Connect with us

#Current Affairs

Reflections on an American Muslim Icon: Muhammad Ali

Guests

Published

on

The Muslim ummah and the world at large has lost a beloved hero.

Muhammad Ali touched the lives of so many in the US and around the world. We are saddened by his loss and pray for his complete forgiveness and a beautiful home in the highest of heavens, Jannat al-Firdaus. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon. Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.

Below are tributes from some notable scholars and contributors. We would love to hear your own reflections on Muhammad Ali. What did he mean to you? How did he inspire you to be a better Muslim? Please comment below.

OmarSSh. Omar Suleiman:

This life is not real. I conquered the world and it did not bring me satisfaction. God gave me this illness to remind me that I’m not number one, He is.” – Muhammad Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)

Today a legend passed. A shining example of truth, courage, and justice. You will not be forgotten dear brother. Muhammad Ali isn’t just the greatest athlete of all time, he’s an American hero that won the world over with his commitment to the truth. Allah knows how much I’ve always loved and admired him.

This video is very special as Muhammad Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reflects on the meanings of God, life, death, and the hereafter. Take 10 minutes and watch this profound speech.

I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” Muhammad Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)

May Allah have mercy on him and elevate his rank, and join him with the greatest in Jannatul firdaws. Ameen

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

Sh. Yasir Qadhi

UPDATE: The legend himself has passed away less than half an hour ago – truly to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. We pray for his forgiveness and ask Allah to bless him with Paradise.


I’m greatly distressed to hear that Muhammad Ali is in critical condition and might be close to the end.

There is no denying that Muhammad Ali is the most famous and influential American Muslim, ever. It is doubtful that anyone will replace that status for the foreseeable future. If the only good that he brought was to bring a positive image of Islam, and to spread the name of our beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in every household and on every tongue in the world, it is a life that is indeed enviable. But in addition to that, he has had a stellar career as the single greatest athlete, of all times. As well, he was an icon of positive political activism, and of preaching truth to power. His court case about refusing the draft for Vietnam was fought all the way to the Supreme Court, which he eventually won.

He converted to what he thought was Islam at a time when Islam was an unknown religion; then he became Sunni after Malcolm X introduced him to mainstream Islam, and he’s been a proud and public Muslim ever since.

If that wasn’t enough, he is one of the most eloquent and poetic star athletes that the world has ever seen. His quotes, like his medals and awards, are legendary (my personal favorite is: “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.“)

We must all go eventually, and Muhammad Ali has lived a good life. Yet still, the heart is saddened and the eyes are sad to see a living legend go before our eyes. Whenever it is his time to go, I pray that Allah eases his suffering, grants him a dignified death, accepts the good that he has done, and overlooks his mistakes.

Br. Muhammad Ali! I know you will not read these words. Yet still, I write them because I am at once proud and humbled to consider you my brother, and to know that we are a part of one Ummah. I consider it a personal loss that I never got to meet you. But I sincerely pray that eventually we shall be together in Jannah, and I look forward to the day that you will dazzle me with your fiery eloquence and make me laugh with your humble humor.

May Allah bless you in your remaining time on this earth, and grant you the best in the next life! Ameen…

ANJSh. Abdul Nasir Jangda:

Born great, died greater- today we mourn the death of a man who, in difficult times, stood firmly upon the path of justice, a man who was often a lone voice for reason and change, a man who has shaped not only the landscape of Muslim America, but also humanity for years to come.

The visceral reaction we have to his loss is a testament to his greatness as not only a fighter, but also as one of the most revolutionary thought leaders of our time.

We all have so much to learn from Muhammad Ali: a beacon of excellence, inspiration, strength, and integrity. I pray he joins his namesake in Firdaws. Please keep him and his family in your prayers this Ramadan.

 

AQuickSh. Abdullah Hakim Quick

May Almighty Allah accept the striving, Dawah, good words, and courage of Muhammad Ali. May Allah open up the doors of Paradise for him. He stood for Islam in difficult times, he inspired many of us to resist the War in Vietnam and all immoral conflict, he continued developing in his faith till he reached the true teachings of Islam through the Last Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); He continued speaking out against injustice and evil till his end. Inna Lillahi wa Innaa ilaihi Raji’oon.

