An anonymous member of the Chinese political establishment leaked over 400 pages of internal documents to The New York Times, which provide an "unprecedented inside view" into Beijing's crackdown on China's Muslim population.
The Times notes that the most detailed discussions on the "indoctrination camps" in Xinjiang, where as many as one million members of ethnic groups that practice Islam are being held, are found in a directive that outlines how party officials should handle minority students returning home in the summer of 2017 to find that their family members had been sent to Xinjiang. Officials were advised to tell the students their relatives were "in treatment" after exposure to radical Islam, and respond with increasingly firm replies when pressed on their matter, highlighting the narrative the government had carved out to justify the internment.
"If they don't undergo study and training, they'll never thoroughly and fully understand the dangers of religious extremism," one of the answers said. "No matter what age, anyone who has been infected by religious extremism must undergo study."
A series of internal speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping also stood out in the document. Xi said officials should show "absolutely no mercy" and use the "organs of dictatorship" to root out Islamic extremism in the country. He was careful, however, to say there should be no discrimination against certain ethnic groups like the Uighurs, and that Islam should not be restricted as a religion. Many people argue that both of these things have come to fruition regardless. Read more at The New York Times.