The Chinese-Islamic Pact
Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Xi Jinping. (Photo: Washington Post)
The free world last week witnessed in sadness as Chinese Communist forces stormed into Hong Kong arresting human rights activists, consequently bringing democracy in the autonomous region to an end. While the United States, Australia and the European Union, with the exception of Italy, have criticized China over this, just like Pope Francis, the Muslim world has refrained from condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The fact that most Islamic nations have refused to condemn the CCP for its latest atrocity should not surprise us. As reported by The Guardian, in July 2019, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and other Muslim-majority states that pose as defenders of the faith helped to block a western motion at the United Nations calling for China to allow “independent international observers” into the Xinjiang region where Uighur Muslims are being persecuted. The Iranian regime issues occasional criticisms but wants Secretary Xi Jinping’ support in its struggle against the Trump administration and so keeps its complaints coded.
Knowing full well that, as per Islamic teaching, they should openly condemn the CCP’s sterilization of the Uighur women, they sanctimoniously consent to this, as well as China’s imprisoning their own religious brethren in concentration camps. This is the result of the “pact,” as as confirmed by CGTN News—the official website for China Global Television Network—the aforementioned Muslim states have done with China, as latter expressed its appreciation to their Islamic counterparts, especially Jordan and Saudi Arabia, on issues concerning China’s principled stand on Hong Kong.
Communist China, notwithstanding its atheistic doctrine—another taboo in Islam—has had no opposition from the Muslim states as they both tend to be strategically aligned with the same long-term objectives. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran, for example have already benefitted militarily. On the economic spectrum, China has engaged into oil refinery contracts with the kingdom worth $10 billion with Saudi Arabia. And for the first time, Chinese travelers may enter Saudi Arabia by simply filling out an online form. And, notwithstanding the ongoing conflicts in the region, the CCP has thus far managed to maintain and pursue a policy of “neutrality” keeping friendly ties with all parties despite sometimes conflicting geopolitical interests.
In any case, notice how the Islamic world has also gone silent on Beijing’s repression of more than 13 million Muslims in Xinjiang, which include the Hui people. Unlike the Turkic Uighurs (and Tibetan Buddhists), who are accused of nurturing separatist ideas, China’s Hui Muslims—an East Asian ethnic group predominantly composed of Chinese speaking adherents of Islam distributed throughout China—(and Christians) are being punished for no reason other than their religious beliefs.
Nick Cohen, columnist for The Guardian summarizes the Chinese-Islamic pact as hypocritical, at best:
“‘The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas—uncertainty, progress, change—into crimes,’ said Salman Rushdie when he was in fear of his life in 1990. He was talking about conservative Islam. China is now turning criticism of its disastrous record on incubating the Covid-19 virus and its atrocities against its Muslim minorities into crimes, and the people who should be shouting the loudest are bowing their heads in reverential silence.”
The Islamic body politic’s indifference to their persecuted Chinese brothers and sisters since their sharia-based laws are parallel to those of Communist China. In the end, they are like those Western nations who have been and continue to be complicit to crimes committed by Islamic heads of state and Muslim terrorists simply because the petrodollar outweighs the cries of the marginalized and oppressed. In other words, China and the Islamic nations are like two thieves. They both hate each other, but when there is something the two can profit from, like Pilate and Herod, they will become the best of friends.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.