 

UmmZUmm Zakiyyah

I was blessed to spend time with Muhammad Ali a few times, and the fondest memories I have are two: him joining my family to meet his new brother in faith Mike Tyson (as pictured here in Sports Illustrated), and him signing “About Islam” pamphlets and handing them out to fans who wanted his autograph.

The world has lost a champion. May Allah forgive him, have mercy on him, and grant him Jannah without account.

MWajidDr. Mohammed Wajid Akhter

Muhammad Ali meant something special to everyone, but to Muslims he was an incredibly inspirational figure. You have to understand that for a once great civilization, Muslims have precious few public figures that represent the best of what we used to be and not where we are right now.

All across the Muslim world, Ali stood out as an example of someone who was comfortable in his own skin and the world was comfortable with him too. Truly and example that will be missed.
AmujahidAbdul Malik Mujahid

Muhammad Ali told me about his greatest fear. May God forgive his sins and give him a great place in Jannah. ‪#‎RIPMuhammadAli‬.

The last time I met him at his home with Sound Vision team, I asked him what is his greatest fear. This interview was later published by Sound Vision. He remained silent for a moment and then said not being able to enter jannah. In those days he was still able to speak but with difficulty.

It was a very difficult moment. Everyone including his wife sister Lonnie Ali along with Sound Vision team were all teary eyes as Brother Ali remained silent, somber but without tears.

I used my hand and words to comfort him saying that God will give him jannah since he has done so much good.

He stared at me in silence as though questioning if I am sure about myself entering jannah. May Allah give him the Jannah which he desired and may God keep us on the straight path.

A photographer was clicking away and all those moments are recorded.

I have worked with Brother Muhammad Ali on several projects including to stop genocide in Bosnia with Bosnia Task Force. I have great memories of him. One such memory is this photo in which he asked me to pose this way for a photographer. May Allah keep us all serving humanity to please Him.


It is important to keep mentioning that ‪#‎MuhammadAli‬ was a Muslim as today about 30% Muslim children avoid using their Muslim names at school. Not all Americans know that he was a Muslim. I remember marching with Ali in downtown Chicago for the rights of Palestinians during the first intifada when a reporter from CBS asked me why is Muhammad Ali marching. I told her that he feels for the persecution of fellow Muslims in Palestine. She responded saying I did not know that he is a Muslim. May Allah grant him Jannah.

Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), boxing world heavy weight champion in London 1966. Ali always prays to Allah before the first round of a title fight in London. HOT1966015W2715/7A © Thomas Hoepker / MAGNUM

Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), boxing world heavy weight champion in London 1966. Ali always prays to Allah before the first round of a title fight in London. © Thomas Hoepker / MAGNUM

 

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Noor

    June 4, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    To Him we belong and to Him we will return, but the passing away of a muslim as courageous as Mohammad Ali is indeed a great loss to the ummah. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannatul Firdaus Ameen.

  2. Avatar

    Rene

    June 4, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    My deepest condolences to his family. There will not be another boxer like Muhammad.

    May he Rest In Power.

  3. Avatar

    Kristy

    June 4, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    There was an interesting report on CNN a week or so ago, focusing of Muhammad Ali’s journey through religions, from being raised Baptist, to joining the Nation of Islam in which he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to becoming Sunni just when Malcolm X was assassinated, to finally joining the Sufi sect of Islam in 2005 when influenced by the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, “Founder of the Sufi Order in the West”.

    The CNN report was an interview with his daughter recently when he no longer could talk. “Muhammad Ali: Five things you never knew about the boxing legend, By Conor Lane, CNN April 28, 2016. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/28/sport/

    Thought some readers might be interested in this.

  4. Avatar

    Khalid Khan

    June 5, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    What a great man, he was. Mighty god may grant him jannah.

