In reading the international news headlines, there is a lack of direct scrutiny by the international community to this day on China’s Uighur crisis. Just last year, the United Nations reported that 1 million Uighur or more were being held in brutal “re-education” detention camps. Yet, nothing has changed.
The Chinese government has been aiming to change Uighur Muslims’ political thinking, erase their belief in Islam, and ultimately reshape their identities via torture, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrest and detention, gang rapes, systemic sexual assaults, and murder. There has been a Human Rights Watch Report attesting to these facts, satellite image evidence, and several testimonies from escapees.
Although some countries condemned Chinas’s human rights abuses, the momentum to raise concerns or follow through with economic sanctions to put pressure on China has not lasted. The international community’s response could instead be likened to reluctance and hesitance to criticize Beijing publicly.
How much is the international community willing to ignore if the group being religiously persecuted is Muslims and not Christians? And to what extent is the international community willing to turn a blind eye to one of the worst human rights crises of modern times due to our economic ties to China?
Islamaphobia is an epidemic, and the international community has a bad case of it. The international community needs to be an outspoken critic of religious persecution regarding Muslims, as they do other religions. No government should be able to tell people what religion to practice or persecute those who don’t comply.