The Uyghurs: China’s foresaken people

Bara Bashir ’22

A literal and cultural genocide is happening today, a ruthless extermination of an ethnic group with no mercy or compromise. Right now, there are people in concentration camps being cleansed of their own cultural and religious identities in an egregious act of violation of their human rights. Uyghur and other cultural groups of Turkic origin in East Turkestan have been forsaken by the world, left to fend for themselves against the face of complete and utter destruction. Under the superficial veil that the Muslims being detained were criminals, extremists and terrorists, the Communist Party of China has committed numerous atrocities, all of which are actively denied by the party, but simultaneously are being proven time and time again by insider sources.

Millions of Uyghurs are being held in “re-education camps”

In a BBC interview, Zaomure Duwati, one of many victims of persecution, now living in America, accounts the abuse she saw during her time in the camps. She explained that the women were forced to take some sort of pill, one that would cause extreme and sharp pain in the stomach. These were sterilization pills. She described the wails of agony as her inmates were violated and scarred: they were treated like animals, like inferior creatures that cannot feel or love, and with no remorse or empathy. The government of China not only stripped these people of their own humanity, but their families as well. Duwati’s daughter is forced to live with a stranger assigned by the government, one with the sole task of manipulating the poor child out of her beliefs and values.

This is only one of hundreds of cases that have been reported and there are countless more that have yet to surface. These monstrous crimes against humanity cannot be condoned. And I understand, here in the west, it is hard to even imagine these circumstances; we don’t need to be concerned or distressed about our individuality, our identities, our uniqueness, in the same way as the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China. Being who we are isn’t a fatal decision for us, but it is most definitely a fatal decision for them.   

The world’s silence over the plight of the Uyghur Muslims of China has, I believe, brought great shame to the nations that scatter the earth. By not standing for what is clearly just and right, the perpetrators feel no obligation to halt their heinous activities. Thus, their crimes go unpunished and unrecognized, and the victims, the Uyghur Muslims, are forced to suffer. Let us not neglect the struggles of these people or abandon them to this heinous genocide.

Photo credit: @Joshuawongcf on Twitter

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