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Chinese police order Muslims to hand in all copies of Quran and prayer mats or face ‘harsh punishment’

The Chinese authorities hare reportedly stepped up their campaign against Muslims in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

Sources in the region revealed that ethnic minority Muslim families are being forced to hand in religious items including the Quran and prayer mats.

Non-complying Muslims will face severe punishment if the materials are discovered in their possession.

According to Radio Free Asia, reports have emerged from Kashgar, Hotan and other regions of similar practices starting last week.

Local officials, Xinjiang authorities earlier in the year began removing all Qurans published more than five years ago due to extremist content.

The Qurans were taken as part of the ‘Three Illegals and One Item’ campaign that was underway in Xinjiang, which is against ‘illegal’ religious items owned by mostly Muslim Uyghurs.

This operation bans ‘illegal’ publicity, religious teaching, religious activities and items believed to be tools of terrorism including flammable objects, and knives.

China says it has to do this because of threats from domestic cults and radical Islamists.

Meanwhile, critics have accused Beijing of a broader pattern of harassment, detention and abuse.

A copy of the regulations was posted on the State Council’s official website with the latest measures focusing on ‘maintaining legality, blocking extremism and attacking crime’.

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