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China Is Treating Islam Like a Mental Illness

The country is putting Muslims in internment camps—and causing real psychological damage in the process.

  • Sigal Samuel
  • The Atlantic

One million Muslims are being held right now in Chinese internment camps, according to estimates cited by the UN and U.S. officials.

A woman stands behind a pillar during the Eid al-Adha festival at Niujie mosque in Beijing, China September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee - D1BEUAVHGQAA
A woman stands behind a pillar during the Eid al-Adha festival at Niujie mosque in Beijing, China September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee – D1BEUAVHGQAA

Former inmates—most of whom are Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority—have told reporters that over the course of an indoctrination process lasting several months, they were forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, and recite Communist Party propaganda songs for hours each…

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