China Assimilates Muslim Uyghurs, Forcing them to Sing Children’s Songs in English

In this Dec. 3, 2018, photo, a child walks past a large screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping near a carpark in Kashgar, western China’s Xinjiang region. Across the Xinjiang region, a growing number of internment camps have been built, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries, in what activists call “black factories.“
In this Dec. 3, 2018, photo, a child walks past a large screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping near a carpark in Kashgar, western China's Xinjiang region. Across the Xinjiang region, a growing number of internment camps have been built, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries, in what activists call "black factories." Ng Han Guan / AP Photo
In this Dec. 3, 2018, photo, a child walks past a large screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping near a carpark in Kashgar, western China’s Xinjiang region. Across the Xinjiang region, a growing number of internment camps have been built, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries, in what activists call “black factories.“
In this Dec. 3, 2018, photo, a child walks past a large screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping near a carpark in Kashgar, western China's Xinjiang region. Across the Xinjiang region, a growing number of internment camps have been built, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries, in what activists call "black factories." Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

China Assimilates Muslim Uyghurs, Forcing them to Sing Children’s Songs in English

China’s Muslim minorities have faced increased pressure to assimilate to Han Chinese culture, and self-suppress their religious and ethnic practices. In particular, the largest group, the Uyghurs of China’s northwest Xinjiang province, have faced the biggest crackdown in years. Estimates say that in the last year, as many as one-million Uyghurs have been arrested and put into Chinese re-education camps. One government tactic is to force Uyghur children and adults to sing in English children’s songs like, “If You’re Happy, And You Know it”. To discuss, we’re joined by Dru Gladney, professor of anthropology at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He’s author of the book, Ethnic Identity in China: The Making of a Muslim Minority Nationality.