By Gulnaz Uighur
There are several reasons of why people settle in other countries, sometimes its due to job opportunities, other times due to better standard of life but unfortunately for the Uyghur diaspora, leaving their homeland, East Turkestan (falsely called as Xinjiang by China), it was a matter of life and death.
Almost everyone in the Uyghur refugee community has a history of discrimination and fear which led us to flee from our own homes. The homes which were once a safe haven for us, the friends which used to be our support system and family members which were the reason for our existence. If we wouldn’t have fled China then we would have also detained by camps like millions of Uyghurs right now.
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Today if you ask any of us, we will tell you that we haven’t only left our country but our dreams of prospering in our land, our wish to grow old in our ancestral house, to breath in our ancient history, our roots. Many of us have left even the possibility to ever return home.If you ask any of us, we will tell you that we haven’t only left our country but our dreams of prospering in our land, our wish to grow old in our ancestral house, to breath in our ancient history, our roots. #UyghurGenocideClick To Tweet
Whenever my hands are raised for dua, I remember those who are suffering and pray for them. The fear of not knowing about their condition still sends shivers down my spine.
In these dark times when U.S recognized China’s actions against Uyghur Muslims, as genocide, it stirred something inside me. When the UK published its report and the EU called for sanctions against Chinese officials to stop the forced Uyghur Labor then a sigh of relief came out but an significant organization is still missing in this struggle, that is the OIC. Despite all the evidence, testimonies, satellite images and the fact that China still doesn’t allow an independent investigation into the Uyghur region, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is still lagging behind in condemning actions of the Chinese Government. Instead of fulfilling its duty of protecting the Ummah, the organization chooses to continuously turn a blind eye towards the whole issue.
The U.S. government has declared Chinese government guilty of carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims. In a statement by former secretary Mike Pompeo, he said “if the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future.” Britain’s Conservative Party Human Rights Commission (CPHRC) also claims to show evidence in their report that the actions taken by Beijing are “indicative of the crime of Genocide”.
In the report, The Darkness Deepens: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2016-2020, testimonies and evidence have been demonstrated to the commission about Millions of Uyghur detained in concentration camps. In these camps people go forced to denounce Islam, brainwashed into forgetting their Muslim identities, tortured, starved, women are forcefully sterilized and those who come out alive are made slaves. According to Dr Adrian Zenz, by 2019, Chinese authorities had “planned to subject at least 80% of women of childbearing age in the rural southern four minority prefectures to intrusive birth prevention surgeries (IUDs or sterilization), with actual shares likely being much higher.”
Uyghur who have survived the atrocities in the camps are sent to other provinces to work in supply chains of international brands like Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony, and Volkswagen. Even the European Parliament called for EU sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for the abuse of Uyghur and to ban Chinese imports tainted with forced labor.
Many major organizations are standing up to China then why is the collective voice of the Muslim world, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, is still silent?