Communities inspect Arabic slogans to curb pan-Islam drive

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/8 22:13:40

Officials from Sanya's Tianya district, South China's Hainan Province inspect Arabic slogans in restaurants, menus, advertising boards and other religious elements during an inspection on December 21, 2018. Photo: Courtesy of government of the Tianya district in Sanya

Communities in North China's Hebei Province and South China's Hainan Province have begun inspecting Arabic slogans in public areas such as restaurants, which they believe would curb pan-Arab tendencies.

The campaign had recently been carried out in the Huangliangmeng township of Handan city, Hebei Province as well as two communities in Hainan Province's Sanya. 

The inspection targeted Arabic slogans and other religious elements in menus, advertising boards and other public places, including supermarkets and kindergartens.

According to a news release on the Wechat account of the Huangliangmeng township government on Tuesday, which was later deleted, the inspection had been carried out since December 30, 2018 across villages in the township.

They only found out a Lanzhou beef noodle restaurant, a well-known Islamic food brand, used Arabic in its menu and religious elements on its advertising board. 

The restaurant has removed the religious elements, it said. 

The Global Times contacted an official in the township government on Tuesday but she declined to be interviewed.

A similar campaign had also been carried out in two Muslim Hui communities, Huixin and Huihui, in Hainan Province's Sanya since November 2018, an official from the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of Sanya city committee, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

"The two communities are the main Muslim Hui communities in Hainan, which is home to more than 10,000 ethnic Hui minority," Zhang noted. 

During the campaign, more than 50 violations in public venues, including restaurants, supermarkets and kindergartens, have been spotted so far and the inspection is still underway, he said.   

The recent campaign in the two provinces on Arabic slogans came after Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region cracked down on pan-Islam and pan-Islam Arab tendencies. 

Shen Guiping, an expert at the Central Institute of Socialism in Beijing, said that "the inspection of pan-Arab tendency is a nationwide move, which targets the Arabic language as part of the cultural symbol of China's Muslim Hui minority and Islam." 

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