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  1. #1
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    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China (OP)


    Saturday 3 June 2017

    Children under 16 told ‘overly religious’ names such as Saddam, Hajj and Jihad must be changed amid pro-Communist rallies across Xinjiang region

    Muslim children in China’s far western Xinjiang region are being forced to change their “religious” names and adults are being coerced into attending rallies showing devotion to the officially atheist Communist party.

    During Ramadan, the authorities in Xinjiang have ordered all children under 16 to change names where police have determined they are “overly religious”. As many as 15 names have been banned, including Islam, Quran, Mecca, Jihad, Imam, Saddam, Hajj, Medina and Arafat, according to Radio Free Asia.

    In April authorities banned certain names for newborns that were deemed to have religious connotations, but the new order expands forced name changes to anyone under 16, the age at which Chinese citizens are issued a national identity card.

    The order coincided with millions gathering at 50,000 individual rallies across Xinjiang this week to pledge allegiance to the Communist party. More than a quarter of the region’s population sang the national anthem at 9am on 29 May and pledged allegiance to the Communist party, according to state media reports.

    Xinjiang’s Muslims mostly belonging to the Uighur ethnic group, a Turkic people. The region has occasionally seen sporadic violence which China blames on international terrorist groups. But overseas observers say the vast majority of incidents are a result of local grievances.

    Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-western-china
    | Likes cinnamonrolls1, Junon, HisServant liked this post
    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    From Occupied Palestine:

    We have suffered too much for too long. We will not accept apartheid masked as peace. We will settle for no less than our freedom.




  2. #101
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

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    Salaam

    Another update, If confirmed this is beyond disappointing.

    China says President Erdogan recognises that Muslims of Xinjiang are happy

    Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the oppressed Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang are in fact living happy lives, according to Chinese state media.

    China has faced widespread criticism for its ongoing persecution of Uyghur and other Turkic minority Muslim in the north-western Xinjiang region.

    The United Nations (UN) has estimated that at least one million Uyghur Muslims have been forcibly detained in “vocational re-education” camps, which Amnesty International has likened to “wartime concentration camps”.

    Former Muslim inmates have stated that they were physically and mentally tortured into denouncing Islam and swearing allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party.

    Turkey is the only Muslim-majority country that has previously voiced concerns about the situation in Xinjiang, including in February at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

    However, during the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing yesterday, President Erdogan displayed a more positive note.

    According to a Chinese state media, the Turkish president said: “It is a fact that the peoples of China’s Xinjiang region live happily in China’s development and prosperity.

    “Turkey does not permit any person to incite disharmony in the Turkey-China relationship. Turkey firmly opposes extremism and is willing to increase mutual political trust with China and strengthen security cooperation.”

    The report added that President Xi Jinping told Erdogan that the two countries should take steps to promote joint counter-terrorism operations.

    Beijing has particularly welcomed President Erdogan’s comments, stating that he will not allow “any forces to carry out anti-China activities in Turkey and attaches great store on Turkey stressing many times its support of China fighting terrorism.”

    Neither the Turkish government nor the President’s office have denied the statements attributed to Mr Erdogan by Chinese media.

    China had consistently denied the existence of the camps until last October, and has since claimed it is detaining people guilty of minor crimes, which has supposedly brought stability and minimised violence in Xinjiang.

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2019/07/03/ch...ang-are-happy/

    Hmmm better than nothing.

    Last edited by Junon; 07-04-2019 at 04:55 PM.

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  4. #102
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Another update



    China is deliberately separating Muslim children from their families, faith and language in its far western region of Xinjiang, according to new research.

    At the same time as hundreds of thousands of adults are being detained in giant camps, a rapid, large-scale campaign to build boarding schools is under way.

    Based on publicly available documents, and backed up by dozens of interviews with family members overseas, the BBC has gathered some of the most comprehensive evidence to date about what is happening to children in the region.

    Records show that in one township alone more than 400 children have lost not just one but both parents to some form of internment, either in the camps or in prison.

