Muslim Countries' Support For China's Detention of Uyghurs is not Surprising

Published July 14th, 2019 - 12:27 GMT
Indonesian Muslims demonstrate to denounce the Chinese goverment's policy on Uyghur Muslims. (AFP/File Photo)
Indonesian Muslims demonstrate to denounce the Chinese goverment's policy on Uyghur Muslims. (AFP/File Photo)

A letter sent by 35 countries to the United Nation to confirm support of the Chinese government against millions of Muslims being detained in concentration camps has sparked an outcry among world Muslims.

At a time China is being accused of detaining millions from the Muslim minority, the Uyghurs in the western region of Xinjiang, Muslim-majority countries; including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar have affirmed their position in support of China in what they claimed as “taking a series of counter-terrorism measures to combat terrorism”.

In a letter seen by Reuters and signed by several Arab countries including the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, the countries praised China’s “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights”.

The letter has prompted several reactions around the world particularly because of the fact it was signed by Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia as they claim to be “guardians of the Muslim world”. Meanwhile, China has been harshly criticized by several Western governments including Germany, France, and Belgium, but surprisingly not the United States.

Many Muslims and Arabs from Muslim-majority countries expressed their disappointment and shame at their governments' failure to speak up against human rights violations being carried out against other Muslims highlighting the fact that countries don't represent its people.

The support for China affirmed in the letter was not surprising.

Earlier this year, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with President Zi Jinping and affirmed his position in support of China’s war on terrorism and extremism to protect its national security.

As his remarks shocked many, it helped refute a long-believed assumption Saudi Arabia is the guardian and official representative of Islam.

For years now China has been accused of the mass detentions of more than a million Muslims of the Uyghurs ethnic group.

In the wide-scale detention centers, Uyghurs are being forced to attend Chinese language classes, repeat slogans praising the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the communist party, in addition to forcing them to eat pork and drink alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam.

The Chinese government has denied the accusations, including the testimonies of former detainees who managed to reach safety.

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