US Muslim leaders call on China to end persecution of Uighurs

china protest

Uighurs and their supporters march to the United Nations to protest in New York, on March 15, 2018. Members of the Uighur Muslim ethnic group held demonstrations in cities around the world to protest a sweeping Chinese surveillance and security campaign that has sent thousands of their people into detention and political indoctrination centers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig).  The Muslim Times is promoting secularism in every country of the world

Source: Religion News Service

By Aysha Khan

(RNS) – More than 130 American Muslim leaders and scholars have signed an open letter condemning the Chinese government’s continued persecution and detention of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

The letter, initiated by the Sound Vision Foundation and signed by prominent Muslim leaders, called for the release of detainees from internment camps in Xinjiang, where Uighurs have reportedly been forced to attend indoctrination sessions.

The leaders also called for U.S. consumers to boycott imports produced by the detainees’ forced labor and to join a planned rally on behalf of Uighur people on Apr. 6 in Washington, D.C.

“We call upon fellow citizens to stop buying products produced through slave labor from these camps,” the statement says. “We thank the U.S. government for raising the issue of human rights abuses and detainment in the concentration camps and ask the rest of the world to do the same.”

Signers include prominent civil rights activist Imam Omar Suleiman, who heads the Yaqeen Institute in Texas; Imam Yasir Qadhi of Al-Maghrib Institute and the Islamic Seminary of America; Imam Mohamed Magid, who leads Virginia’s All Dulles Area Muslim Society; as well as several representatives from the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Suleiman said the Uighur crisis, which he called “the world’s most blatant violation of any sense of religious freedom and human rights,” has not received the attention it deserves from world leaders.

“If this was any other religious group, the world would be up in arms,” Suleiman told Religion News Service. “The reality is that Muslims have been so dehumanized that even those who are usually credited as being champions for human rights can turn away without being called out on their double standards.”

Members of the United Nations Committee say there are credible reports that the Chinese government had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp,” detaining as many as 1 million Muslims — nearly 10 percent of their regional population — without charge, in order to strip them of their beliefs and religious practices.

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