  5. Avatar

    hakeem

    June 6, 2016 at 5:49 AM

    https://keemweb.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/muhammad-ali/

    May Allah grant him jannat-ul-fitdaus. Amin

  6. Avatar

    Muhammad Ahmed Alvi

    June 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    I am distressed to see that Muhammad Ali’s family is not honoring him with a proper Muslim Namaz Janazah. Many of his family members who are controlling the funeral arrangement (including his daughter Laila Ali) are not Muslims.
    Muhammad Ali (may Allah bless him) will have a ‘private family prayer service’ on Thursday and then on Friday 9AM he will have a ‘private Muslim prayer led by an Imam’ in the funeral home. Then a procession will take his remains to a cemetery for private burial. Afterwards, in open ceremony on Friday at 2PM, he will have a ‘interfaith’ prayer led by an Imam and eulogy at KFC Yum center. Naturally you can’t have Janazah in the seats of KFC Center.
    I want someone to start a Twitter movement on this matter and demand that he should have a proper Janazah that all Muslims are allowed to attend as Janazah is a community ‘duty’ for Muslims.
    I and my wife were planning to travel from Chicago to attend his Janazah and now we are uncertain about his Janazah arrangements.

  7. Avatar

    Haris Amin

    June 6, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    As the brother above articulates, I’ve been puzzled at how long it’s taking to bury Muhammad Ali. I haven’t heard any scholar comment on this. Is this OK Islamically? Wouldn’t Ali have specified it in his will. The media have said he specified his burial arrangements.

  8. Avatar

    Muhammad Ahmed Alvi

    June 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Making correction:
    I contacted Muhammad Ali Center during the weekend about the Muslim tradition of open Janazah prayer. They have contacted me today to inform me that Muhammad Ali’s Open Janazah prayer would be held on Thursday at 12 Noon at Freedom Hall of Louisville KY.
    All Muslims in the area please try to make time for The Greatest, BBC’s ‘Athlete of the Twentieth Century’.
    Thanks

  9. Avatar

    Rehmat

    June 8, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    On June 6, Rabbi Michael Lerner, the founder of Tikkun Jewish community and editor-in-chief of Tikkun magazine announced that he was honored to be invited to speak at funeral services of world boxing legend Muhammad Ali to be held on Friday.

    “American Jews have played an important role in the continuing fight for social justice and peace, so our presence in this memorial will be a testimony to the very many in our community who celebrated Muhammad Ali’s courageous fight for peace, social justice, and a world in which love and generosity wins out over fear, hate, militarism and domination. As a religious Jew and rabbi I wish to honor this comrade in the struggle for ‘tikkun olam’ – the healing, repair and transformation of our world. And as a representative of the Jewish world I want to reaffirm our solidarity with Muslims around the world,” Rabbi Lerner said.

    The funeral service is scheduled for Friday in Louisville, Kentucky – Ali’s hometown. Ali died last Friday at the age of 74. He had Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years.

    Former US president Bill Clinton of Monica Lewinsky fame will deliver a eulogy. Other speakers will include Jewish actor Billy Crystal, who is know for his imitation of the Champ, Ali’s wife Lonnie Ali; his daughter Maryum Ali, and sportscaster Bryant Charles Gumbel along with representatives of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Mormonism and Catholicism.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/06/08/rabbi-lerner-to-speak-at-muhammad-alis-funeral/

  10. Avatar

    Omer Riaz

    June 13, 2016 at 6:45 AM

    Greatest Sportsman and Human being of all time. RIP Muhammad Ali

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Current Affairs

Malaysians Ask China To Free Uyghurs, Close The Camps

Hena Zuberi

Published

on

Free Uyghur Malaysia

By Gulnaz Uighur

Muslims are standing up for Uyghurs, protests held in Malaysia.

5th of July could be just like another day for people but for Uyghurs, it brings back dark memories of a bloody past. This day, in 2009, thousands of Uyghur students were massacred by Chinese police in Urumqi. These young students were demanding an investigation into the rising number of homicides in a toy factory. These people only wanted justice. They were also upset by the ongoing discrimination in the employment sector. Graduates were denied jobs because of their Uyghur ethnicity. After the protests, China started abducting the Uyghur youth and no one knows where the missing went. Its been 10 years since that horrifying incident and the condition of Muslims have devolved in a genocidal nightmare.

