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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Religious Discrimination at Work

She didn’t know that the $20 scarf she wrapped around her head that morning would result in a $25,000 lawsuit .

She walked into the job interview for Morningside House of Ellicott City: a confident, well educated professional. Excited, about to graduate from nursing school and after spending years caring for other’s children as a childcare worker, she was starting a new chapter of her life. A heartfelt prayer to Allah mumbled under her breath and she opened the door.

The ad for a Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) in the senior assisted living community had been on several job websites.  Her professors recommended the extra experience, so even though she was overqualified she applied for it. She got a same-day interview when she called; a very common practice in the industry.

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In any job interview what stressful questions do one prepare for? Usually about one’s degree, achievements or experience but certainly not on the applicant’s choice of headgear.  This is exactly what Khadijah Salim of Baltimore City, MD endured.  “For 15 minutes I was asked over and over again to explain my hijab.” Salim spelled out how she had worked with patients, from the operating room to geriatrics to the psych ward, during her clinical rotations, without any issues.

Morningside will pay $25,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in June 2011, according to the agency.  The EEOC had charged that Morningside House of  Ellicott City denied hire to Salim because she refused to remove her hijab.

The director of health services of this particular facility of Morningside House (a corporation which manages several properties) was the one who conducted the interview. Looking at her up and down, she started her questions based on Khadija’s appearance. Confident in her vibrant fashion sense, that day Khadija had worn pants, a formal shirt and a well-coordinated hijab.

“She said I would scare the patients! I have never scared anyone in my life, do you know how hurtful that is, to think that I would scare someone?” Salim’s voice tightened over the phone. “One of my elderly patients during my rotations thought I was an angel.”

“I showed her how I tied it up around patients, assuring her that it would not be in the way but her demeanor did not change. She even handed my application back to me. We didn’t talk about anything else. She finally just asked me, “Would you be willing to remove it while you are working for the facility?” Said Salim, “as I left she asked me what hours I was willing to work.”

Offended and shocked, Salim says that she couldn’t believe that it was 2010, and in a place with so many Muslims. “I am not  sensitive about hijab, I’ve worn it since I was a little girl and have no problems answering genuine questions about hijab,” stressed Salim.

Although she was told she would be contacted if someone were interested in her, she was never contacted, nor was she one of  ten CNAs who were hired by Morningside in September 2010.

Salim is no stranger to the civil rights movement, as a young African American Muslimah, it had been a family legacy. She was also very familiar with the work done by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) as she grew up down the street from its co-founder, Nihad Awad.

Nationally cases have been filed based on several basis: accommodating prayer times, adjusting work schedules to accommodate Friday prayers, the ‘no pork’ rule and the hijab criteria, etc. Many times the discrimination is subtle quoting customer preferences, companies will relegate visibly Muslim workers to jobs that are lower paid jobs or ‘low- visibility’ jobs.

In California, two similar cases to Salim’s made headlines; the Abercrombie & Fitch cases and the Disneyland lawsuit.

Hani Khan from San Mateo, CA, a 20-year-old college student, is one of three women suing Abercrombie & Fitch for either not hiring, or firing, women wearing headscarves. Samantha Elauf, a 19-year-old student from Oklahoma, filed suit in 2009, and an unnamed 18-year-old woman from Milpitas, CA  sued them in 2010.

Imane Boudlal is suing Walt Disney Co. in federal court, saying that she was discriminated against and harassed for her religious beliefs. She also alleges that she unfairly lost her job in 2010 after refusing to remove her hijab at work.

 

According to the New York Times, although Muslims make up less than 2 percent of the United States population, they accounted for about one-quarter of the 3,386 religious discrimination claims filed with the E.E.O.C. last year.

Locally, 6.8 % of the total US charges for religious discrimination filed by the EEOC has been from the DMV area.

From 2001 to 2008, religious discrimination cases  filed with the EEOC have seen a 35 percent increase.   According to experts, like Sahar Aziz, Esq., even these numbers are low as many Arabs and South Asians of Islamic heritage refuse to report discrimination because they fear losing jobs in these tough economic times.

In 2009, the EEOC received 1,490 complaints from Muslims, the fifth consecutive year the number of complaints rose. In 2011, the number of cases had  reached a staggering 4151.

“The trend could reflect a rise in Islamophobia in the workplace or an increased willingness on the part of Muslims to report discrimination — or both,” stated one observer.

