According to a report written by Theodoros Benakis, China's genocidal policy against Uyghurs, an ethnic Turkish group that resides in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), hit a new low. The Wumao army (also known as the "50 cent army"), known to be the trolls of the Chinese government, has hurt the religious sentiments of Uyghur Muslims on social media several times.
The Wumao army is a group of internet critics hired by the authorities of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to spread information to the benefit of the governing Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is often seen insulting Islam and committing blasphemy against the Prophet.
As #Islamophobia takes root in the West,there is a silent cultural #genocide against the #Uyghur & #Hui #muslims in the East namely #China
Not so silent is China’s digital troll army,the #Wumao & #Bumao, using #Weibo platform to spread blasphemous insults against #Islam.#Somalia pic.twitter.com/I1VBki28KO
— ElmiCilmi (@EEEElmi) November 26, 2022
Despite PRC having a good relationship with many conservative Muslim states such as Pakistan, Indonesia, and countries in the Arab Peninsula, Chinese social media mostly portray Muslims as extremists and terrorists.
According to Benakis, China is using Islamophobia, probably the most criticized propaganda in western media platforms, as an instrument to discriminate against and segregate Uyghur Muslims, along with gaining more support for the policies used in Xinjiang by the Chinese government. The Wumao army denigrates Islam and spreads blasphemy through social media posts.
After the Charlie Hedbo shooting, one user in early 2015 clearly stated, "Religion has nothing to do with ethnicity. Our country's religious policy and ethnic policy are 108,000 miles apart. No one stipulates that a certain ethnic group must believe in a certain religion."
After a recent investigation by the Muslims of China, it was revealed that Islamophobia is being used in Xinjiang to strengthen Chinese President Xi Jinping's cultural policy in the mainland.
Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform used in place of Twitter, is where Chinese citizens justify denouncing Islam. The Weibo army supports the government in Xinjiang by spreading anti-Muslim propaganda, insulting Islam, and justifying the discriminatory policies of Beijing.
Many Chinese citizens have expressed their complete support for the new cultural policy and approved eliminating the Uyghur Muslims from the map of Xinjiang.
After a month-long research on the new cyber social practice, China-based Muslims have found out that the users who planted the seeds of Islamophobia in most of the conversations are associated with the Wumao (50 Cent) Army. This group reads the Quran and the Hadith and disrespectfully explains them. The content is then posted on Weibo to foster a portrayal of Islam in a negative light.
The CCP aims to make their country the homeland of only the Han population. After securing a third term, Chinese President Xi Jinping is willing to do anything to attain his objective of creating "a unified China inhabited by a unified people."
The Chinese leader reaffirmed his commitment to Beijing policies in the XUAR at a two-day party conference in September 2020. "Practice has demonstrated that the party's strategy for governing Xinjiang in the new era is entirely correct," the President said.
A "cultural genocide" policy is underway in Xinjiang. In 2018, a Chinese board was seen at the gate of a Turpan school situated in the Uyghur-majority city of Xinjiang, reading, "[You are] entering the school grounds. Please speak Guoyu ["the national language," that is Mandarin Chinese]."
The Uyghur families live in a severely discriminatory environment where heavy restrictions are applied, such as forbidding women the religious veil, while forbidding men to grow a beard. Fasting during Ramadan is prohibited, and only the "state-approved" Quran is allowable.
They are also a target of a brutal program where children are separated from their mothers at a young age and either sent to state institutions or to live with Han Chinese families. If they don't comply, they are sent to prison, and in some cases, they receive the death sentence.