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China bans Arabic & Halaal Signs Print

Authorities in the Chinese capital have ordered Halaal restaurants and food stalls to remove Arabic script and symbols associated with Islam from their signs, part of an expanding national effort to "Sinicize" its Muslim population.

Employees at 11 restaurants and shops in Beijing selling Halaal products and visited by Reuters in recent days said officials had told them to remove images associated with Islam, such as the crescent moon and the word "halal" written in Arabic, from signs.

Government workers from various offices told one manager of a Beijing noodle shop to cover up the "Halaal" in Arabic on his shop's sign, and then watched him do it.

The campaign against Arabic script and Islamic images marks a new phase of a drive that has gained momentum since 2016, aimed at ensuring religions conform with mainstream Chinese culture.

Beijing is home to at least 1,000 Halaal shops and restaurants, according to the Meituan Dianping food delivery app, spread across the city's historic Muslim quarter as well as in other neighborhoods.

Several bigger shops visited by Reuters replaced their signs with the Chinese term for halal - "qing zhen" - while others merely covered up the Arabic and Islamic imagery with tape or stickers.

The Beijing government's Committee on Ethnicity and Religious affairs declined to comment, saying the order regarding halal restaurants was a national directive.


SANHA Comments:
Halaal is an integral part of the religious practice of every Muslim. Every Muslim faces tests in various forms and is rewarded for striving to the best of his/her ability. May Allah assist and strengthen us all and grant understanding to those who do not now understand His commands.
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