 

“In this [Salim’s] case, there was no undue  hardship to the employer — just an apparent overreaction to a reasonable request because of myths and stereotypes about a religion,” EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in the EEOC statement. The EEOC files cases for only 5 percent of the it receives.

“I have been on enough job interviews to know what’s up. Initially, I was not even looking for monetary compensation, I was just asking for an apology and that is why I contacted CAIR. If they don’t even acknowledge their mistake, how are they going to rectify it?” asked Khadijah.

Khadijah was eventually hired by another hospital as an RN.

 

Under Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers have an obligation to  accommodate an employee’s or applicant’s sincerely held religious beliefs unless it creates an undue hardship.  In the Salim case, the  EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement  through its conciliation process.

Title VII is a federal law that prohibits employers and other covered entities from discriminating against an employee or job applicant because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is incorporated into Title VII. Title VII also protects against retaliation and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for religion.

Each state also has their own discrimination laws  ie. the DC Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin. sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation.

The Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, or disability.

 

In addition to $25,000 to Salim, the settlement enjoins the senior living home from further discriminating against any individual on the  basis of religion, requires religious discrimination training to supervisors,  managers and all involved in the hiring process to post a notice stating the  company’s commitment to maintaining an environment free of religious  discrimination as well as to submit copies of any complaints about religious  discrimination to the EEOC for a period of two years.

On their website, Morningside says that that all Morningside managed properties are Equal Opportunity Employers. Efforts to reach Morningside to discuss the implementation of their religious discrimination training were not responded to.

 

This summer, a Metro employee sued the agency over practices that limited her ability to take off Fridays to attend Jumuah salah. Najmah Rashad is a secretary in the agency’s legal office. Her lawsuit, filed in the District of Columbia, is seeking $400,000.  She had offered to work late and come in early on other weekdays in exchange for taking time off on Fridays.

In February 2009, Metro settled a complaint by the U.S. Justice Department that said the transit agency discriminated against at least three women. A Pentecostal Christian woman was not allowed to wear a skirt in accordance to her faith, she was training to become a bus driver. Two Muslim employees were not allowed to wear hijab on the job. Metro agreed to pay all three women, provide religious sensitivity training for all supervisors and managers, plus create a policy accommodating religious practices.

“If you spend most of your interview talking about how you look or your appearance, then you might want to think, is this a fair and just interview?” said Salim. “I recommend the EEOC, they are a very fair organization.”

It is generally illegal for a covered employer to fail or refuse to hire, to fire, or to otherwise discriminate against an applicant or employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such person’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, or other protected category. Unless the company can establish “undue hardship,” it is also unlawful for a covered entity to fail to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to an employee or applicant’s religion or disability. It is also illegal to retaliate against someone for exercising rights under employment discrimination laws.

 

Cases like these take an emotional toll on the victims, as the legal process is long and involvs many meetings and negotiations and can also put the victim in the media spotlight. “It was nerve wrecking. They called me a liar and denied everything,” she stated. “I had whole blog posts on me. It was so hurtful, I just stopped Googling my name.”

Khan, the Muslimah in the Abercrombie & Fitch case, said she received death threats after her story went public.

A look inside the blogosphere finds a common complaint that Muslims as well as followers of other faiths are asking for special privileges.  The most resonating response to this accusation is that Christians need to check their privileges, as even though there is separation of church and state in the U.S., the holidays and celebrations are structured around Christian dates. More so as the dominant faith they can practice their beliefs without the fear of be mocked, inhibited or denied opportunities, especially opportunities that they are well qualified for.

Salim felt that people may judge her as a fraud or a troublemaker after this case. “My biggest support was my family and [reminding] myself of what the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) went through.” said Salim.

“I had to stand up. How am I going to raise two Muslim daughters to wear the hijab without fear, if I don’t do this?”

written for the The Muslim Link newspaper

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Hena Zuberi is the Editor in Chief of Muslimmatters.org. She leads the DC office of the human rights organization, Justice For All, focusing on stopping the genocide of the Rohingya under Burma Task Force, advocacy for the Uighur people with the Save Uighur Campaign and Free Kashmir Action. She was a Staff Reporter at the Muslim Link newspaper which serves the DC Metro. Hena has worked as a television news reporter and producer for CNBC Asia and World Television News. Active in her SoCal community, Hena served as the Youth Director for the Unity Center. Using her experience with Youth, she conducts Growing Up With God workshops. hena.z@muslimmatters.org Follow her on Twitter @henazuberi.

