Aljazeera.com: China passes law to make Islam ‘compatible with socialism’

Aljazeera.com: China passes law to make Islam ‘compatible with socialism’.

China has passed a new law that seeks to “Sinicize” Islam within the next five years, the latest move by Beijing to rewrite how the religion is practised.

China’s main English newspaper, Global Times, reported on Saturday that after a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, government officials “agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion”.

The newspaper did not provide further details or the names of the associations that agreed to the decree.

China has embarked on an aggressive “Sinification” campaign in recent years with faith groups that were largely tolerated in the past seeing their freedoms shrink under Chinese President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Practicing Islam has been made forbidden in parts of China, with individuals caught praying, fasting, growing a beard or wearing a hijab, facing the threat of arrest.

According to the UN, more than one million Uighur Muslims are estimated to be held in internment camps where they are forced to denounce the religion and pleadge allegiance to the officially atheist ruling Communist Party.

Rights groups have accused China of engaging in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. In August, a Washington Post editorial said the world “can’t ignore” the campaign against Muslims.

Islamic crescents and domes have been stripped from mosques, and according to the Associated Press news agency, religious schools and Arabic classes have been banned and children barred from participating in Muslim activities.

China has rejected the criticism, saying it protects the religion and culture of its minorities.

However, in the past week alone, authorities in China’s Yunnan province, which borders Mynamar, have closed three mosques established by the marginalised Hui Muslim ethnic minority, the South China Morning Post has reported.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/china-passes-law-islam-compatible-socialism-190105185031063.html

German politicians propose a ‘religion tax’ for Muslims to counter extremism – The Washington Post

When Germans file their annual tax returns, religion matters a great deal. If you’re Catholic, tax authorities will likely collect an income tax surcharge of about 10 percent on behalf of your local church. The same applies to most Protestants.

The tax applies to almost all baptized Christians, and church representatives say that the state-enforced payments are crucial in financing cemeteries and community work.

So far, practicing Muslims have been excluded from that rule, but some leading members of the German government’s coalition parties appear determined to change that. Despite criticism from some Muslim communities, they maintain that a state-collected tax for all Muslims would help to boost moderate interpretations of Islam and counter the appeal of wealthy foreign donors who promote more radical interpretations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/12/28/german-politicians-propose-religion-tax-muslims-counter-extremism/