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#Current Affairs

Muslims Stand Firmly With Standing Rock

Tariq Toure




Is this really happening

I watched dogs bite into the flesh of Native Americans while they were maced by private security in North Dakota protesting the most controversial land-grab of our generation. I saw people chain themselves to heavy machinery. I watched Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein be arrested for standing in solidarity with them. I watched Journalist Amy Goodman go to jail for documenting it. The scenes at one time were filled with blood curdling screams and wounded members of the opposition being carried away. It was inconveniently reminiscent of 50s era protest where dogs were sent upon African Americans for pushing back against gross inequality. I saw it all through my phone however, and I know millions of people in America saw it too. As a Black Muslim, it troubles me to know that the first people nearly annihilated in the American experiment were experiencing such injustice. My religion puts an indelible weight on interfering with abuses of human rights. Myself and others looked for ways to join the fight. In my naivety, I realized that there was huge swath of Native American Muslims, already well-invested in the fight.

Energy Transfer Partners  is a multibillion dollar natural gas conglomerate hailing from Texas. Their investments and operations range from transportation, storage, and pipeline construction for natural gas. Since 2015 they’ve set their sights on land declared holy by the tribes living in Standing Rock. Four months ago, their brigades of earth-clearing machines descended on the project area.

Approximately 150 million indigenous people were eradicated to make space for the American entrepreneurial project. More than 10 million Africans were enslaved to labor for it. In 2016, the plans to once again extract the earth beneath the feet of the descendants of the aforementioned. Natives are being marched upon, violently.

The youth of Standing Rock refused to be silent though. One group of protesters ran 500 miles just to bring attention to the crisis. After obtaining the attention of a national audience, hundreds flocked to the protest site. Media, Activists, Organizations and concerned Muslims. They were said to have been met by the tribespeople with warmth only cultivated through a rich tradition in compassion. A compassion that Columbus resented when he landed saying “they could be conquered easily, and made servants.”

Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

A cause for commitment

Latanya Barlow is a 34-year-old Arizona native and national representative of The Coalition for Indigenous Muslims. Her family is from the Dineh and Chiricahua people. Walking onto the reserve was a scene imbued with nostalgia. Barlow’s tribe is a descendant of the 19th century Native American freedom fighter Geronimo. Such familial bonds earned her added smiles among the youth and elders. Barlow spoke at a hummingbird’s pace of her entrance. “Before we even got to the camp at the reservation we were welcomed by the natives. It felt amazing in an odd way because, you know, I wear hijab and there are times where I’m in public and I can feel menacing eyes on me. To have these strangers take us in that way brings me to tears,” she shared with Muslimmatters.

In camp she and many others who are in the fight are called water protectors, Samaritans who’ve come to battle a financial behemoth for the preservation of a direct water source. “The pipeline they’re digging is only 7 miles away from the river. That river is where a significant amount water comes from for them,” Barlow explains. Energy Transfer’s Dakota Access pipeline project runs over the sacred stone camp which happens to be a tribal burial ground and site of spiritual commemoration. Environmental experts agree that even a small mistake in containment of harmful elements could result of poisoning for decades. Richard Kuprewicz, president of Accufacts Inc. a consulting firm for the oil industry was quoted in an Inside Climate News article saying, “there’s no perfect solution to spotting oil spills. Ideally, companies should combine the best leak detection technology with experienced operators—but even then, some leaks will go undetected.” Barlow remembers being face to face with a people fully aware of those same realities, yet carried  with a sense of unmatched determination. “The people themselves have the best character even while this is going on. An Imam came days ago and said given what they are going through they’ve represented the best of what humanity has to offer,” Barlow argued.

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Activists like Barlow have come to terms with what is most feasible to aide the ongoing protests. A brutal Dakota winter is approaching. Known for it’s backbreaking temperatures and unforgiving snowstorms, time is an untrustworthy friend of Standing Rock organizers. Barlow maintains that more than ever action should be taken. “We need people putting pressure on congressional representatives. We need the partners with Energy Transfer to be researched and boycotted. Bail funds are always helpful because protesters are being targeted like never before. And in general funds are needed to survive what winter holds.” Social Justice organization Muslim ARC led one of the first waves of collective contributions to the cause raising over $15,000. Co-Founder of Zaytuna Institute, Imam Zaid Shakir anchored a roundtable with native leaders, symbolically delivering Zamzam water, from a thousands of year old well in Makkah, along with a group of concerned Muslims.

Trouble we know too well

To be a Native right now in the Dakota region is to be perpetually at war. The treaty of 1868 named Fort Laramie promised to “ensure the civilization” of the Lakota, a large tribe with ancestral ties to the region. Basheer Butcher is a member of the Lakota and one of many residents that have witnessed the Energy Partner titan move in on ancient land. To him, the current trespasses across land and contract are only a reminder of age-old abuse. “From the Buffalo being killed off by European settlers to what’s going on now, it’s all a cycle. We’ve been battling for this land for centuries” he heaves.

