China arrests ethnic Kazakh Muslims for leading a public Quranic recitation.

An ethnic Kazakh Muslim has been imprisoned by Chinese officials in the volatile Xinjiang region for reportedly reading passages from the Quran at a wedding and at people’s homes.

According to a Radio Free Asia (RFA) article from August 25th, the detention is being seen as part of a larger crackdown on religious and ethnic minorities in the communist country as part of the so-called “strike hard” campaign.

According to Bekzat Maksutkhan, the leader of the Kazakh rights organization Atajurt, Kusman Rehim, 56, a native of Jimsar county in Xinjiang, was detained on July 14.

Bekzat also claimed that during the police raid, a Quran was discovered.

According to the article, “he had also participated in a Muslim wedding and recited passages from the Quran at people’s homes during Eid al-Adha [June 27-July 1].”

According to the story, Kusman’s religious views have landed him in prison previously.

The house raids that led to the arrest are part of China’s newest “strike hard” campaign, which has been going on in Xinjiang for 100 days.

Communist China, which is home to a Muslim majority of ethnic Uyghurs and Kazakhs, outlawed public reading of the Quran in 2017.

According to RFA, the prohibition occurred about the same time that China began putting members of minority ethnic groups like the Uyghurs into “re-education” camps throughout the province of Xinjiang.

Reports claim that one million Muslims, predominantly Uyghurs, are being held in secret detention centers in Xinjiang, where they are subjected to cruel persecution including as forced abortion, forced sterilization, forced birth control, rape, forced labor, torture, incarceration, indoctrination, and executions.

Authorities insist that people only read from the Quran in the presence of an official imam. According to RFA’s reporting, individuals are punished for engaging in private Bible study.

The authorities have even limited regular Islamic rituals like the wearing of beards and veils (hijab), and Quran study groups, stating that these were proof of “religious extremism.”

Visitors from outside China, including those only visiting family, are being warned by RFA to register with local authorities in Xinjiang within three days of their arrival.

The new round of arrests is part of President Xi Jinping’s intensified Sinicization drive, which seeks to subjugate religious minorities to communist party rule and regulation of their religious life.

Bilal Kusman, Rehim’s younger brother who resides in Kazakhstan, has said that the family has not gotten any formal information or the specifics of the allegations against their loved one.

What happened to him was “they just took him away,” Bilal added.

According to Bilal, his brother was first taken into custody on April 21, released a month later, and then taken again into custody on July 14.

The fact that he was reciting verses from the Quran during a Muslim wedding ceremony was a contributing factor. A Quran was discovered by police and that was the second reason,” Bilal said.

On August 24, officers of the Jimsar County Police Department refused to comment.

“We don’t really know about that,” the operator answered.

Media sources claim that China has been actively suppressing the Islamic traditions, culture, and language of the Uyghur minority in the nation, leading to the detention of anyone who do not agree to these policies.

In 2017, 71-year-old Abdurusul Memet died in prison from hypertension. As a young boy, he was taught the Quran.

In the same year, another ethnic Kazakh man named Manat Hamit was arrested when police discovered audio recordings of Quranic recitations on his computer and charged him with “disseminating terrorism-related audiovisual material” and “incitement to racial hatred and racial discrimination.”

The United Nations sent a team to inspect how Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province were being treated in 2022, and they discovered “credible” evidence of torture and sexual assault, including rape, in the area’s detention institutions.

Without using the word “genocide,” the study suggested that China may have perpetrated crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs.

China has refuted all allegations, claiming that increased security in Xinjiang is part of routine counterinsurgency efforts designed to prevent verbal and physical abuse.