We Need to Talk About…

What’s Happening in China



Isabella Chavez, Columnist

The largest mass incarceration and genocide since the Holocaust is happening as we speak.

I believe this conversation is long overdue, and it’s time to address and help end the current situation that has been taking place for years. In the far northwest region of China, in Xinjiang, millions of Muslims have been tracked and detained in what is being referred to and identified as modern-day “concentration camps.” More than three million Muslims are being killed, raped, and tortured every day.

Amongst these millions of detainees are the predominantly Turkic Muslim groups such as the Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other ethnic Muslim minorities.

I first heard of this issue from social media and online sources. I was completely shocked and utterly appalled by the fact that these camps were indeed claiming the lives of so many. It didn’t sit right with me knowing that this situation was occurring, and not speaking up and putting the effort to bring awareness to it. I took the initiative of informing myself on how I can help and contribute to stop the unnecessary kidnapping and imprisonment of millions of Muslims.

As I went further, I discovered that the region of Xinjiang borders several neighboring Turkic countries and is home to more than 11 million Uyghurs. I came to learn that China’s central government has been using the region of Xinjiang for decades as the key route for China’s commerce into the western world.

As I kept going, I found out that the Chinese central government has been largely considering the Uyghur ethnic minority as “disloyal” outsiders towards the rest of China’s majority. Much of China’s government believes that these ethnic minorities are threatening the rest of China’s traditional citizens and culture.

With the growing number of ethnic minority groups rising in Xinjiang, the government of China began attempting to implement policies that ensure Uyghurs won’t try to “retaliate” from China’s mainland.

China’s government sought out to slowly dilute the entire Uyghur group as a whole. They wanted them to become more dependent on China and it’s communist party to ensure that they wouldn’t put the region of Xinjiang at risk.

However, several crises arose in Xinjiang and placed the region in critical danger. I learned that China’s government still persistently demanded and intended to erase the Uyghurs Islamic religion and culture. In 2017, heavy restrictions were placed on numerous Turkic Muslim groups, which ultimately lead to the usage of concentration camps.

Unnecessary oppression continues for Muslim minority groups and the torture only gets worse inside of these camps. Detainees are forced to go against their religion, drink alcohol, eat pork, and completely denounce their entire religious beliefs against their will. If any incompetence is shown, forms of torture would be enforced. Many are routinely raped, constantly beaten, and obligated to participate in dangerous cheap labor. Women are forced to have abortions, take unknown pills, have strange needles injected in their bodies, and undergo mass sanctions of sterilization.

Anyone observed trying to escape or practice their religion is immediately killed. The Chinese government actively attempts to cover up their inadequate and dehumanizing tactics towards their citizens from the public eye.

However, leaked documents, as well as first-hand accounts from within the camps state otherwise. When I hear that innocent Muslims are being captured and tortured against their will, I feel incredibly angry, disgusted, and confused. The Uyghur Muslims don’t deserve to go through the abuse and torture that they are currently facing. I realized that I need to help those /who can’t help themselves. It’s undeniably crucial that people begin to acknowledge this issue and provide protection and aid for our Muslim friends.

To this day, millions of Muslims are continuously being forcefully abused, exploited, and killed. There are still millions of unknown victims and unheard stories. All of the Turkic Muslim minorities that were purposely ridiculed and punished for practicing their religion need to have their voices and stories heard. China’s people need to be saved from the horrible and traumatizing camps that they are being forced into.

Below are numerous educational videos to inform yourself, government legislations and petitions to get your local representatives involved, and specific donation and aid sites to send assistance for Turkic Muslim groups.

We all have the power to put an end to this abuse. We need to speak up for those who can’t. For those who have no voice. I simply refuse to sweep this under the rug and forget about it. We all need to help the Turkic Muslim groups now, before it’s too late. The world is silent. Too silent on this topic. Get involved and use the power of your voice and actions to stand up against these injustices and save our Muslim friends. Get involved, and fight for change. Thank you.

Important Links: https://savetheuighurs.carrd.co; https://uhrp.org/what-you-can-do; https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/tell-china-to-close-its-secret-reeducation-camps-for-ethnic-minorities; https://www.saveuighur.org/; https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2020/07/07/who-are-the-uyghurs-and-what-can-we-do-to-help-them/