China bans Islamophobic terms on Internet

File photo. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 21, 2017, 02.19 PM (IST)

Islamophobic terms invented by Chinese Internet users to stigmatize Muslims have been blocked by the authorities on Chinese social media as reported by Global Times. 

Anti-Islamic words were invented by Chinese Internet users to stigmatize Muslims. Searches for "green religion" and "peaceful religion", used by users referring Islam to circumvent censorship of inappropriate online speech, did not show results on China's Weibo microblog on Wednesday.

Posts containing the phrases cannot be posted for "violations of Weibo's complaints related rules." Insults against Islam are also blocked in Weibo's search engine, it said.

In recent years, discontent and fears of Muslims have been on rising on the internet in China.  Complainers target Chinese authorities' affirmative discrimination policies toward ethnic minorities, especially Muslim groups, Global Times reported. 

The ban came after an alleged brawl involving Muslim people at a toll booth went viral, netizens inundated the official Weibo accounts of Tangshan city government departments with complaints about the country's allegedly partial treatment of Muslims for the sake of social stability, said PTI. 

"It's necessary to timely remove radical phrases that discriminate against Islam and are biased against Muslims to prevent worsening online hatred towards the group. Those phrases severely undermine religious harmony and ethnic unity," said Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Beijing's Minzu University of China in Beijing reported the newspaper. 

 "Blocking such phrases is not an infringement of people's freedom of speech as freedom should abide by China's related regulations and law," Xiong said.  

The officially atheist, China also protects its residents'rights to practice their religion. This year the Chinese government assisted 12,800 Muslims in making the pilgrimage to Mecca and also closing streets for Muslims to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. 

Right now, China has 20 million Muslims, according to the 2013 population census, Global Times said.