Don’t forget the Uighur amid the Coronavirus crisis

Omar Suleiman

When a people are subjected to the most unimaginable forms of cruelty at the hands of a brutal regime and prominent world powers are unwilling to take any meaningful steps to stop that cruelty, where and what do they then turn to? When a tragedy strikes the government that abused them, could they be excused for believing it to be divine intervention?

The largest mass atrocity occurring in the world today, unfortunately, speaks to this sad reality.

The Uighurs and other mostly-Muslim Turkic minorities in China are being subjected to the most brutal forms of oppression and the Chinese government’s so-called “re-education camps” are holding over a million of them out of sight.

To counter any criticism of its treatment of the Uighurs, China has employed a language of “de-radicalisation” that has been normalised throughout the world by repressive governments to mask their own policies of death and destruction.

While other groups that suffer under inhumane policies either at the hands of their own governments or others often find themselves championed by a competing force and score some gains while being used as a political football, the Uighurs do not seem to qualify even for that.

Last month, US President Donald Trump signed a new trade deal with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, bringing the two-year trade war between the two superpowers to an end and making his administration less willing than usual to even mention the gross human rights violations committed by the Asian giant.

While most Muslim minorities oppressed by non-Muslim nations have at times, though decreasingly, receive support, charity or at least some lip service from Muslim majority countries, the Uighurs did not get any of that either.

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