    Formal assessments are carried out to determine whether the children are in need of "centralised care".

    Alongside the efforts to transform the identity of Xinjiang's adults, the evidence points to a parallel campaign to systematically remove children from their roots.

    China's tight surveillance and control in Xinjiang, where foreign journalists are followed 24 hours a day, make it impossible to gather testimony there. But it can be found in Turkey.

    In a large hall in Istanbul, dozens of people queue to tell their stories, many of them clutching photographs of children, all now missing back home in Xinjiang.

    "I don't know who is looking after them," one mother says, pointing to a picture of her three young daughters, "there is no contact at all."

    Another mother, holding a photo of three sons and a daughter, wipes away her tears. "I heard that they've been taken to an orphanage," she says.

    In 60 separate interviews, in wave after wave of anxious, grief-ridden testimony, parents and other relatives give details of the disappearance in Xinjiang of more than 100 children.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-48825090



    Chinese response.



    Related

    Last edited by Junon; 07-09-2019 at 07:16 PM.

  5. #103
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Nearly two dozen countries unite at UN to condemn China’s mass detention of one million Muslims for first time

    Ambassadors voice concerns over unlawful detention in ‘large-scale places of detention, as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions’


    China has been urged to stop its mass detention of Uighur Muslims by 22 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in the first such joint move on the issue.
    The UN says at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained by China in the western region of Xinjiang.


    In an unprecedented letter ambassadors from 22 countries voiced their concerns about reports of unlawful detention in “large-scale places of detention, as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly targeting Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang”.

    Britain, France and Germany were among the European nations to join the call, along with Australia, Canada and Japan, but not the United States, which quit the council a year ago.


    However, the letter fell short of activists demands for a formal statement to be read out at the council, or a resolution submitted for a vote.
    The letter to the forum’s president, dated 8 July, cited China’s obligations as a member of the 47-state forum to maintain the highest standards.


    “We call on China to uphold its national laws and international obligations and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief in Xinjiang and across China,” the letter said.

    “We call also on China to refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of movement of Uighurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang.”

    It urged China to allow international independent experts, including Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, “meaningful access” to Xinjiang.

    Ms Bachelet, a former president of Chile, has lobbied China to grant the UN access to investigate reports of disappearances and arbitrary detentions of Muslims in Xinjiang.

    Last month, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva said he hoped Ms Bechelet would take up an invitation to visit.

    One diplomat told Reuters China’s delegation was “hopping mad” at the move and was preparing its own letter in response.

    In a statement, Human Rights Watch welcomed the letter as “important not only for Xinjiang’s population, but for people around the world who depend on the UN’s leading rights body to hold even the most powerful countries to account”.

    At the start of the three-week session, which ends on Friday, the vice-governor of Xinjiang responded to international condemnation of the state-run detention camps by saying they were vocational centres which had helped “save” people from extremist influences.

    Last week, a study said thousands of Muslim children in the region were being separated from their parents in what it called a “systematic campaign of social re-engineering and cultural genocide”.

    independent.co.uk
    Last edited by HisServant; 07-13-2019 at 04:26 AM.
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    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China


  6. #104
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    The cowardice on display breaks new records.







    Oh the irony.



    Chinas gloating.



    The long term ramifications.



    Last edited by Junon; 07-14-2019 at 12:45 PM.

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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Another update.



    More comment.






  9. #106
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Islam but no Muslims - Muslims but no Islam

    Islam but no Muslims - Muslims but no Islam
    I live in Norway and see how people are treated. No one ever starvs here. Everyone has rights. Children, old people etc. Transparent government where c...
    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    “Either seem as you are or be as you seem” Rumi

  10. #107
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Another update



    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘happy Xinjiang’ comments ‘mistranslated’ in China

    Turkish officials claim Beijing refused to correct the record when error spotted in statement of meeting with Xi Jinping

    Ankara has sought to distance itself from Chinese state media reports suggesting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang, according to diplomatic sources.

