Two leading Muslim nations, the Republic of Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have expressed opposite opinions, in support of and against the continuous incarceration of over a million Uighurs and other Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang in China.
In a statement released early February, the Turkish foreign ministry described China’s detention of hundreds of thousands of people in detention camps as “a great shame for humanity.”
The Ministry said the Uighurs are Turkic Muslims, with historic, cultural and religious ties to Turkey. In fact, Uighurs refer to their historic homeland in Xinjiang as East Turkestan.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had in the past condemned the most populous nation in the world’s action against Muslim minorities, said, “What is taking place in China is a kind of genocide”.
According to him, numerous atrocities are being committed by the Chinese authorities there, and hundreds of people have been killed and over a thousand injured. “We have difficulty understanding how China’s leadership can remain a spectator in the face of these events”, he added.
However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not believe China is maltreating her Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), during his two-day visit to Beijing, the last leg of his Asian tour, which included Pakistan and India, supported China’s action against its Muslim minorities.
Analysts expected Saudi Arabia – considered to be the home of Islam and the custodian of the two holiest mosques to speak for the oppressed Muslims of Xinjiang and others during the visit.
Instead, MBS supported Beijing’s right to undertake “anti-terrorism” and “de-extremism” measures, according to Chinese state-owned media, CCTV, which was later published by international media.
“China has the right to take anti-terrorism and de-extremism measures to safeguard national security. Saudi Arabia respects and supports it and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China”.
MBS, who was fingered in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 came under intense criticism, with many calling his remarks disgusting and unfortunate.
Yesterday at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s annual four-week session, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu reacted to the statement attributed to MBS, saying a distinction should be made between “terrorists and innocent people”.
He thereafter called on Beijing to protect the freedom of religion of the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
“We encourage Chinese authorities and expect that universal human rights, including freedom of religion, are respected and full protection of the cultural identities of the Uighurs and other Muslims is ensured,” Cavusoglu added.
– Watch a 4 minutes, 33 seconds video of BBC’s exclusive, titled China’s Hidden Camps
– Also, watch a 2 minutes, 48 seconds video documentary by Aljazeera with a Chinese officials, defending what she called “internment camps for Uighur Muslims”.
By Rasheed ABUBAKAR | Twitter @rawshieldpr
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.
Rawshield PR Company
Guaranty Trust Bank