Uyghur Muslims: Plight of an Oppressed Ethnic Minority -Sumaiya Mim


The former name of the Uyghur Muslim dominated region is ‘East Turkestan’, which is in present-day the Xinjiang province. About 1 million Uyghur men and women are imprisoned in secure detention camps in this region of 9 million Muslims.
Xinjiang is located in the northwestern part of China. The area is 16 lakh 46 thousand square kilometers. Means about 11 times equal to Bangladesh. To the west and northwest of Xinjiang is Muslim Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, to the southwest is Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mongolia. The province is rich in natural resources including gold, oil and gas.
We know the unfortunate citizens of Xinjiang as Uighur Muslims. The people of Turkic descent and belonging to the Turkic language group speak the Uyghur language, which is mostly Arabic. According to 2009 estimates, 1.5 million Uyghurs live in Xinjiang.
Apart from them, about 400,000 Uighur Muslims live in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Russia. Xinjiang is an ‘autonomous’ province. But today it is governed under the most brutal control of the chinese central government. Human rights organization, Amnesty International said in its recent report that the Chinese government has secretly persecuted many Uyghur Muslim scholars one-sidedly.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee said in a report at the end of 2018 that 1 million Uyghurs are being held in China’s “terrorism corrections” centers. And two million people are being forced to stay in the ‘political and initiation centers’.
That is, no one is excluded from brutal persecution of Junta government, even including women and children. China thought it would further strengthen its monopolism by uprooting the gold- and silver-rich Uyghur Muslim nation from its own soil or converting them into its own ‘Han’ nation, escaping the prying eyes of the world. But they couldn’t evade the hundreds miles above satellite camera.
One day, a BBC journalists went on the ground to collect the real news. Sadly, Chinese police intervened in a bid to hide their oppression from the world. Fortunately, when the BBC reporter crossed the barrier and went to the torture center on the ground, one of the tortured Muslims named ‘Omir’ told him,

They don’t let us sleep.” We were hung for several hours and beaten with wooden and rubber sticks. Whips were made from it. Our flesh is being loosened by the blow of that whip. The needle was drilled into the body. The nails were removed with pliers. All these devices were placed on the table in front of me. One after another they were used. At that time, I could also hear the screams of others in fear.

The Chinese government has named this prison camp as ‘character corrections’. The government claims that this activity is to provide security and protection from the chaotic situation. It has come up in the international media and it’s crystal clear that the Chinese government is torturing these Muslims in the name of ‘character reformatory’, indeed an eyewash to the media.
According to various international media sources, the Chinese government’s brutality against Uyghur Muslims living in Xinjiang province exceed the limit as time goes by. Famous Hui Muslim poet ‘Kwe Cui Haoxin’ was recently arrested for writing a poem demanding the release of Uighur Muslim prisoners.
They are imposing restrictions on regular mobile and internet connections so that these information about Muslim torture cannot go outside China. Travel to Xinjiang province has also been officially banned for domestic and foreign journalists.
No Uighur Muslim has yet taken any preventive or self-defensive action against these atrocities by the Chinese government. Still, the country’s government is diverting the attention of the outside world by labeling Uyghur Muslims as terrorists. However, they have not found any involvement with any domestic or international terrorist group.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has undertaken a massive program to destroy Muslim traditions and culture. Which they are slowly implementing. Some of these;
No renovation of old mosques in Xinjiang province.
Not allowing the construction of new mosques.
Renovation of the old mosque can only be approved if the plan to renovate it like a Buddhist temple is accepted.
There is no opportunity for public religious education in Xinjiang. So they have to take religious education in strict secrecy.
Holy Hajj is being completely discouraged.
Muslim Friday prayers are regularly interrupted at Liu Kaulan in Hui District of Xinjiang Province and ancient mosques in Kashgar.
A hundred armed policemen surround the mosque during every prayer.
Through the posters, the Chinese government is campaigning that “go to the house to pray, not to the mosque.”
The Chinese government is adopting new plans to destroy the Islamic culture and values ​​of the Uyghur Muslims. Muslim youths are being lured by money to marry Buddhist girls.
There are widespread allegations that Muslim pregnant women are being illegally aborted and Muslim girls are being forcibly married off to Buddhist boys.
Muslims’ educational opportunities are also severely restricted.
Since 1996, the ban on madrassas and synagogues in 40 towns and villages in Xinjiang province remains in place. As a result, the children and adolescents of this region are deprived of the opportunity to memorize the Quran and religious knowledge.
Chinese authorities have completely banned religious education for children and adolescents under the age of 18.
Muslims in Xinjiang are banned from using the Turkish language and the Arabic alphabet.
Chinese authorities have already sealed about 50 old mosques in Xinjiang.
More recently the Mecca-based Rabita al-Alam al-Islami sent three hundred thousand copies of the Quran translated into the local languages ​​of Xinjiang for free distribution among Muslims.
But the communist authorities confiscated all copies. Later, they returned some copies under pressure from the international Muslim community. As a result, the rights of Muslims to practice their religious practices are being limited in China’s most Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province. Human rights and international media have raised this information but it was in vain.
The practice of erasing the Muslim rules of marriage, divorce, inheritance and all other rules is being carried out on a large scale. Muslim men and women are being sterilized and sterilized. Recently, the Chinese government is also taking the decision to select any city in Xinjiang province for underground nuclear testing and explosion. Since 1964, about 40 harmful explosions been carried out without protecting the environment of Xinjiang province.
About 2.5 million residents of Xinjiang are staying in neighboring countries and other countries around the world to escape the oppression of the Chinese government. The government is punishing Uyghur Muslim leaders with imprisonment and even death under various pretexts. Despite the persecution of Uyghur Muslims, their love for the country is still unwavering. Even in the face of hundreds of tortures and persecutions, patriotism did not wane. They love China. The Uighur Muslim nation wants to live with their beloved and holy religion Islam in their own country.
The writer is student of University of Dhaka