we stand with uyghur.
10, Sep 2020
By Daban Aryan
We are facing extremely uncertain times in the world right now and amongst many of the crisis going on right now, there is one that we feel doesn't receive as much attention nor support as it should.
There have always been forms of conflict between the Uyghur in China's Xinjiang region and the Chinese government due to many conflicts of interest. Xinjiang has been under China's control since 1949 however many Uyghur citizens still identify as people of East Turkestan much to China's dislike. The Xinjiang region is rich in oil and minerals which is considered to be a "special economic zone" as Xinjiang is one of the largest producers of natural gas and the region is vital for seeing China's Belt and Road initiative. This initiative may be critical since neighbouring countries could potentially withdraw from the development and investments which could cripple infrastructure and would see China face harsh sanctions.
Why are the people targetted? For one, China is trying to gain complete control of their country as we have seen with previous complications with Hong Kong; they claim that the Muslims hold extremist views and are a threat to national security stemming back to attacks that have happened in 2013/2014. Since then China has discriminated against the Uyghur people firstly be prohibiting men from growing long beards and women from wearing face coverings and this soon led to demolishing of mosques. In recent decades, China has labelled the Uyghur people as a terrorist group which is the excuse they use for justifying the drastic increase in surveillance. Uyghurs have even been hired to report against their people if they refuse to drink alcohol (which is against their religion) or even if they refuse to watch Chinese news.
So far, more than 3 million Uyghur Muslims have been put into concentration camps which China firstly denied claiming they are simply "re-education centres" and then later changed their narrative claiming the "vocational training" centres exist but it is China's model for counterterrorism. The government, through these camps, has been torturing, surveilling and refusing basic rights of practising religion in these camps; they are forced to eat pork, drink alcohol and disown their religion. Children are relocated to different families or sent to orphanages whilst women are forcefully being married to Chinese men as an effort to stop the continuation of Muslim born citizens. Recently leaked documents show that the detainees are also being forced to take pills and get injections as they are subject to medical experiments and organ harvesting.
However, those who are living outside the concentration camps are also in extremely bad conditions. Those outside the camps must install spyware on their phone, so the government can monitor their activity, Muslim women cannot wear the hijab (scarf) unless she is over the age of 45, they are not allowed to speak any foreign language, there is no halal food, pork and alcohol MUST be in every household. and facial recognition can capture who is passing by a mosque and punish them for doing so. The Guardian has reported that an estimate of 80% of Uyghurs currently in Australia have said that they have relatives who have "disappeared" in these camps.
The Chinese government has ramped up efforts to cover up their actions and aggressively control the narrative as to prevent access to accurate information on what is going on. They have even gone as far to release propaganda featuring relatives of Uyghur's and "happy" and dancing Uyghurs.
Many countries have backed China's actions claiming they are doing remarkable work in the field of human rights by protecting their country from religious terrorism; even major Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar have retracted their initial positions condemning the Chinese and their actions.
Of course, we will be doing our part too by donating 10% of our monthly membership fees to the cause. They need all the help and support they can get; we are living through a mass genocide estimated to be greater than the holocaust. We have linked below multiple sources you can go to donate to the cause and contribute to helping the oppressed.