Communist Government in China Has over 2 Million Uyghurs in Concentration Camps

Beijing has now locked over 2 million Uyghurs in concentration camps. People in these places are forced to denounce Islam, forget the teachings of Quran, prohibited from praying, asked to learn Xi Jinping’s speech and tortured for not obeying these orders. Sadly, Islam is being treated as a disease in China and most of the Islamic nations are turning a blind eye to it.

So Malaysia came as a breath of fresh air when Muslim NGOs organized an anti-China protest against Uyghur persecution.

On 5th July 2019, a coalition of 34 Malaysian NGOs gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest the persecution of Uyghurs. The organizations prepared a memo of protest to be submitted to Chinese officials. In the memo, they demanded Beijing to ‘Respect the human rights of the Uyghur people, in particular, their right to life and freedom of religion and belief.’ , ‘immediately stop the persecution and extreme repression of the Uyghur people.’ and close the camps. They also called upon the International community to increase the voices of protest and disfavour upon the Chinese government and to work together to improve the situation for the Uyghur people through concrete actions.

The protesters shouted slogans like ‘Me Too Uyghur’ and ‘Save Uyghur’. In a media interview, president of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim), Mohamad Raimi Abdul Rahim asked immediate freedom for all those who have been detained in concentration camps.

Malaysians Stand With Uyghurs

Abim secretary Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz accused the Chinese government of concealing the plight of the Uyghurs by offering NGOs and government agencies free trips and painting a rosy picture of the camps. Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, chairman of the Malaysian Consultative Council Of Islamic Organizations (Mapim), said the atrocities committed against the Uyghurs could not be denied or disguised. The Group of NGOs also included Ikram Association and the Malaysian Youth Council among others.

Though no Chinese official came out to accept the memo, the message was clear that now people won’t keep quiet about the Uyghur persecution. There is a dire need for Muslim countries to break their silence on this issue. There is enough evidence to prove that something unholy and inhumane is happening with Uyghurs. If these countries consider China their friend then ask it to stop being a Shaitan. The leaders must realize that their first duty is towards the Ummah and not towards China.

Now is the time to stand for Uyghurs before nothing is left to be saved.

This protest in  Malaysia has proved that people in Muslim countries do support Uyghurs even if their governments are silent and are upset with Beijing’s policies. This event proved that governments may fail to fight but people won’t.

Continue Reading

#Current Affairs

The Environmental Cost Of War With Iran

Abu Ryan Dardir

Published

on

war with Iran

Report after report shows how planet Earth may reach a point of no return. An analysis written by Ian Dunlop claims the planet cannot be saved by the mid-century if we continue on this path. And yet here we are marching towards a war with Iran.

When we think of climate change, we rarely think of war. On June 12th, 2019, Brown University released a report declaring the Department of Defence to be “the world’s largest institution to use petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.” Burning jet fuel for transportation of troops and weapons make up 70 percent of the Pentagon’s emissions.  Ironically, earlier this year the Pentagon released a 22-page report to Congress stating the ⅔ of their mission-essential installation in the US are vulnerable to flooding, and ½ are susceptible to wildfires. To no surprise, Trump rejected those findings at the time. The Pentagon is now concerned with the impact climate change has on their “foreign missions.”

war, iran, America, Climate change, pentagonWith tensions high with Iran, and several thousand troops are expected to be deployed, if war with Iran is to happen, it may lead us to a more damaged planet that may not recover. This makes the Pentagon guilty of killing people and the earth. The Department of Defense has consistently used between 77-80% of the entire US energy consumption. We see spikes during times of massive war (since America is in a constant state of war), like in 1991, 2001, and so on.

Here is a list of the seven significant sources of greenhouse emissions done by the Department of Defense:

  1. Overall military emissions for installations and non-war operations.
  2. War-related emissions by the US military in overseas contingency operations.
  3. Emissions caused by US military industry   — for instance, for production of weapons and ammunition.
  4. Emissions caused by the direct targeting of petroleum,   namely the deliberate burning of oil wells and refineries by all parties.
  5. Sources of emissions by other belligerents.
  6. Energy consumed by reconstruction of damaged and destroyed infrastructure.
  7. Emissions from other sources, such as fire suppression and extinguishing chemicals, including   Halon, a greenhouse gas, and from explosions and fires due to the destruction of non-petroleum targets in warzones.

