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China Bans Anti-Islamic Words From The Internet

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| September 21 , 2017 , 20:05 IST

In order to prevent online users from stigmatizing Muslims and create bias against Islam, China has blocked all Islamophobic terms from being used on the internet, said an official media report.

According to unofficial data, there are over 21 million Muslims living in China mostly confined into Uyghurs in Xinjiang and Hui community in Ningxia province.

The state-run daily Global Times reported, "The Islamophobic terms invented by Chinese Internet users to stigmatize Muslims have been blocked by authorities on Chinese social media despite criticism from the netizens that such a ban overtly favourable to Muslim minorities."

Currently, China is carrying out a massive crackdown against the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is blamed for a host of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, where Uygurs who formed majority were restive over the increasing settlements of Han community.

The Global Times report said, as a result of the ban, the searches for 'green religion' and 'peaceful religion', often used by internet users to refer to Islam, showed no results.

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The country, with its over 700 million internet user base uses a massive firewall to block any content the Communist Party of China (CPC) government deems offending or not in interest of the country.

For example, the government has already blocked international social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and even Google.

The report added, "Discontent and fears of Muslims have been on the rise on China's Internet in recent years. Complainers target Chinese authorities' affirmative discrimination policies toward ethnic minorities, especially Muslim groups."

Beijing's Minzu University of China professor Xiong Kunxin said, "It's necessary to timely remove radical phrases that discriminate against Islam and are biased against Muslims to prevent worsening online hatred towards the group. Those phrases severely undermine religious harmony and ethnic unity."

The ban came in the lights of a recent brawl involving Muslim that allegedly broke out at a toll booth. The report said, netizens inundated the official Weibo accounts of Tangshan city government departments with complaints about the country's allegedly partial treatment of Muslims for the sake of social stability.