    At a closed-door gathering of diplomats at the Turkish embassy in Beijing last week, Turkish officials said Erdogan’s comments about the troubled region in China’s far west were mistranslated and Beijing refused to correct them.

    According to a report by Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Erdogan told Chinese President Xi Jinping during a trip to Beijing on July 2 that people in Xinjiang “live happily”.

    “It is a fact that the peoples of China’s Xinjiang region live happily in China’s development and prosperity,” the report paraphrased the Turkish leader as saying.

    But Turkish officials at the embassy meeting last week said the comment was mistranslated by the Turkish side and Beijing refused to correct the statement once the error was detected, according to people with knowledge of the meeting.

    The officials said the Turkish president should have been quoted as saying that Turkey “hopes the peoples of China’s Xinjiang live happily in peace and prosperity”, according to the sources.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/dipl...happy-xinjiang

  11. #108
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salam. I wasnt going to reply until I saw the last paragraph. When Erdoğan makes a mistake his advisors try so hard to clean up the issue and this makes me more angry and laugh at the same time. Really, whats the difference between saying “Xinjans are happy” and “hopes the peoples of China’s Xinjiang live happily in peace and prosperity” although you very well know that they dont? I see no difference really. Erdoğan and AKP do always redicule with the intelligence of people.
    Last edited by anatolian; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:18 PM.
    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    “Either seem as you are or be as you seem” Rumi

  12. #109
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Another update.











    This is shocking, from Palestine of all places!



    Last edited by Junon; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:57 AM.

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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Another update. One of many



    Uighur activists call on Qatar to halt man's deportation to China

    Activist tells MEE that Ablikim Yusuf is still at Doha airport and could be deported within the next 24 hours


    Uighur activists have called on the Qatari authorities to halt the extradition of a man who said he was about to be deported from Doha to China.

    A video posted on Facebook by the man, who identifies himself as Ablikim Yusuf, from inside Doha's airport was widely shared on social media by activists who warned he could face "imprisonment, torture and possibly even death" if he was returned to China.

    In Washington, activists gathered outside the Qatari embassy into the early hours of Saturday morning.

    Salih Hudayar, one of the protesters and the founder of the US-based East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, told Middle East Eye later on Saturday that Yusuf had not yet been deported, but that he could be within the next 24 hours.

    Yusuf had earlier been reported as being booked on a Qatar Airways flight on Saturday morning from Doha to Beijing.

    MEE contacted Qatar Airways and Qatar's foreign ministry for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/u...ortation-china
    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:22 PM.

  15. #111
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    What a wonderful ummah!..
    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    “Either seem as you are or be as you seem” Rumi

  16. #112
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Easy on the cynicism bro, we are in a dark place, leaders have revealed who they serve but everyday Muslims are constantly speaking out, at great cost.

    Anas ibn Malik reported:

    The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A time of patience will come to people in which adhering to one’s religion is like grasping a hot coal.”

    Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2260

  17. #113
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Ws..I was refering to the leaders anyway but we are responsible of our leaders less or more. Either we chose them or we let them to do what they do..Now I expect from our fellow Palestinian brothers to speak against that decision of their leaders..
    | Likes Junon liked this post
    Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    “Either seem as you are or be as you seem” Rumi

  18. #114
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    This is sick and twisted.



    Example of Chinese propaganda.

    Blurb

    A video which argues that the only reason Uyghur women did not marry Han men in the past was due to culture and language differences, but that this is now no longer a problem since Uyghur women are now fully trained in Han culture and Chinese language.





    Parallels with Hindutva propoganda.





    Last edited by Junon; 1 Week Ago at 11:49 PM.

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  20. #115
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Hmmm situation is not entirely bleak.



    Doha defies Beijing over Uighurs; others can too

    China’s campaign to target Uighurs abroad was dealt a blow this week, as an unlikely ally refused to capitulate to Beijing’s pressure. In an unexpected move on Tuesday, Qatar refused to bow down to requests from China by rejecting the deportation of Ablikim Yusuf, a Uighur man who had fled China.