This impact on the climate is just the portion from America, in the Iraq war, 37 countries fought alongside America, and 60 are allied against ISIS. There is a way to calculate those emissions as well.

The Rules of War

Before engaging in battle, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed his soldiers:

  1. Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
  2. Do not practice treachery or mutilation. (Al-Muwatta)
  3. Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. (Al-Muwatta)
  4. Do not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel, except for food. (Al-Muwatta)
  5. If one fights his brother, [he must] avoid striking the face, for God created him in the image of Adam. (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
  6. Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
  7. Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle. (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)
  8. Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy; pray to God to grant you security; but when you [are forced to] encounter them, exercise patience. (Sahih Muslim)
  9. No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire. (Sunan Abu Dawud).
  10. Accustom yourselves to do good if people do good, and not to do wrong even if they commit evil. (Al-Tirmidhi)

A verse in the Holy Qur’an

4:75 (Y. Ali) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!”

How does this potential war against Iran play into all this?

Our first call to action is to organize an anti-war rally. This type of work is weak in America, and virtually non-existent within the Muslim community.

فَقَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ أَمَّا هَذَا فَقَدْ قَضَى مَا عَلَيْهِ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ رَأَى مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُنْكِرْهُ بِيَدِهِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏

Abu Sa’eed said: ‘As for this, he has fulfilled what is upon him. I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saying: ‘Whoever among you sees an evil, then let him stop it with his hand. Whoever is not able, then with his tongue, and whoever is not able, then with his heart. That is the weakest of faith.”‘

War with Iran will be a Greater Mistake than War with Iraq

Historically, anti-war sentiment in America has grown over the years. When the Iraq war first started only 23% thought it was a mistake, today it is close to 60% that believe the war is a mistake. Yes, this is in hindsight, but that it is also growth. The reason the anti-war movement is feeble in America is that there is no platform for the campaign to grow. Both parties are guilty of starting wars or taking over the wars from the past administration. Whether we do it alone as an individual or as a group, we should do everything we can as privileged members of this planet to save and protect those that can’t defend themselves.

There is a famous quote of the famed boxer Muhammad Ali when explaining why he wasn’t fighting in the war. He said, “…I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion.”

Fighting Earth

With that said, there is a significant interest in the region for more than just fuel and resources. It is truly a problem, our operations in the Gulf is to address our dependency on Persian oil, and the fuel that is used to address our dependence is to protect those resources and access to them. One estimate is that America spends $81 billion annually defending the global oil supply. They do this because the DOD feels its dependency will make it vulnerable on a larger scale.

In 1975 America decided to take away the fear of losing the resources and developed the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” and in 1978, they created the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF). Their only purpose was to defend US interest in the Middle East. This, in turn, leads to extractivism of resources and supplies. (Which will be explained in a future article).

This war can be the end of all wars as it can accelerate us to the point of no return in regards to climate change.

A war with Iran is a war with Earth and all who live on it.

Continue Reading

#Current Affairs

5 Quick Things Americans Can Do For Uyghurs Today

Abu Ryan Dardir

Published

on

“I may die, but let it be known that my nation will continue their struggle so long the world continues to exist.” Kazakh leader Uthman Batur. He said these words as Chinese authorities executed him for resisting the communist occupation. Currently, China has, one million Uyghurs (Uighurs), Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities held in concentration camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) (East Turkistan) in northwestern China.

Their struggle surpasses the 10 or so years since we have become aware of it. Just like the Rohingya genocide, we waited till the last minute. We are always late and say, “Never Again.” It happens again and again.

In my lifetime, there have been horrendous genocides that could have been prevented to stopped. As a child, I remember Rwanda in the headlines, then a year later Bosnian genocide. Then we hear these demonic stories after the fact. I remember stories from survivors from Bosnia, and thinking to myself, “How are you here and functioning?”

