Chinese Arabic school to close as areas with Muslim populations are urged to study the Xinjiang way


  • Teacher in Gansu says authorities are denying underprivileged an education
  • Ningxia political chief says Xinjiang’s ‘religious and terrorist’ curbs are good model
Mimi Lau
9 December 2018
Pingliang Arabic School in Gansu hosts its autumn semester opening ceremony, but the school will not survive beyond the end of December if authorities have their way. Photo: Handout.

Pingliang Arabic School in Gansu hosts its autumn semester opening ceremony, but the school will not survive beyond the end of December if authorities have their way. Photo: Handout.

The imminent closure of a 34-year-old Arabic language school in China’s northwestern province of Gansu has raised fears that draconian religion policies adopted in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are applied to other Muslim-populated areas.

Pingliang Arabic School, a charity that caters to underprivileged students, has been told by city education officials to close by December 17 and send its 200 students and 20 teachers home.

[ Also Read ]Coalition of scholars calls for added pressure on Beijing over Uygur camps

Officials claim the school does not have the operational permits it needs although it has been in business since 1984. Pingliang is a small city on the border between Gansu and Shaanxi province – one of China’s poorest areas.

“It seems that the officials are not interested in talking to us at all,” said a teacher who requested anonymity.

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