The Muslim Citizen Council has been following distressing news reports from China of the detention of over one million Muslim Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities in the North-Western region of Xinjiang in so-called “Counter-extremism Centres”.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has noted that large numbers have been detained under the pretext of countering terrorism and religious extremism, particularly peaceful protesters and human rights defenders of Uighur and other ethnic minority backgrounds who have been tortured or otherwise subjected to ill treatment, including being held incommunicado for prolonged periods at risk of torture.
And according to Amnesty International’s, the Chinese Government has published a list of prohibited names, most of which are Islamic in origin, requiring children under 16 with these names to change them. Anecdotal reports of families being required to hand in copies of the Quran and other religious items upon risk of punishment have also come out.
The MCC in addition to many of our affiliates are rightly concerned about these injustices. Muslims across the world are heavily involved in economic partnerships with Chinese companies and China itself, and it has been noted that responses to the injustices Uighurs have faced have been too few. Owing to economic and political/diplomatic reasons, the silence of the world both over the horrific treatment of Uyghurs is both frustrating and unsurprising.
Nevertheless, the MCC urges all organisations – Muslim and Non-Muslim - fighting for Human Rights and Religious Freedom to write to the Chinese Embassy to end the campaign of systematic repression upon one million predominantly Muslim people arbitrarily detained in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
Further, we request the Government of Mauritius to raise the plight of the Uighurs with the Chinese Government and to address an issue as serious as this, at international forum.
The Muslim Citizen Council
1 February 2019