Let us not be fooled to why this is happening now. It is related to economic advantages. The Chinese government’s present signature foreign policy initiative is the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) that seeks to connect the PRC economically to the rest of the Eurasian continent through massive infrastructure projects that will stimulate international trade. The western and south-western components of the BRI require the XUAR to serve as a transportation and commercial hub to trade routes and pipelines that will join China with Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and the entirety of Europe. As a result, the XUAR has become an important strategic region for the Chinese, and the state views its indigenous populations as an obstacle to developing its vision for this future critical center of international commercial networks.1

The expansion of their trade route also ties in Iran hence the sanctions placed, but that’s a different report for a different time. China, of course, has defended their actions by claiming its an anti-terrorism plan. Getting reliable information is hard. China has made it a point to make things difficult for reporters. Yanan Wang, a China-based journalist from the Associated Press, has reported extensively on and from Xinjiang.

In a ceremony at Asia Society on Tuesday commemorating AP’s 2019 Osborn Elliott Award for Excellence in Journalism on Asia, Wang described the subtle ways government minders worked to thwart her reporting: “(Both of the times we went there we arrived at the airport, we had a welcoming committee from the local authorities. They’re always very polite and professional. They say that “you’ve arrived in Xinjiang and we’re here to assist you in your reporting. Tell us what you’re working on so we can help you.” They offer us drives in their car and plenty of hospitality.

Basically, from the moment we arrive, we’re followed by at least one car. There are a bunch of interesting scenarios that we came across. You can see that the local handlers are trying hard to be professional. They are members of the propaganda department, so they’re PR professionals. They don’t want to make it appear like it’s so stifling. At one point, we were taking photos, and someone suddenly appeared on the scene to say he was a “concerned citizen.” He said he’d seen us taking photos and that it was an infringement of his privacy rights. He had this long monologue about privacy rights and about how it wasn’t right for us to take photos of him without his knowledge. We asked him, “Well, where are you in these photos?” and he’d go through all of them. He said we had to delete all of them. He’d say, “This is my brother,” or “This is my place of work, you have to delete it.”

They had all of these interesting tactics to work around the idea that they were trying to obstruct our reporting and make it appear that someone who claims to be a concerned citizen.)”2

On top of that, locals that talk to journalist are punished, sometimes go missing.

I decided to do something this time around; I got in touch with an Uyghur community near my residence to see how an individual could help. It started at a Turkic restaurant, and from there, I have been involved in whatever capacity I am able. Through this effort, I got in touch with a Turkic professor in Turkey who has students stranded as they are cut off from contacting family back in Xinjiang. He helps them out financially; my family and friends help with what they can.

As Muslims in the West, there is no doubt we should act. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith” (Muslim).

How Can You Help Uyghurs

Here are a few things you can do to help:

1. Ask Congress to pass To pass S.178 & H.R.649 Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019. Urge your senator and representative to support this cause. It has been introduced. This bill can help the Uyghur community to be treated like Tibetans (another region oppressed by China).

2. Stay informed. The mainstream media is not the place to get accurate information on the situation. Be skeptical of where the data is coming from, stick to reliable sources that are verified. As mentioned above, journalists find it difficult to report.

3. Donate to Uyghur Human Rights Organizations to end concentration camps: UHRP, Uyghur American Association  Donate to Awareness Campaigns: Save Uigur Campaign 

4. Boycott or reduce buying Made in China products

5. Follow these links for updated information: facebook.com/Uyghur-Human-Rights-Project-227634297289994/ and facebook.com/ChinaMuslims

This crisis is an ethnic cleansing for profit. These are dark days as we value profit over people.

1.Statement by Concerned Scholars on mass detentions | MCLC …. https://u.osu.edu/mclc/2018/11/27/statement-by-concerned-scholars-on-mass-detention s/

2.Why It’s So Difficult for Journalists To Report From …. https://asiasociety.org/blog/asia/why-its-so-difficult-journalists-report-xinjiang

Continue Reading

Trending