What can the Muslim world do to save the Uighurs and Islam in China?

Source: Daily Sabah

BY OLSI JAZEXHI

Between Aug. 16 and Aug. 25, I was in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China. Invited by the State Council Information Office of China and Xinjiang, I was part of a group of journalists who were sent to visit three major cities: Urumqi, Aksu, and Kashgar. Our visit, which was covered by the Chinese authorities, was stage-managed by Xinjiang authorities who wanted to convince us that things are fine in Xinjiang.

I arrived in Urumqi on Aug. 16. From Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, we attended several lectures by Communist Party officials regarding the history, religion and human rights practices in Xinjiang. In these sessions, Chinese officials like Xu Guixiang and Ma Pinyan delivered the white paper on Xinjiang, issued by the Chinese government.etween Aug. 16 and Aug. 25, I was in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China. Invited by the State Council Information Office of China and Xinjiang, I was part of a group of journalists who were sent to visit three major cities: Urumqi, Aksu, and Kashgar. Our visit, which was covered by the Chinese authorities, was stage-managed by Xinjiang authorities who wanted to convince us that things are fine in Xinjiang.

I arrived in Urumqi on Aug. 16. From Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, we attended several lectures by Communist Party officials regarding the history, religion and human rights practices in Xinjiang. In these sessions, Chinese officials like Xu Guixiang and Ma Pinyan delivered the white paper on Xinjiang, issued by the Chinese government.

In these lectures we were told that the Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims were migrants in this region, Islam was forcefully imposed by the Arabs and Turks, and Xinjiang has always been part of China. During our stay, we visited the Museum of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in Urumqi, the Aksu Museum and the Kashgar Museum. In these museums, the Chinese government is delivering the same message from the white paper: Xinjiang has historically been Chinese, the Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims are migrants, Islam is a foreign religion and it was imposed by force on the Uighurs.

On top of that, the Chinese were showing to the visitors that Islam was causing much trouble in Xinjiang since it was a source of extremism and terrorism. To fight that, the government of China had built some “Vocational Education and Training Centers” where the extremists were being deradicalized.

On Aug. 20, our hosts sent us to the city of Aksu to visit the Onsu County Vocational Skills Training Center. Here we were supposed to meet the “extremists and terrorists” whom China was “deradicalizing.”

However, when we interviewed the “students” of these “Vocational Training Centers” we found that they were not students but prisoners and they were not terrorists but Muslim believers who were forced to renounce their faith under duress.

Their crimes were practicing Islam, praying to Allah, watching Muslim televangelist videos on the internet, reading the Holy Quran or articles about Islam, writing about Islam, reading Uighur history, wearing hijabs, consuming halal food, burying their dead or marrying according to Islam and preaching Islam to their relatives.

The interviews which I have recorded and uploaded on my YouTube channel prove that the so-called “Vocational Training Centers” are not schools but mass detention centers. These centers are used to mass brainwash the Turkic Muslims of China, be them Uighur, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Uzbek, Tatar, etc, and force them to renounce Islam and their Turkic identity and become Han Chinese.

Read more here:

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