UN event highlights China’s growing Islamophobia

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The event was organised by CAP Liberte de Conscience, Campaign for Uyghurs, and Centre for Uyghur Studies….reports Asian Lite News

Human rights activists, diplomats, and other intellectuals highlighted the growing Islamophobia in China targeting Uyghur Muslims and Kazakhs during a side event at the UN Human Rights Council’s 56th session in Geneva.

The event was organised by CAP Liberte de Conscience, Campaign for Uyghurs, and Centre for Uyghur Studies.

The gathering brought together global experts, civil society leaders, and policymakers to strategise on effective measures and foster international cooperation.

Abdul Hakim Idris, a senior member of the World Uyghur Congress, underscored the dire situation, citing mass detentions of Uyghur Muslims and Kazakhs in alleged concentration camps since 2014.

He condemned the Chinese government’s actions, including the destruction of mosques and religious materials, and the imposition of sinicization policies erasing Uyghur customs.

“Millions of Uyghur Muslims and Kazakhs are detained in concentration camps under the pretext of radicalization. Since 2014, thousands of mosques have been demolished, closed, or repurposed. The Chinese government has burned Qurans and destroyed religious materials. In 2017, the government labelled Islam as a mental illness to be eradicated under sinicization. Uyghur customs are forced to conform to Chinese norms, erasing Islamic elements from their architecture,” said Abdul Hakim Idris.

Reflecting on historical grievances, Rushan Abbas, founder and executive director of the WUC, recounted decades of oppression by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), accusing it of genocidal policies under the guise of counterterrorism.

She said, “In 1949, the CCP claimed our land and began oppressing our people, who possess rich resources and strategic importance. My people have endured the CCP’s genocidal policies disguised as counterterrorism.”

The United States Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Michele Taylor, delivered a strong condemnation, labelling the situation in Xinjiang as potentially constituting international crimes, including crimes against humanity.

She said, “I want to be clear from the beginning that we condemn in the strongest terms the policies in Xinjiang, which, according to the High Commissioner’s assessment, may amount to international crimes, including crimes against humanity. The US has consistently called for the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to cease its human rights abuses in Xinjiang.”

She called for immediate action, demanding the release of arbitrarily detained individuals, the cessation of human rights abuses, and the end of discriminatory policies in Xinjiang.

“We call for the PRC to release all arbitrarily detained individuals in Xinjiang, halt harassment, surveillance, and threats both domestically and abroad, end discrimination based on culture, language, religion, or belief, and abolish forcible assimilation policies. Furthermore, we demand an end to forced labour, forced marriage, birth control, sterilisation, abortion, and family separation policies in Xinjiang,” Taylor emphasised.

The event underscored global concerns and calls for justice, emphasising the urgency of addressing human rights violations in Xinjiang and ensuring the dignity and rights of affected Muslim communities. (ANI)

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