Scholars need to speak out to defend Uyghurs
January 15, 2021 @ 2:47am
LETTER: We call on all scholars in Malaysia to speak out in defence of the plight of the 10 million ethnic Uyghur Muslims oppressed in China. The Uyghur ethnic group in the autonomous province of Xinjiang, China, is now facing severe repression, involving their religious and cultural rights.
Since East Turkistan (the original name of Xinjiang) was occupied by China in 1949, the Uyghur ethnic group has suffered constant oppression from the Chinese Communist government.
Unfortunately, so far the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has supported the repressive actions of the Chinese government against the Uyghur ethnic group on the grounds of allegedly curbing terrorism and extremism.
It is regrettable that world scholars have not protested the Uyghurs various human rights violations by the Chinese government. We are of the position that the reports by the thousands of testimonials of various Uyghur refugees who narrated their sufferings cannot be left without a voice of protest from scholars about Beijing actions.
China claims the Uyghurs are influenced by radical thinking. But reports from independent media outlets and from victim testimonials prove otherwise.
The government claims Uyghur detainees are under re-education programs to address elements of terrorism and radicalization. The UN has responded to the Chinese government’s on genocidal crimes because China violates international law, a widespread and systematic crime against humanity to destroy part of the population of the minorities.
Worse is the oppression of the Uyghurs religious rights, the destruction of mosques and all religious symbols, the destruction of the Quran, the forced marriage of Uyghur Muslim women to communist men.
We urge Muslim scholars to voice their protest against the Chinese government to stop the tyranny on Muslims in China. We urge that OIC members not to remain silent on the tyranny of the Chinese government over Uyghur Muslims and Muslims in China.
The importance of investment and trade with China cannot override the interests of Islam and the rights of Muslims.
MOHD AZMI ABDUL HAMID
President of MAPIM
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times