#Current Affairs

Democracy, Citizenship, And Islamophobia: The Making Of A New India

When tracing the political genealogy of modern India after its partition in 1947, historians identify the two defining principles used by the state as secularism and democracy. Yet the idea of India, post-1947, a newly born nation-state and now-market of 1.4 billion people, as a home for multiple religious, ethnic and linguistic denominations continues to unravel under the contradictions of historicity.

While the Union of India was historically seen as a progressive multi-ethnic secular democracy, throughout the past few decades the policies and politics of inequality for minorities, violent objectification based on castiesm, virulent manifestation of Islamophobia, and clampdown on all forms of democratic political dissent show a paradoxical paradigm shift from its founding principles.

Tracing the Genealogy of Partition

In the early years after independence, the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the ruling Indian National Congress (or Congress Party) advocated for an Indian brand of secularism designed to hold the country’s disparate communities together under one roof.

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This idea was formally attested in the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976, the Preamble to the Constitution proclaim that India is a secular nation. 

Yet this idea of a nation that tolerates religious and ethnic minorities was contradictory of Hindu nationalist ideology, first collated in the 1920s by V. D. Savarkar in Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu?. Savarkar defines India culturally as a Hindu country and intended to transform it into a Hindu Rashtra (nation-state).

Hindu nationalists view India as a Hindu nation-state not only because Hindus make up about 80 percent of the population but also because they see themselves as the rightful sons of the soil, whereas they view Muslims and Christians as the outcome of bloody foreign invasions or denationalising influences.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen argues in his path-breaking work The Argumentative Indian:

“the enthusiasm for ancient India has often come from the Hindutva movement—the promoters of a narrowly Hindu view of Indian Civilization—who have tried to separate out the period preceding the Muslim conquest of India.”

The case for  secularism, with its own historical pitfalls, really started to shake when Hindu nationalists populated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its various ideological affiliates and started promoting a starkly different worldview; envisioning India as a majoritarian Hindutva nation-state, not a country with diverse multi-religious and cultural history.

The question of the viability of India’s secularist tradition, and the tensions inherent in these competing visions of Indian nationhood have come to the fore in recent years, since the BJP’s landmark electoral victory in 2014. 

Politics of Otherisation 

After India’s parliament revoked article 370 in Kashmir (called out as constitutional blasphemy), it passed a bill in the parliament offering ‘amnesty’ to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries.

It was a major step towards the official marginalisation of Muslims that would establish a religious test for migrants who want to become citizens, solidifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist agenda.

The bill offers citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), argued “this will give sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution”, while forcing Muslims, many of whom do not have any official documentation, of re-registering as Indian citizens.

This is one more step towards realising the grand project of creating a Hindutva Nation.

Arundhati Roy, one of India’s most famous writers, compared the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the Nazis’ 1935 Nuremberg Laws, which blocked Jews from German citizenship. 

The ruling BJP government itself includes the Shiv Sena (Army of Shivaji) political party, which actually sought inspiration from Nazi Germany.Click To Tweet

In 1967, Bal Thackeray said, “it is Hitler that is needed in India today,” in an interview to Time magazine. In 1993, he said, “If you take Mein Kampf and if you remove the word “Jew” and put in the word “Muslim,” that is what I believe.”

This new reality of India clearly manifests the reductionist understanding of religion and use of politics as a means to achieve religious goals inspired from the Hindutva theology with all institutions working in tandem to promote the politics of exclusion. 

Take the case of the Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya, which was demolished by Hindu fundamentalists in 1992. Then, last year India’s Supreme Court awarded the disputed site to Hindus for the construction of a temple for the Hindu deity Ram.

Hindu hardliners, including BJP supporters, say that Ram was born at the site of the Babri Mosque, which was built 460 years ago during Mughal rule in the subcontinent.

The unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court in the Ayodha dispute“gives precedence to faith and belief over available documented archaeological evidence”, according to Kashmiri political analyst Sheikh Showkat Hussain.

The case of the Babri Mosque dispute, if read in continuation of other steps taken by the BJP government is another move towards the delegitimisation of Muslims’ citizenship. 

Just as it is illustrated in Brad Evans and Natasha Lenard’s Violence: Humans in Dark Times,the increasing expression and acceptance of violence-in all strata of society has become a defining feature of today’s world.

