How China Persuaded One Muslim Nation to Keep Silent on Xinjiang Camps

Jama Mosque adorned with China's flag and propaganda banners that read 'Love the Party, Love the Country' in Kashgar prefecture's Kargilik county, in an undated photo. Photo:  Photo provided by an RFA listener

ByJon Emont
Dec. 11, 2019 2:02 pm ET

JAKARTA, Indonesia—A year ago, clerics here in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country expressed alarm over China’s treatment of ethnic-minority Muslims—around a million of whom have been detained in re-education camps, according to human rights groups.

Leaders of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, issued an open letter last December noting reports of violence against the “weak and innocent” community of Uighurs, who are mostly Muslims, and appealing to Beijing to explain.

Soon after, Beijing sprang into action with a concerted campaign to convince Indonesia’s religious authorities and journalists that the re-education camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region are a well-intentioned effort to provide job training and combat extremism.

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