Uighur Crisis: An Ethnic Cleansing in Xinjiang

Fiction, the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense, and sometimes reality doesn’t make any. The abomination, enormity, and monstrosity for ethnic cleansing are mundane and quotidian for the present world. There have been sabotages, massacre, genocides that are so egregious and the sadistic world still snivel over them but no one stops them.

Fiction, the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense, and sometimes reality doesn’t make any. The abomination, enormity, and monstrosity for ethnic cleansing are mundane and quotidian for the present world. There have been sabotages, massacre, genocides that are so egregious and the sadistic world still snivel over them but no one stops them. Congo genocide caused 6 Million deaths, 15 Million Africans were slaughtered by Leopold II during his regime in the 1870s, 4.5 Million Jews have been cleansed by Adolf Hitler during the “Third Reich” in 1941, People of Kashmir have been abominated by extremist Hindus in India, and many Uighur Muslims are being vandalized by the villainy of the Chinese government. Totalitarian and colonial rule has always caused bloodshed, genocides, and severe wars.   

Who Are Uighurs?

The Uighurs are mainly Turkic ethnicity Muslims who are culturally and ethnically associated with the Central Asian states like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. The history of Uighurs can be traced back to 934 A.D in the 10th century during the regime of “Kera Hamid” in “Khaganate Kingdom”. Before his regime, the majority of people there were either Buddhists or Shamanists. Islam flourished during his tenure and Uighur Muslims excelled in art and architecture, names and nomenclature, and most of all in studies. Uighur Muslims also helped the Mongol Empire (Genghis Khan) flourish by writing their law code known as “Yasa” in the 13th century as mostly Mongols were illiterate. Later on, in 1876, the Qing Dynasty annexed the area and formed an autonomous region Xinjiang moniker “East Turkistan” and made Kashgar capital of East Turkistan. In 1911, Nationalists overthrew the Qing Dynasty and that led to several civil wars between the government and Uighurs as they compressed the autonomy that was provided to them by the Qing Dynasty. Uighurs came under the control of the Chinese constitution when Mao Zedong came into power and founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Situation in Xinjiang

The situation exacerbated after the 1990 protest when university students started a protest. Traditional genocide has been practiced egregiously during the past three decades. The basic rights, freedom of wants, and perspectives have been curtailed. Muslims have been massacred, forced sterilization of Uighur Muslim women and coerced genocide has diminished the religious freedom of Uighur Muslims Traditional and ethnic genocide can be conspicuously seen in Xinjiang, where Muslims are kept in concentration camps, forced to learn Mandarin, Han Chinese are flooded into the region to make Uighurs a minority there and cut down their population same as Kashmir where Hindus are flooded into Kashmir violating Article 370. University students in Xinjiang told the BBC in 2014 that they were banned from fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and reports from the region say Uighur local government officials have been banned from fasting or attending mosques.

The province has received a huge state investment in recent years in industrial and energy projects and mass immigrations are held in Xinjiang. There are numerous police personnel, checkpoints, and security cameras to monitor everything about Uighurs. In 2017, president Xi Jinping issued a directive “religions in China must be Chinese in orientation” and “adapt themselves to socialist society” and that started another surgency in Xinjiang.

China’s side of the story:

China has long denied operating internment camps and says that the outside world does not understand the situation in Xinjiang. It insists that Uighur militants are waging a violent campaign for an independent state by plotting bombings, sabotage, and civic unrest.

In response to the UK’s recent accusations of abuse, China’s UK ambassador Liu Xiaoming said reports of concentration camps were “fake”. Mr. Liu dismissed claims of “ethnic cleansing” of the Uighurs, saying they “enjoy peaceful, harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups of people”. He told the BBC in an interview that the Uighurs received the same treatment under the law as other ethnic groups in his country but due to some separatist groups, there has been unrest in the South-Western part of China. Since the 9/11 attacks in the US, China has increasingly portrayed its Uighur separatists as auxiliaries of al-Qaeda, claiming Uighur Muslims have received training in Afghanistan and are a severe problem for the Chinese government to handle.

Global Accusations over China

The UK warned that it may sanction China over the “gross and egregious” human rights abuses reported in Xinjiang. But a UN human rights committee found in 2018 there were credible reports that China was holding a million Uighurs in political ‘counter-extremism’ camps. Committee member Gay McDougall said the Chinese government had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp”. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo urged “all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses” in Xinjiang.

Human rights organizations, UN officials, and many foreign governments are urging China to stop the crackdown. But Chinese officials maintain that what they called vocational training centers do not infringe on Uighurs’ human rights. They have refused to share any information about the detention centers and prevented journalists and foreign investigators from examining them or even entering the camps. However, internal Chinese government documents leaked in late 2019 have provided important details on how officials launched and maintain the detention camps. Camouflaging the camps, not permitting the entitled Journalists inside the camps, and the leaked photos and videos further worsened the insight of the global world. It is a conspicuous yet hidden fact that China is thwarting the Uighur Muslims with atrocities so let the world find out. Grab your snacks!

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