American Journal of Islam and Society
In the last issue, I wrote about the limits of suffering vicariously, and thattrue solidarity requires constant engagement and practical acts of solidarity.In this editorial, I have invited a young Muslim activist of Uyghur rootsto reflect on the present moment. Aydin Anwar was my student at a summerprogram in Istanbul last year at Ihsan Academy. She is a courageous,articulate, and inspiring voice for the horrendous violation of the basichumanity and rights of the Uyghur Muslims by the
... Chinesegovernment. Governments of Muslim countries are quiet. In a report twoweeks ago, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discriminationexpressed alarm at the "numerous reports of detention of large numbersof ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities held incommunicado andoften for long periods, without being charged or tried, under the pretextof countering terrorism and religious extremism." Over a million UyghurMuslims have been sent to concentration camps, according to Uyghurs aswell as independent observers. A Human Rights Watch report noted thatmillions of Xinjiang residents were having their DNA, fingerprints, and retinalscans collected; earlier in 2017, the region's Muslims were banned fromwearing long beards or veils in public.We Muslim academics, intellectuals, and scholars need to listen to andstrengthen voices like that of Aydin Anwar. In fact, we must follow her lead.I will let her speak for herself; I hope you can hear the disciplined rage andresolute voice of her words as you read these meticulously documentedstatements:A Brewing Genocide in Occupied East TurkestanI sat in a room with around thirty refugee women in Istanbul duringsummer 2016. We were listening to Munawwar, an Uyghur activist andIslamic teacher who fled China in the 1990s, explain the meaning of achapter in the Quran before ending the session with a prayer. Soon into ...