The Uyghurs and The Double Standards Policy
BA in English and international relations.
online dialogue facilitator
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Who Are The Uyghurs ?
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China is the home for almost 11 million of the Turkic ethnic group in East Asia. This Turkic ethnic group is a minority within a multicultural nation. They are strangers in their own country rather than being recognised as an indigenous group. The Uyghurs are a largely Muslims community. Since the 16th century, Islam has played an important role in Uyghur culture and identity.
The Uyghurs are not Chinese
Throughout history and till now, the relations with china is genuinely unstable. After it collapsed in front of the Chinese invasion 1759 then 1876, it was, officially, recognised as part of Communist China in 1950.
In order to weaken the Uyghurs, China pushed the Han people to move to Xinjiang. They become a majority, thus, it is harder for the Uyghurs to start any revolution or to claim independence.
After the 9/11 incident, the Chinese regime has stepped up its pursuit against the Uyghurs independents. China has been able to imprison some Uyghurs activists. With the name of the “international campaign against terrorism.”, China detained many activists especially from Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Despite the Chinese efforts, some underground organizations have been active in the country, particularly the Islāmic Movement of East Turkistan. On September 19, 2004, the Uyghurs established a government in exile for East Turkestan headed by Anwar Yusuf and a constitution was drafted.
Ethnic Cleansing, Uprooting, and Suppression
China is boosting its efforts to obliterate the Uyghurs. They are detained in mass, tortured and brutalised by the Chinese authorities. Moreover, the authority separates children from their parents. They gather them in large camps, and rehabilitate them. In these camps, the children will be educated a different language and culture. In other words, they will substitute their identity. It is not only an ethnic cleansing but a cultural cleansing as well.
According to BBC there is a town where almost 400 children are living separately without parents. It is a clear attempt to uproot the children from their origin. In addition, UN experts estimate over 2 million people have been detained in vast re-education style camps.
This scenario is close to what the Jews have witnessed with the Nazi regime. Unfortunately, similar abominable behaviours do exist. When it comes to Human Rights, NGOs, Activists and the media will only choose specific cases to work on. They will turn a blind eye on other cases just because it is harder to deal with, or it won’t serve the interests of some agendas.
Recently, More than 20 countries have issued a joint statement condemns China’s mass detention of Uyghur. Muslim countries are either busy with their domestic crises or they simply choose to keep their economic interests with china. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey refused to sign the petition.
There is a wave of anger against Muslim countries who turned their back on their brothers and sisters in need. In return, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said that the Xinjiang camp issue shouldn’t be “exploited.” However, China and Turkey are having more important interests to maintain. The new silk road project to Anatolia. Starting from West China to the Black Sea, and from there to the Mediterranean through the Bosphorus Strait where shipping is the cheapest transportation.
The ethical dilemma here lays down in the motives behind accepting or refraining the petition. On the one hand, the trade war against China is at the height. Thus weakening China with the Human Rights issues, and democracy is a well-known policy. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and recently the Uyghurs, are nothing but tools to destabilize and to ruin the international reputation of the country. On the other hand, those who denied the allegations against China, including arabs Muslim countries, care less about Human Right, and more about saving their national interests. This is what will happen when politics and ethics are in one scale.