In December, while China was fighting the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan, the government of India was dealing with a mass uprising by hundreds of thousands of its citizens protesting against the brazenly discriminatory anti-Muslim citizenship law it had just passed in parliament.

There was punishment to be meted out to Delhi’s Muslims, who were blamed for the humiliation. Armed mobs of Hindu vigilantes, backed by the police, and attacked Muslims in the working-class neighborhoods of north-east Delhi. Houses, shops, mosques and schools were burnt and more than 50 Muslims were killed.

Covid and Islamophobia

While much of the international response to the coronavirus pandemic was unity and shared responsibility, , the battle against Covid-19 in India metamorphosed into Muslim-bashing.

Coming just weeks after pogroms based on religious hatred ended up 36 Muslims dead in Delhi, the outpouring of intolerable tweets manifest how concerns over the coronavirus have merged with longstanding Islamophobia in India, at a time when the Muslim minority — 200 million people in a nation of 1.3 billion — feels increasingly targeted by the ruling Hindu nationalists.

Since March 28, tweets with the hashtag #CoronaJihad have appeared nearly 300,000 times and potentially seen by 165 million people on Twitter, according to data shared with TIME by Equality Labs, a digital human rights group.

Coronavirus is just “one more opportunity to cast the Muslim as the other, as dangerous,” says Ali, an assistant professor of political science at JNU in Delhi. 

Antagonism towards the minority community, which had already spread its tentacles in society, intensified amidst the nationwide lockdown. By singling out an Islamic religious congregation as a major source of the spread of the infection, the authorities inflamed communal tensions and reports of Islamophobia poured in from various quarters across the country.

The mainstream media has incorporated the COVID story into its 24/7 toxic anti-Muslim campaign. An organisation called the Tablighi Jamaat, which held a meeting in Delhi before the lockdown was announced, has turned out to be a “super spreader”.

That is being used to stigmatise and demonise Muslims. The overall tone suggests that Muslims invented the virus and have deliberately spread it as a form of jihad.India has continued with this claim of being a progressive secular democratic nation even though systematic pogroms have been going on against the Muslim population. Islam and Muslims seen as an immediate ‘other’ die a silent death under different pretexts. 

“One of the key features of anti-Muslim sentiment in India for quite a long time has been the idea that Muslims themselves are a kind of infection in the body politic,” said Arjun Appadurai, a professor of media, culture and communication at New York University who studies Indian politics.

“So there’s a kind of affinity between this long-standing image and the new anxieties surrounding coronavirus.”

The left-leaning newspaper The Hindu published a cartoon showing the world being held hostage by the coronavirus—with the virus itself depicted wearing clothing associated with Muslims.

The Nehruvian secularist project and Modi’s communal project are not fundamentally all that different, in that both demand India’s minorities to “integrate” into the national majority which means giving up their socio-cultural way of life.

Modi’s model is to make all minorities homogenous by saying everyone is a Hindu and, therefore, they have to stop being anything else. The other is a secular model whose template is taken from the dominant religion, Hinduism, and, therefore, is cast upon everyone.

Arundhati Roy accused the Indian government of exploiting the coronavirus in a tactic reminiscent of the one used by the Nazis during the Holocaust. 

“The whole of the organisation, the RSS to which Modi belongs, which is the mother ship of the BJP, has long said that India should be a Hindu nation. Its ideologues have likened the Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany,” Roy said.

“And if you look at the way in which they are using Covid-19, it was very much like typhus was used against the Jews to get ghettoise them, to stigmatise them.” Click To Tweet

Hatred against Muslims continues after the massacre in Delhi, which was the outcome of people protesting against the anti-Muslim citizenship law.

Now, under the cover of Covid-19 the government is adamant to arrest young Muslim students; already Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar and Umar Khalid have been booked them with anti-terror Laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

It seems the idea of India being the largest secular democratic country has disguised an organised Islamophobia campaign and an institutional oppression of Muslims that has existed for decades.

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Africa

Top 10 Books On Black Muslim History

The history of Black Muslims seems to be trapped between Bilal raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Malcolm X. While these are particularly bright supernovas in the pantheon of giants from Muslim history, they are far from being the only stars in that history.

Recent events have meant that many Muslims want to actively close that gap in their knowledge of Black Muslims. This isn’t just an academic interest, it is one of the recurring pieces of advice given by Black Muslims themselves when asked what the rest of the Muslim community can and should do to actively fight against racism in all its forms.

When you don’t know the story of a people, it becomes easy to belittle or even dehumanise them.

