Jewish kashrut supervisor - or radical Muslim?

Haredi kashrut supervisor detained in China because authorities thought he was a radical Islamist.

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China
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Flash 90

A Jewish man who works as a kashrut supervisor of SKS Mehadrin in China was detained by the police at a roadblock on one of the highways in Xinjiang Province in China after being suspected of being an extremist Muslim due to haredi clothing and beard.

Despite his attempts to convince the police that he was a Jew, he was ordered to accompany them to the police station. After he deposited his passport, he was interrogated for several hours about his actions in the district, which has many Muslim residents.

Only after the police were satisfied beyond any doubt that the kashrut supervisor was not a Muslim and that his clothing was traditional haredi garb did they return his passport and release him.

"For a moment I thought I would have to operate outside of China because of the prolonged investigation," the supervisor said following his release. "All the explanations of the driver who accompanied me and translated my clarifications did not help. They were determined to detain me for questioning and to ensure that I did not harm the security of the locals.

Chinese authorities have cracked down in recent years on the expansion of radical Islam in the country and in neighboring countries. As part of the fight against terrorism, they are tightening supervision in Xinjiang province in the northwest of the country because of the suspicion of infiltration the region by radical Islamists.