    Yusuf only days ago found himself stranded in Doha’s Hamad International Airport expecting the Qatari authorities to deport him back to China. Yusuf, desperate to avoid being forcibly returned, filmed a video appealing to the international community to help him.

    His video stirred outrage online, with activists launching a campaign to stop his deportation to China, where he would undoubtedly face persecution and detention in the country’s internment camps for ethnic and Muslim minorities.

    In what can be seen as a rebuke to Beijing, Qatari authorities delayed his deportation, allowing the US government to grant him entry. The US State Department used its intervention in the case to condemn China’s repressive campaign targeting Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and those abroad.

    Long arm of Beijing

    Chinese authorities in recent years have made it virtually impossible for Muslim minorities to flee, with the government recalling passports for Uighurs throughout the country.

    Building on its campaign of repression, China’s targeting of Muslim minority groups has extended beyond Xinjiang, with the authorities using intimidation and pressure to forcibly return minorities back to China.

    Media investigations have also revealed that Chinese authorities are harassing Uighurs abroad, threatening their families back home and coercing them to hand over personal information.

    Uighurs interviewed by Asia Times say Chinese embassies and consulates abroad have declined to renew their passports, telling them they must return home.

    China has also used its economic clout to pressure foreign governments to deport Uighurs back to its territory, where they risk being interned or disappeared upon return.

    That may be changing.

    Qatar joins a number of countries that have ignored pressure by Chinese authorities to deport Uighurs and other Muslim and ethnic minorities back to China.

    Notably Malaysia, which previously forcibly returned groups of Uighurs, recently reversed its position, and under its new leadership has distanced itself from Beijing.

    Even Turkey, whose president spoke in support of the Chinese government’s policy on Uighurs during a visit to Beijing in July, has refused to go so far as deporting the persecuted group.

    Without overstating the significance of Qatar’s refusal to deport Yusuf, it does show there is political will – even in a country currently facing an economic boycott from some of its wealthiest neighbors – to curb China’s influence. It was only last month that Muslim-majority countries, including Qatar, in a letter publicly supported China’s “counterterrorism” efforts and congratulated the country on its “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.”

    For states in the Middle East driven by economic interests, challenging China in the name of “Muslim solidarity” has not been worth the fight. Dropping the issue so as not to disrupt Chinese trade and investment deals, on the other hand, was worth the dividends.

    A new precedent?


    Qatar’s recent move not to deport Yusuf back to China, one of its top trading partners, may not exactly herald the Gulf state’s readiness to pick up the “Muslim solidarity” mantle and aggressively condemn the treatment of the Uighurs. It does, however, show a minor shift in approach to asylum seekers. With growing backlash from Arab and Muslim opinion in the Middle East, coupled with international pressure, we may see more Muslim-majority states, even traditional trading partners of China, also ignore Beijing’s pressure and facilitate asylum requests for desperate Uighurs fleeing persecution.

    With states like Malaysia and now Qatar refusing to deport persecuted minorities back to China, Beijing’s influence abroad may begin to be curtailed. By not capitulating to its pressure, states can send a stern message to Beijing that its threats abroad can only go so far, a message that would certainly be understood in a state that reveres national sovereignty.

    This will not be enough to influence China’s domestic agenda, nor will we see such attempts from countries in the Middle East. It will, however, give other governments and host countries the courage to protect asylum-seeking Muslims minorities fleeing China. And with no foreseeable public condemnation and change in policy from Muslim-majority states on the Uighur issue, not forcibly returning those fleeing China is the least these alleged champions of Muslim rights can do.

    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/op...thers-can-too/

    Another reminder.

    Last edited by Junon; 1 Week Ago at 12:20 AM.

  21. #116
    CuriousonTruth's Avatar
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...d-china-claims

    Ofcourse it's safe to assume they are lying through the teeth.

  22. #117
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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Like to share. Agree or disagree with him he's always willing to speak out.

    Blurb

    Advice of Dr Zakir Naik to the Leaders of the Muslim Countries to Support Uyghur Muslims



    Last edited by Junon; 6 Days Ago at 07:27 AM.

