Chinese internet regulators have reportedly banned "Islamophobic" terms which were otherwise used to shame and disgrace the community, the Chinese state media confirmed.
China, majorly a Buddhist nation has a little over 21 million Muslims called Uyghurs in Xinijang and the Hui community, spread across Ningxia province.
A massive crackdown operation is on against the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in the volatileXinjiang province. In recent times there has been sttlements of the majority Han community in that region.
The ban has resulted in deletion of search keywords like, 'green religion' and 'peaceful religion', from microblogging site Weibo. These words were previously used by netizens to refer to Islam.
China holds ETIM responsible for carrying out several terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China. There are reports that youth from these region are also fighting alongside the ISIS in Syria. Posts containing the phrases cannot be posted for "violations of Weibo's complaints related rules." Insultsagainst Islam are also blocked in Weibo's search engine, it said.
The total number of internet users in China have surpassed 700 million. It is evident that the Chinese government will take down any digital content that is not in the inteest of the government.
International social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook as well as Google are blocked by the firewalls. "Discontent and fears of Muslims have been on the rise onChina's Internet in recent years. Complainers target Chineseauthorities' affirmative discrimination policies toward ethnic minorities, especially Muslim groups," the report said.
"It's necessary to timely remove radical phrases that discriminate against Islam and are biased against Muslims toprevent 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. "Blocking such phrases is not an infringement of people's freedom of speech as freedom should abide under China'srelated regulations and law," Xiong told the daily.
(With inputs from PTI)