Uighurs and their supporters march to the United Nations to protest in New York, on March 15, 2018. Members of the Uighur Muslim ethnic group held demonstrations in cities around the world to protest a sweeping Chinese surveillance and security campaign that has sent thousands of their people into detention and political indoctrination centers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

US Muslim leaders call on China to end persecution of Uighurs

(RNS) – More than 130 American Muslim leaders and scholars have signed an open letter condemning the Chinese government’s continued persecution and detention of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

The letter, initiated by the Sound Vision Foundation and signed by prominent Muslim leaders, called for the release of detainees from internment camps in Xinjiang, where Uighurs have reportedly been forced to attend indoctrination sessions.

The leaders also called for U.S. consumers to boycott imports produced by the detainees’ forced labor and to join a planned rally on behalf of Uighur people on Apr. 6 in Washington, D.C.

“We call upon fellow citizens to stop buying products produced through slave labor from these camps,” the statement says. “We thank the U.S. government for raising the issue of human rights abuses and detainment in the concentration camps and ask the rest of the world to do the same.”

Signers include prominent civil rights activist Imam Omar Suleiman, who heads the Yaqeen Institute in Texas; Imam Yasir Qadhi of Al-Maghrib Institute and the Islamic Seminary of America; Imam Mohamed Magid, who leads Virginia’s All Dulles Area Muslim Society; as well as several representatives from the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Suleiman said the Uighur crisis, which he called “the world’s most blatant violation of any sense of religious freedom and human rights,” has not received the attention it deserves from world leaders.

“If this was any other religious group, the world would be up in arms,” Suleiman told Religion News Service. “The reality is that Muslims have been so dehumanized that even those who are usually credited as being champions for human rights can turn away without being called out on their double standards."

Members of the United Nations Committee say there are credible reports that the Chinese government had “turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp,” detaining as many as 1 million Muslims — nearly 10 percent of their regional population — without charge, in order to strip them of their beliefs and religious practices.

The Xinjiang province in western China where many Uighurs live. Map courtesy of Creative Commons

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Human rights advocates say reports of torture, forced labor and indoctrination are widespread. A massive surveillance program includes streets lined with facial recognition devices and closed-circuit television cameras and government spies living in suspected Muslims’ homes. The crackdown has made many Uighurs too frightened to pray or call family abroad. Avoiding alcohol and pork, both banned in Islamic teaching, is thought to be cause for suspicion.

The signed statement begins a broader effort to call attention to the Uighurs' cause, said Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, founding chairman of Sound Vision Foundation. A number of mosques across the country will read the letter to congregants during Friday prayers today (Feb. 6).

“These imams have a far larger following in social media as well as in mosques than all national Muslim organizations together,” he explained. “I am sure the list and the movement will grow.”

The Sound Vision Foundation, based in Chicago, organized the Bosnia Task Force in 1992 to help declare rape a war crime. More recently, it launched the Burma Task Force and the SaveUighur project to advocate for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and China’s Uighur Muslims.

On Thursday (Feb. 7), SaveUighur launched a national campaign to urge Muslims to call their representatives in Congress and demand their support for bills condemning human rights violations against Uighurs.

Uighur activists say they are frustrated by the lack of international condemnation, particularly from the global Muslim community.

“The Muslim-majority countries, every one of them has remained silent,” Aydin Anwar, a young student activist working with the Uighur independence movement East Turkistan National Awakening, told Religion News Service last year. “They all have deals with China. It’s really frustrating (for) Uighurs to witness what we see as a betrayal. How are you not standing up to this genocide of your brothers and sisters?”


  1. The better solution?

    The Chinese should simply promulgate the facts about Mohammed as an inexpensive, fair way of dealing with a religion founded and bent on conquering the world no matter the cost.

    Some facts to get them started:

    Again and again and again, it all revolves around Islam’s Koran and how its dictates of horror
    continue to wreak havoc around the globe. Global citizens continue to die as a consequence.
    It is also forcing the USA citizens to spend over a trillion dollars to keep the horror in check.
    And the idiocy of it all is that Islam was founded by a warmongering, misogynist, ex-spice, literate
    trader who started his life of horror by conquering spice trading cities in an
    attempt to control the flow of spices such as frankincense, and myrrh, two
    spices used routinely in those times to mask body and building odors. And today
    we have the stench of Islam covering the globe. Irony?

    Mohammed and his scribes eventually converted his crusade into a religion to keep his subjects bound to himself and a
    mythical god, Allah with his mythical angel Gabriel being the earthly connection. The absurdity of it all boggles the mind!!!

  2. These so called US Muslim leaders started their letter by invoking the blessings on the souls of historic terrorists such abu Bakir, Omar, Kalid bin Walid, Aisha, who are all included in the concocted terminology that these Islamists meant by the words “family” and “companions” . People who invoke the blessings on such terrorists desrve the curse and the wrath of Allah.