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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Another update





    'Nightmare' as Egypt aided China to detain Uighurs

    Abdulmalik Abdulaziz, an Uighur student, was arrested and handcuffed by Egyptian police and when they removed his blindfold he was surprised to see Chinese officials questioning him in custody.

    He was picked up in broad daylight with friends, and taken to a Cairo police station where Chinese officials grilled him about what he was doing in Egypt.

    The three officials spoke to him in Chinese, addressing him using his Chinese name not his Uighur one.

    "They never said their names or mentioned who they were exactly," said Abdulaziz, 27, who spoke to AFP helping to uncover new details of the 2017 arrests of over 90 Uighurs from the mostly Muslim Turkic minority.

    Abdulaziz, like most swept up in the three-day crackdown in the first week of July 2017, was an Islamic theology student at Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious educational institution.

    "Egyptian policemen said 'the Chinese government says that you are terrorists'. But we responded that we are only Al-Azhar students," said Abdulaziz. AFP is using pseudonyms to protect the identities of those Uighurs interviewed.

    China is one of Egypt's biggest investors, pouring money into massive infrastructure projects such as the construction of a new administrative capital east of Cairo. Trade between the two countries reached a record high of $13.8 billion last year.

    Just three weeks before the raid, Egypt and China signed a security memorandum focusing on "combatting terrorism".

    After a few days of questioning in Police Station 2 in Nasr City, an upmarket suburb of Cairo, Abdulaziz was sent to Tora, one of Egypt's most notorious jails.

    Released after 60 days in detention, he escaped, seeking asylum in Turkey, a hub of Uighur immigration, in October 2017.

    - 'Same tactics' -


    Shams Eddin Ahmed, 26, was arrested outside the Moussa Ibn Naseer mosque on 4 July, 2017 in Nasr City.

    His father in Xinjiang, a region in northwest China, also disappeared that month.

    Many Uighurs refer to Xinjiang as East Turkestan, including those AFP interviewed, but for Beijing it has troubling connotations of independence and activism.

    "I still don't know if he's dead or alive," he recounted.

    Unmarked black vans pulled up as afternoon prayers ended and around five policemen arrested several Uighur worshippers.

    Ahmed was also transferred to Tora, the stifling carceral complex which houses many of Egypt's high-profile political prisoners.

    "I felt so afraid when I got there. It was extremely dark... I thought to myself how will we ever get out of here?" he said.

    "I was afraid that they would hand us over to the Chinese authorities," added Ahmed.

    The Uighurs were split into two groups of 45 to 50 men each and languished in large cells for weeks.

    Two weeks before their release, the Uighurs and other Chinese Muslims of different ethnic ancestry, were divided into three groups, and given colour codes.

    Red, green or yellow determined if they would be deported, released or further questioned.

    Ahmed said Egyptian prison guards handcuffed, blindfolded and then hauled many of the group into vans heading to Cairo police stations.

    During 11 days in police custody, he claims three Chinese officials questioned him specifically about his father.

    "Where is he and how does he send you money?" he told AFP.

    Ahmed was in the green group, meaning he was eventually released. He fled to Istanbul in early October 2017.

    Abdulweli Ayup, a Norway-based Uighur linguist who has researched the community in Egypt, confirmed hearing similar accounts from other detainees.

    "It's the same practice and tactic implemented in internment camps in China. I don't believe it's a coincidence," he said, adding Chinese authorities use the same three colour codes for detained Uighurs.

    - 'Muslim brothers' –

    Human rights groups say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are held in a network of internment camps in China where they endure political indoctrination.

    Beijing says the "vocational education centres" are necessary to counter religious extremism.

    Germany-based independent researcher Adrian Zenz, who has mapped out camps in Xinjiang, said: "China's new push to redefine human rights in terms of economic development... suits many of these nations."

    "A country giving the Chinese significant leeway can in return expect significant favours," he added, referring to the Egyptian-Chinese security cooperation.