In four months it’s become clear to Butcher how brutal this new iteration of commerce-centered violence can become and how challenging it is to control public perception. Butcher remarked, “We’re happy social media made sure the world couldn’t just shut the door on us. When you turned on mainstream media they had little to say about how our land is about to be stolen, again. Everyone needs to know that the Missouri is our main source of water. One spill could contaminate the water for 18 million people if it happens. Treaties signed when my great grandparents were alive are being treated like they never were signed.”

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Butcher is well aware of what context means to be an indigenous Muslim involved in the Standing Rock struggle; he wants Muslim communities to understand the severity of what is happening. “I see it as community situation more that a Muslim one.That’s why we are backing this protest 150%. Being a Muslim and full blooded Lakota is important. The Water I use to make wudhu (ablution) comes from the Missouri and I was bathing in this water before I became Muslim. Muslim communities need to understand that we need support from them. Islam is about caring for humanity. Human rights abuses are happening now.”

Before getting to a critical mass like this, area tribes negotiated with the birthing American government for land rights, concessions, and most important the procurement of contracting jobs when development was taking place. Companies like Energy Partners are required to enlist Natives for jobs first and foremost. The TERO Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance is charged with managing the contracts with private enterprises. Though the project promises thousands of jobs, in this particular situation, TERO wants no parts of what Energy Partners wants to do. No jobs Butcher says, “are worth destroying a water source for millions.”

A call to dignity

Besides African Americans, no other group of people could be more well acquainted with U.S. sanctioned piracy than the indigenous of America. Standing Rock as it is today appears to be the last straw for this generation of Natives. “The last time the tribes gathered together in this number was 140 years ago for the Battle of Little Bighorn” Butcher says. Within weeks the opposition has turned to a brutal fiasco. Arrests continue, along with protesters enduring savage beatings by private police and targeting of journalists. Support from outside of the reservation is crucial. Support from everyone is imperative.

Imam Zaid Shakir exclaimed after a recent visit to the site, “Let us not forget, however, our native brothers and sisters who are facing the full force of corporate greed and government callousness at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.” General  Armstrong  Custard’s famous quote when stumbling upon and decimating the lush Sioux lands in the 1800s still presses needles in the hearts today, “There’s gold in them there hills.” Today Energy Partners, with the indifference of the American government, are prying land away from the hands of Natives once again, for Black gold.

Tariq Touré is a Muslim essayist, poet, educator and public speaker from Baltimore, Md. He uses prose as medium for shedding new light on issues such as social justice, racial inequality, black culture and Black Muslim narratives. In 2015, he was honored with the Real Men of Baltimore award by 92q jams radio station and the Alumni Excellence award by his Alma Mater Bowie State University.



  1. Avatar


    October 25, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    I’ve shared this article, please advise what else we can do. I live in Canada and would like to lend a hand.

  2. Avatar


    October 28, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    I appreciate this article about NoDaPl.

    I’ve been following the story about this and it’s just beyond disgusting and pathetic how the supporters and the Native American community are being treated in Standing Rock.

    Its their land and they have the gall to ambush their own property.. What a low down dirty shame.Some of the incidents I’ve been reading about with the protesters is just inhumane.This all reminds me of what went down with Wounded Knee ( South Dakota) in 1973.

    To some people, they may see these protest as ” useless ” ,” a waste of time” or as BLM protests sometimes been described as ” laughable “, but when you’re doing God’s work by fighting an injustice.. like with Standing Rock ,it’s not a joke.They’re fighting an injustice for their rightful sacred lands,for the rights of their community and ours. In due time,according to God, if they faint not,they will be honored for their heroics .

    The work may seem daunting,tedious..and even at times.. discouraging..but such feelings is to be expected from the protests, but I pray that the supporters of Standing Rock continue to stand tall and continue to their protest for justice.

  3. Avatar


    October 29, 2016 at 3:52 AM

    Will Pray to Allah for Help ” In Sha Allah ” .

  4. Avatar

    Lois McDonald

    November 5, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    The private security firm has even less right than government forces to assault people, or trespass on their land. They should face criminal charges, prosecution and jail. Being hired to commit a crime does not make it legal.

  5. Avatar


    November 19, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Life is like a box of chocolates …supposedly

    Keep running :) loved that


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#Current Affairs

Malaysians Ask China To Free Uyghurs, Close The Camps

Hena Zuberi



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.

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#Current Affairs

The Environmental Cost Of War With Iran

Abu Ryan Dardir



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.

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#Current Affairs

5 Quick Things Americans Can Do For Uyghurs Today

Abu Ryan Dardir



“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: and

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 …. s/

2.Why It’s So Difficult for Journalists To Report From ….

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