighur Congress, called the reported sentence unprecedented. “It’s unacceptable and absurd, and shows China’s hostile mentality and the crisis of its rule,” he wrote in an e-mail. The aim, he added, was to “use judicial and administrative means to force Uighurs to give up their own way of life and accept the Chinese tradition.” This, he warned, would only provoke people to fight back.
The story was originally issued as part of a series of stories on the achievements Kashgar has made in getting rid of burqas. Officials were quoted as boasting that the city’s court has sentenced a number of “outlaws blinded by religious extremism, who wear burqas, veils and grow beards.” The Kashgar Special Zone News is a free supplement included in local papers.
Each family has to sign a “de-radicalization” pledge, the paper reported, while a “buddy system” has been set up to "help" those who have been caught wearing burqas. In one village, the local authorities have educated and “converted” more than 100 women, while authorities have also encouraged religious people under 50 to shave off their beards, according to the paper.
In another township in Kashgar, 54 people who used to wear veils or beards were given training on skills such as baking, hairdressing and tailoring. “They have relatively low level of education and are deeply influenced by religious extremism,” Wang Huailiang, a township party secretary, was quoted as saying. “But we must not discriminate against them. We must let them learn some skills so that they can make a living on their own.”
As part of the efforts to eliminate extremism, people of all ages have been forced to dance to Chinese pop music and sing “red songs” -- in praise of revolution and the Chinese Communist Party.
On Chinese social media, the sentence provoked debate, Agence France-Presse reported. "Anyone dressed that way is a terrorist, not a Muslim!" wrote one user on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Others dismissed the anti-beard campaign as a "simple and crude" measure that would do little to ensure public safety, while some noted that the German political theorist whose ideas inspired Communist parties across the world was far from clean-shaven.
This article was first published here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/03/30/china-jails-a-muslim-for-six-years-for-refusing-to-shave-his-beard/?tid=sm_fb
The UK Easter Bank Holiday is drawing to an end and as the UK elections draw closer, the politicians, for better or for worse, are as active as ever. As things stand, the Tories are looking unpopular, generally because of their elitist economic policies and more specifically because of individual issues such as the blatant Islamophobia displayed by Theresa May, where she, in effect, branded all Muslims, young and old, as extremists of some sort. Now that Theresa realises that she has really put her foot in it and earned a lot of disapproval, she is desperately trying to get herself out of that hole by saying that she will ensure that hate crimes against Muslims are recorded in the same way as hate crimes against Jews. But will this 'recording' of the crimes mean that action is taken to solve them? And how far will the recording go, seeing as Theresa herself has stood behind some horrific crimes against innocent Muslims which have involved their imprisonment and torture? The article below outlines what this hypocrite is doing to try and grasp at Muslim voters. As with a lot of Tory policies, they seem nice on the surface but we are not convinced- Yamin Zakaria and the Team @ Radical Views
Every police force in England and Wales will be required to record anti-Muslim hate crimes and treat them as seriously as anti-Semitic attacks if the Tories win the next General Election, Theresa May has announced.
In a move hailed by Islamic groups, Mrs May said that police will have to record Islamophobic attacks as a separate category, just as anti-Semitic crimes are recorded separately.
At present some forces, including London’s Metropolitan Police, do record Islamophobic crimes as such. Other forces categorise them as hate crimes or specific offences such as assault or grievous bodily harm.
The new requirement will create the first accurate picture of the extent of Islamophobic hate crimes in Britain.
Charities say there has been a steady rise of anti-Muslim hate crimes since 9/11.
But after incidents such as the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby outside Woolwich barracks in 2013 and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, there are spikes in incidents in the UK, say experts.
Mrs May made her pledge in a speech on counter-extremism to the Foundation for Peace in London just before Parliament was dissolved.
She told the conference: ‘We will require police forces to record anti-Muslim crimes as well as anti-Semitic crimes.’
On the same day, Mrs May answered a question from Labour MP Kate Green in Parliament, who asked what steps the Government was taking to record anti-Muslim hate crimes.
Mrs May said: ‘A Conservative government would require the police to be recording Muslim hate crime, anti-Muslim incidents, as well as anti-Semitic incidents.’
The Home Office does not publish national statistics for Islamophobic offences.
But in 2013-14, police recorded 44,480 hate crimes, an increase of five per cent over the same period the previous year across England and Wales. The vast majority – 37,484 – were race-hate crimes.
Tell Mama, a Government-backed Islamic group, said that more than half of all the victims (54 per cent) of Islamophobic incidents are women, perhaps because they ‘appear more Islamic’, wearing the burka or headscarf.
Tell Mama figures show that in the ten months after the Lee Rigby attack, a total of 734 incidents were reported to the organisation – an increase of 20 per cent on the same period the previous year.
The most serious incident is believed to be the frenzied knife attack on Saudi Arabian student Nahid Almanea, 31, in Colchester, Essex, in June last year.
Detectives believe she was attacked because she was wearing Islamic clothes. So far no one has been arrested for the murder.
Mohammed Amin, a patron of Tell Mama, said of Mrs May’s speech: ‘This is a positive step forward.’
The Muslim Council of Britain has also welcomed the proposal. Iqbal Sacranie, the group’s former Secretary-General, said: ‘This change will bring parity between Muslim and Jewish groups.’
Source: The Mail on Sunday