Just Imagine for a moment. What if you wake up one day and find that you are not allowed to fast during Ramadan? What if you are not allowed to teach your children about Islam anymore? All those values which your parents taught you, cannot be passed to your future generation. What if you don’t have freedom to follow your culture, to move freely, to live freely? And on top of it all you cannot complain about this to anyone. The only thing you can do is to suffer quietly.
How do you feel now? Are you scared? Do you feel sad? Isn’t it horrible? This is how a Uyghur Muslim feels in everyday in China.
Uyghurs are Turkic speaking Muslims living in East Turkestan which is falsely known as Xinjiang. Uyghurs are a simple and peace loving community. Though China has never let peace prevail in the region. In October,1949 Chinese troops marched into East Turkestan and ended the East Turkestan Republic. Afterwards they named the region as “Xinjiang” which means new territory. This was and is still the darkest incident in the history of Uyghur Muslims.
It’s been 67 years since China occupied the land and Uyghurs are still struggling for their freedom. A lot of things changed during this period. Suddenly Uyghurs are not allowed to keep beards. Ramadan is banned and the Muslims are not allowed to visit the mosques anymore. All available copies of Quran were being burnt and Chinese officials are teaching everyone about atheism. Many people opposed these rules and protests took place in many areas. China ruthlessly scrunched all the voices by arresting and murdering protesting Muslims.
Nowadays the restrictions have been made more stringent. Uyghur Muslims are forced to sell alcohol and pig (Illegal in Islam) meat in their shops. Young Uyghurs are often arrested and never freed. In China’s ‘Strike Hard Campaign’ they have wrongly declared Uyghurs as terrorists. In reality Chinese Government is the one spreading terror in East Turkestan. Uyghurs are being massacred in front of the whole world but no one dares to speak anything. Recently, more prisons were built in Xinjiang, passports of Uyghur Muslims are being recalled and kept at the police stations. Uyghurs are not getting jobs, their ancestral homes are being snatched, their language is banned in the schools and even children are being arrested without any solid reason.
Most of the international media is not allowed to visit the region, even if they do then they are always accompanied by Chinese police officials. Remaining Mosques are kept on surveillance, Imams interrogated and even performing Nikah (Islamic Marriage) is banned because the Chinese Govt. considers it as the sign of extremism.
This is the time when world should stand with Uyghurs for the sake of human rights. Otherwise a whole Muslim community will be wiped out and East Turkestan will be remembered as the place of Muslim Genocide done by China. #StandWithUyghur