I’m not in favor of banning books. Thought control and thought police are hallmarks of totalitarian regimes, and we’re getting perilously close to living under that boot on the face in the West. The Chinese authorities, like all totalitarians, are going to discover that they cannot entirely suppress thoughts through force.
That said, this is one of the first, if not the very first, official recognition by any modern government that the Qur’an does indeed contain “extremist content”: a great deal of material that incites believers to commit violence against non-believers.
The Chinese should be countering this mother-lode of bad ideas with better ideas, rather than trying to stamp it out by force; at the same time, if Western governments would admit the existence of the Qur’an’s “extremist content,” they may be able to formulate more effective and humane ways to counter the threat that results from that content. But that will most likely only happen when it is far, far too late.
“Chinese Police Order Xinjiang’s Muslims to Hand in All Copies of The Quran,” Radio Free Asia, September 27, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have ordered ethnic minority Muslim families to hand in religious items including prayer mats and copies of the Quran to the authorities, RFA has learned.
Officials across Xinjiang have been warning neighborhoods and mosques that ethnic minority Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims must hand in the items or face harsh punishment if they are found later, sources in the region said.
“Officials at village, township and county level are confiscating all Qurans and the special mats used for namaaz [prayer],” a Kazakh source in Altay prefecture, near the border with Kazakhstan told RFA on Wednesday.