  3. You just outlined some of the historical differences between Christianity and Islam:

    A–Islam is SINGLE SOURCED: claimed as given by an angel, GABRIEL to Mohammed.

    B–The New Testament is multi-sourced, several different authors giving both narrative and inspirational messages, primarily around the observed activities of Jesus Christ as witnessed in their lifetime. Overall God is considered the author of the New Testament, (and Bible) and man his instrument; whether or not a specific book is directly attributed to God.

    A–By warfare Mohammed was able to establish Islam as the dominant religion in his region. After Mohammed’s death, the Wars of Apostasy were conducted by his successor, Caliph Abu Bakr to regain control of the tribes and people who left Islam. The War is complicated by the fact that some tribes may have wanted to remain Muslim but did not want to submit to the successor’s authority as well as some of the other tribes were claiming leadership by inspired prophets .

    B–After Jesus’ Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension, his followers, by loving kindless miracles, and sharing the Gospel message, became the ascendant religion of the Roman Empire centuries later.

  4. >>“The Muslim-majority countries, every one of them has remained silent,”…. “They all have deals with China…”<<

    A lot of money in slavery. In human rights, not so much…

    1 Timothy 6:10: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

  5. Crucifixion, yes. Resurrection and Ascension, no.

    Jesus was definitely crucified (multiple attestations
    from the first stratum.) “That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate as
    the Creed states is as certain as anything historical can be.” from Professor JD Crossan in his book, Who is Jesus?.

    From the First Stratum,(30-60 AD) with multiple attestations (from Crossan’s
    The Historical Jesus)

    Crucifixion of Jesus 1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b)
    ark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3)
    Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16
    =Psalm 22:6-; (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.
    From an analyses of the documents by many
    contemporary NT exegetes:

    The Resurrection is fiction i.e. it was added to make Jesus akin to the Caesars and Greek half gods/half men (1a) Mark 8:31-33 = Matt 16:2l-23 = Luke 9:22, (1b) Mark 9:9b = Matt 17:9b, (1c) Mark
    9:12b = Matt 17:12b, (1d) Mark 9:30-32= Matt 17:22-23 = Luke 9:43b-45, (1e)
    Luke 17:25, (1f) Mark 10:32-34 = Matt 20:17-19 = Luke 18:31-34, (1g) Matt
    26:1-2, (1h) Mark 14:21 = Matt 26:24 = Luke 22:22, (1i) Mark 14:41= Matt
    26:45b,(1j) Luke 24:7

    Conclusion: Many references but only a single attestation
    and from the Second stratum (60-80 AD).


    From the course notes of a large Catholic university’s graduate theology class:

    “Heaven is a Spirit state (no physical bodies abide so where is the resurrected, ascended body????)

    Christ’s and Mary’s bodies are therefore not in Heaven. For one thing, Paul in 1 Cor 15 speaks of the body of the dead as transformed into a “spiritual body.” No one knows exactly what he
    meant by this term.

    Most believe that it to mean that the
    personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we
    were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    The physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus’ crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary’s corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke’s Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus’ mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus’ followers The Assumption hasmultiple layers of symbolism, some are
    related to Mary’s special role as “Christ bearer” (theotokos). It
    does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus’ Virgin-Mother (another
    biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary’s assumption also shows God’s positive regard, not only for Christ’s male body, but also for female

    Amazing how this agrees with Professor
    Crossan and many other contemporary NT exegetes’ conclusions based on
    attestations and stratums.

  6. >>The Resurrection is fiction i.e. it was added to make Jesus akin to the Caesars and Greek half gods/half men<<

    Except no such addition has been shown to have occurred(which answers the rest of the post isince it depends on said Bible alterations). We would need the inception documents then the altered documents to show such alterations, however, none exist.. Instead the earliest documents already have these types of statements about the divinity of Jesus.

    The antiquity of 1 Corinthians 15 where the list of witnesses to Jesus' post-resurrection appearance has been determined by most biblical scholars is no more than five years after Jesus' death. The creed it contains has been deemed to be historically reliable and is claimed to preserve a unique and verifiable testimony of the time.

    Because Jesus has Risen as attested to by the witnesses in 1 Corinthians 15 and elsewhere in the New Testament, the followers of Jesus therefore accepted what else Jesus said was true or would be true, even though he spoke of things that did not happen yet. And the Resurrection is a most exciting proof; and the ongoing power of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit continues today; through continuing positive historical impact, such as Christianity being at the tip of the spear for most human rights issues; see unshacked.org for radio drama testimonies of changed lives, including those of desperate criminals.

  7. If only the Uighurs were Jews, China would be circumspect in their deliberate attempt to obliterate an ethnic group. Any chance they are linked to one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel? The ubiquitous cap wore by Uighur man could be an evolved skull cap. Their (Uighur) salvation could well be in the hands of a curious anthropologist !

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