An iron law of international politics is wherever Communist governments rule, massive and sustained human rights abuses occur. From Lenin to Stalin, Walter Ulbricht, Gustav Husak, Kim Il Sung, Fidel Castro, Nicolae Ceausescu, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and now to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) dictator Xi Jinping, abuses are certain, many of which have been well documented. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) genocide against Muslims in the province of Xinjiang is long-standing, but a new report from Human Rights Watch documents in detail the nature of the terror. Human Rights Watch reveals what they term the "systemic effort” to suppress Islam in the PRC. There are about 20 million Muslims in the PRC which for comparison is about as many as in Syria.
The Human Rights Watch report notes how the CCP’s policy of "Sinicization” of the Muslim minority is in fact the destruction of Islam in China. Due to its totalitarian ideology, the CCP wants to destroy rival centers of individual identity, such as religion and religious beliefs and practices. Islam is targeted as are Falun Gong, and ethnic minorities, such as Tibetans.
The war against Muslims in the PRC is intensifying. Human Rights Watch explains that the targeting of Islam occurs in many ways, but one of the most important is "mosque consolidation,” which is a euphemism for their destruction. The report documents that two-thirds have been destroyed or damaged, while the tactic has broadened to the provinces of Ningxia and Gansu, which, after Xinjiang, contain the highest number of Muslims in the PRC. One suspects that Xi is determined to eliminate all functioning mosques, leaving only a few ceremonial ones to show the world that Islam is tolerated—and indeed, thriving—in Communist China.
This matters for Americans for three reasons.
First, it shows that while the CCP is crushing Islam within the borders of the PRC, it is seeking to employ as a tool of political warfare against the United States and its allies through Beijing’s proxies. The PRC’s diplomatic and political support for the Sharia supremacists like the Muslim Brotherhood and their offshoot Hamas, as well as the regime in Tehran, in their war against Israel and U.S. interests in the Middle East, demonstrates that these groups are useful instruments to hurt the U.S. They serve the interests of the PRC by attacking U.S. allies and distracting the U.S. from the true center of gravity, that is, the actual cause of a world aflame—the CCP.
Of course, the hypocrisy of Muslim states is stunning. While the PRC crushes Islam, the reaction of the Islamic world is notable by its absence. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation prefers to stick its head in the sand. States like Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey see the PRC as an important ally and energy consumer. So, the mullahs in Tehran know which side their bread is buttered. The rulers of Pakistan do not want anything to prevent PRC money from filling their Swiss bank accounts.
But it is not just about money. More importantly, Americans must understand that these states see the PRC as the best way to remove American power. Hence, if staying quiet while Islam is eliminated in the PRC, then that is just the price of doing business for the greater good of a post-American world. The fact that they do nothing while the CCP suppresses Islam in the PRC shows that their self-interest lies with Beijing and not fellow Muslims. They hope the PRC will be dominant in this century.
Likewise, while U.S. cities have witnessed pro-Palestinian protests, the protestors say nothing about the PRC’s gross violations of the human rights of Chinese Muslims. Xi’s visit to San Francisco this month would have been a perfect opportunity to protest Islam’s greatest enemy since the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258. Yet, nothing happened. Nor is it likely to unless Americans pressure the media to cover it and the Biden administration and Congress to address it.
The Human Rights Watch report should be read by the 400 business leaders who had dinner with Xi and provided the Communist dictator with two standing ovations—on American soil. The Gallagher Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives should send a copy to each. It should call everyone to testify about its contents and how they square their support for Xi with his crushing of human rights in the PRC. The same goes for the leaders of the pro-Palestinian protests.
Second, it matters to Americans because the true nature of the CCP is revealed by these acts. Xi and the CCP have shown their true tyrannical nature. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was called the "breaker of nations” because of his ruthlessness in destroying the national identities of peoples in the Soviet Union, from Crimean Tartars to Poles, he broke their ability to resist Soviet power even if he could not their spirit. Following in Stalin’s footsteps, Mao did the same toward Tibetans and other ethnic and religious minorities. Now Xi, in step with his idol Mao, is the "breaker of Islam” as part of his campaign to destroy all resistance to his rule and that of the Chinese Communist Party. By breaking Muslim and Tibetan resistance, he wants to guarantee that there is no alternative to CCP power. Moreover, he also wants to ensure that when he goes to war, perhaps over Taiwan, and perhaps very soon, the U.S. and its allies will not have effective resistance movements within the PRC.
Third, Xi’s war against Islam shows the CCP is illegitimate. It is a tyranny and should not be recognized as a legitimate government by Americans, the U.S. government, or other states. What Human Rights Watch is implicitly revealing in its report is that the CCP is the world’s greatest enemy of Islam and of Muslims. The CCP is also the greatest enemy of the U.S. and its allies and partners.
The evidence of the illegitimacy of the regime is overwhelming. The world has witnessed Xi’s and the CCP’s record of aggression against other states, including in the South China Sea; attacks against the U.S. through fentanyl, cyber, and other means, including the political warfare weapon that is TikTok; the horrific abuses against the Chinese people; the destruction of the Chinese economy and the return of the risk of starvation for the Chinese people; exploitation of people and the environment on a global scale wherever Chinese enterprises are found; the wars against ethnic and religious minorities; and responsibility for the Covid-19 pandemic. It is time for the CCP to follow the Soviet Union into the dustbin of history. People of goodwill around the world, the Chinese diaspora, the Chinese people, and the American people should advance this goal. Americans need to tell their representatives, no more investment in the PRC, no more trade with our enemy, no more yielding to its aggression, the CCP must fall and now is the time to cause this.
Bradley A. Thayer is a Warroom Contributing Columnist.