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China Defends Xijiang’s “Muslim Cleansing”

Amina Hearns, Senior

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As of September 2018, China has been caught under the world’s eye conducting a massive crackdown on Muslims living in the Republic of China.

The practice of Islam in Chinese culture has been prevalent since the dynasties of 651 AD. The impact Islam has in China ranges from different ethnicities like the Uyghurs ─ a Turkish ethnic group that resides in East and Central Asia, and faces discrimination from the Xinjiang government.

From young children to elders, over one million Uyghurs have been detained in “re-education camps” to take away their identity and religious freedom while re-educating them on Chinese culture and traditions.

Officials have denied allegations that one million Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups are being detained, despite the publication of multiple accounts from surrounding governments and countries.

Senior China researcher at the Human Rights Watch, Maya Wang, stated how the Xinjiang government has violated Uyghurs’ human rights and that the regional government does not have the authority to implement these detention center. “Without due process, Xinjiang’s political education centers remain arbitrary and abusive, and no tweaks in national or regional rules can change that,” Wang said.

Chinese leaders, however, have stated that the camps have lowered the risk of terrorist attacks and the extremist religion spread by the Uyghurs. On October 10, 2018, the Xinjiang government not only justified the re-education camps, but also legalized the policy to set forth more detention centers for the remaining Turkish Muslims in China.

In the U.S., citizens compare the events of China’s detention centers to both recent and old affairs: which include the detention centers for Mexican immigrants which display similarities to the Japanese Internment Camps from the 1940s.

The US has been silent on the issue and has not commented on the topic. President Trump, who is known to have “great relations” with the Chinese leaders, has not tweeted nor spoke, of the epidemic involving the abuse and tribulation of the Uyghurs.

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