Chinese authorities launch 'anti-halal' crackdown in XinjiangOctober 10, 2018
Authorities in Xinjiang have launched a campaign against the “spread of halal”, claiming the growing number of halal products is encouraging religious extremism in the heavily monitored Chinese region. The term refers to extending halal labelling – food that adheres to Islamic law – to non-food items to appeal to Muslim consumers. Officials and state media say the growing number of products labelled halal allows Islamic rituals to penetrate secular life in China.
The meeting of party officials on Monday called on all government officers and party members in Urumqi to speak Mandarin Chinese at work and in public, and to reaffirm their commitment to the ideology of the Chinese Communist party.
Liu Ming, secretary of a party member group, led the attendees in an oath, according to the Wechat statement. A photo shows Liu speaking into a microphone, his fist clenched in the air, pledging: “My belief is Marxism-Leninism. I don’t believe in any religious belief. I must decisively fight against halalification to the end”.
The meeting also called on government officers to publish their own essays expressing “their stand against the pan-halal tendency.” One article was titled, “A movement to liberate thought across Xinjiang is underway.”
One Uighur cadre wrote an article headlined: “Friend, you don’t have to find a halal restaurant for me.” He wrote, “We ethnic minorities have taken this respect for our eating habits for granted. We have not thought about respecting their eating habits.”
He encouraged Uighurs who are also party members to eat with their Han Chinese colleagues rather than solely at halal restaurants. He said: “Changing eating habits has a significant and far-reaching impact for countering extremism!”