    Egypt's interior ministry and the Chinese embassy in Cairo did not respond to AFP's repeated requests for comment.

    "Those found to be overstaying contrary to the law, including Chinese citizens among other nationalities, are expelled", said Ahmed Hafez, Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman, when asked about the deportation of Uighurs in 2017. He did not answer AFP's questions on the 60-day detention of the group that had been picked up by police.

    Darren Byler, an anthropologist at Washington University, noted "similar attempts by Chinese officials in Thailand and elsewhere" to extradite diaspora Uighurs.

    "The autonomy with which Chinese authorities were permitted to act in Egypt is unprecedented," he told AFP.

    Ayup, the linguist, explains the devastating effect of the 2017 raids that reduced a thriving community of around 6,000 people to about 50 families.

    "For Uighurs it's a nightmare that your Muslim brother would invite Chinese officials to interrogate you. They have lost their belief and have become paranoid in the diaspora," he said.

    Abdulaziz considers himself fortunate, but the fate of other Uighurs expelled by Egypt preys on his mind.

    "It has been years since we heard anything about those deported and our families. We just don't know."

    https://news.yahoo.com/nightmare-egy...024625386.html

    More generally.





    Last edited by Junon; 1 Day Ago at 08:42 PM.

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    Re: Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

    Salaam

    Title is misleading but good news.



    Qatar Withdraws Support for China Over Its Treatment of Muslims


    Persian Gulf nation tells UN it wants to remain ‘neutral’

    37 countries had signed letter backing China against censure


    Qatar withdrew from a letter signed by dozens of countries expressing support for China’s human-rights record despite growing international condemnation over its detention of as many as two million ethnic Muslim Uighurs.

    Qatar informed United Nations Human Rights Council President Coly Seck of its decision to withdraw from the July 12 letter, which was signed by mostly majority-Muslim nations, according to a copy of the correspondence seen by Bloomberg. Several calls and e-mails to Qatar’s government communications office and the UN mission weren’t returned.

    “Taking into account our focus on compromise and mediation, we believe that co-authorizing the aforementioned letter would compromise our foreign policy key priorities,” Ambassador Ali Al-Mansouri, Qatar’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, wrote to Seck on July 18. “In this regard, we wish to maintain a neutral stance and we offer our mediation and facilitation services.” His signature also appeared on the July 12 letter supporting China.

    It wasn’t clear what prompted the change of heart. Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, would be loathe to damage ties with China, which was the country’s third-largest trading partner in 2018 with some $13 billion in total commerce, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visited Beijing in January, when President Xi Jinping addressed him as an “old friend and a good friend,” according to reports.

    But more than two years into a diplomatic and economic embargo by a four-nation, Saudi-led coalition, Doha has also stressed its desire to build ties with the West, including European nations and the U.S.

    Thirty-seven countries, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, signed the letter defending Xi’s government and dismissing its ongoing crackdown on Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang.

    It was sent after 22 mostly Western nations mounted the first collective global criticism of China’s policy toward Uighurs. They urged Beijing to end the mass detentions and expressed concern over “widespread surveillance and restrictions” on Uighurs in a July 8 statement to another UN body, the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    The re-education camps in Xinjiang, a region home to some 10 million Uighurs, have prompted calls for sanctions against Beijing from U.S. lawmakers, human rights advocates and religious groups. The State Department says as many as two million Uighurs are being held in the camps, a number China contests even though it hasn’t disclosed an official figure.

    Xi’s government has defended the crackdown as necessary to combat terrorism and has used Xinjiang as a laboratory for its sophisticated mass surveillance system, from facial recognition technology to security checkpoints at markets.

    Qatar has been caught in the crosshairs of the Uighur crackdown before.

    Earlier this year, activists worked to stop the deportation of Uighur advocate Ablikim Yusuf from Qatar back to China, allowing him to leave for the U.S. instead. Yusuf had posted a video online from Doha’s international airport asking for help to avoid being sent home, where he would face punishment for his advocacy on behalf of other Uighurs.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ent-of-muslims


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