So here, in no particular order, are my Top 10 books on the history of Black Muslims in the English Language.

  • Centering Black Narrative: Black Muslim Nobles amongst the early pious Muslim by Dawud Walid and Ahmed Mubarak

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There are many reasons why tokenising Bilal ibn Rabaah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) is embarassing. One of them is because there are just so many other Black Sahaabas out there to talk about. This great book showcases so many of the greatest generation who, we may not have realised, were black. I actually did a prior book review on this that you can check out here.

  • The history of Islam in Africa edited by Levtzion & Pouwels 

This is less a book and more like a mini-encyclopaedia. This is for the serious student of history and a good reference book. If you want to tell the difference between the Songhai and the Sanussi or want to tell apart the different Tariqahs – this is your encyclopaedia. I mean book.

  • Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam by Habeeb Akande

Habeeb Akande is one of the most prolific Black Muslim writers out there on a range of topics. This book offers a sweeping narrative dealing with history, social issues like interracial marriage and the concept of race as dealt by scholars such as Al-Suyuti. As expected, this book is well researched and well written so a good primer for those new to the topic.

  • Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa by Ousmane Kane

Timbuktu and West Africa was for a time one of the richest centres of Islam in terms of wealth and intellectual tradition. To read about this time read this book by the Harvard professor Ousmane Kane. To all those who believe in the idea of racial superiority, you’ll be quickly disabused of that notion when you realise that this is the intellectual depth of a book about the intellectual depth of Black Muslims in West Africa.

  • The Black Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire: Networks of Power in the Court of the Sultan by George Junne

In almost every Muslim Empire, the Sultans and rulers might change but there is a constant presence just off centre if you look closely enough. Eunuchs, who were often but not always of Black heritage, were right there at the centre of power. While the institution that brought them there was horrific and inhumane, the power they wielded was serious and far reaching. This book goes through the lives of a group of Black Muslims who shaped the Muslim world in ways that may surprise you.

  • The African Caliphate: The Life Work & Teachings of Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio by Ibraheem Sulaiman

In a part of the world that gave us the world’s richest known person, great kings and warriors – you have to be pretty special to stand out. Usman Dan Fodio was more than special. He was one of those people who excelled as a military leader, a teacher and a person. He revived the sunnah and stands as one of the giants in the history of Islam. Learn about the man they call simply “Shehu.”

  • The Caliph’s Sister: Nana Asma’u, 1793-1865, Teacher, Poet and Islamic Leader by Jean Boyd

History tends to be His story far too often. It is the history of great men doing great things. 50% of the world is missed out with women far too often playing cameo roles as femme fatales or spoils of war. Well, the story of Nana Asma’u bucks this trend. She was not just a towering figure. If her father conquered lands, Nana conquered hearts. Learn about her story. Herstory – get it? Just read the book.

  • Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas by Sylvaine Diouf

The story of how enslaved Muslims struggled to hold on to their faith and values, to not just survive but to actually thrive is fascinating and should be required reading. While there are other books that deal with the subject in a more detailed manner, this book is accessible and touches on all the main themes from revolts to literacy levels. Ms Diouf does a lot to shine a light on one of the darkest institutions in Islamic history.

  • Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser

It is a measure of the man that despite being the greatest sportsman of all time, it was still only the 2nd most interesting part of the life of Muhammad Ali. How this young scrawny kid from Louisville went from being Cassisus Clay to one of the most recognisable human beings on planet Earth is not just a biography of a superstar but the story of the struggle of a people, the many missteps on the road to that struggle and the ultimate redemption that awaited. Long after the name of the Presidents and Kings of his era will be forgotten, the name of Muhammad Ali will live on.

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X with Alex Haley

For me, even though it speaks to a specific person, place and struggle, this is by far the greatest of all the books out there on the history of Black Muslims . This is the denouement of a centuries long struggle for the survival of faith against the greatest odds and how slavery, racism and enforced conversions all came crashing down when one man of rare intelligence decided that it was time to overcome “by any means necessary.” If you have not read it, what are you waiting for? It will change you.

As I argued in a previous article called Erasing Race: Problems with our Islamic history, the history of Islam without Black Muslims isn’t really a history at all.

Whether you decide to read any of these books or check out some YouTube videos or articles about the history of Black Muslims, let us all educate ourselves. Only then will we all be able to start helping to build a more just world. Only then will we all be able to breathe.

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#Current Affairs

This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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