South Asia

Uighur: Top Muslim preacher urges Islamic nations to start boycotting Chinese products

Uighur: Top Muslim preacher urges Islamic nations to start boycotting Chinese products

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 25 Dec 2019, 08:07 am
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Keeping in mind the treatment given to ethnic Uighurs, an influential Muslim preacher has asked the Islamic countries to start the process of boycotting Chinese products.

It is reported in media for quite some time now that a million people belonging to the community are reportedly held against their will in China's Xinjiang province.

Mohd Asri bin Zainul Abidin, the top Islamic jurist in Malaysia's Perlis state, has urged Muslim political and religious leaders to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on China over the treatment given to the Uighurs.

"We need to go to the extent of boycotting China's products. They know the strength of our purchasing power," Mohd Asri told Al Jazeera on the sidelines of a summit of Muslim-majority countries in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

"The decision should be taken at the highest level of Muslim countries and the ulama [religious scholars and guardians] to address the Uighur issue," said Mohd Asri, who earlier told summit participants that the almost two billion Muslims should flex their economic muscles to influence policies worldwide.

"We should do something, because they [Uighurs] are our brothers and sisters," he told the news channel.

  Most member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have been the target of criticism by Uighur rights advocates for their "silence" on the Uighur issue, reported the news channel.

But 14 OIC member states joined 23 other countries in siding with China, praising its "remarkable achievements in the field of human rights", it said.

The European Parliament recently voiced their serious concern about China’s repression of the Uighurs and called on the Chinese government to close the “re-education camps” in Xinjiang immediately.

"MEPs strongly condemn that hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and ethnic Kazakhs are being sent to political 're-education camps' based on a system of predictive policing, in a resolution adopted on Thursday," read a statement issued by the European Parliament.

They urged the Chinese government to immediately end the practice of arbitrary detentions without any charge, trial or conviction for criminal offence and to immediately and unconditionally release all detained persons, including this year’s laureate of the Sakharov Prize, Ilham Tohti.

"MEPs call on the Council to adopt targeted sanctions and freeze assets, if deemed appropriate and effective, against the Chinese officials responsible for severe repression of basic rights in Xinjiang," read the statement.

Several protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday demonstrated against China in support of the Uighurs. 

Riot police in Hong Kong broke up a rally in support of China's Uighurs on Sunday - with one officer drawing a pistol - after the initially peaceful protest descended into chaos when a small group of protesters removed a Chinese flag from a nearby government building and tried to burn it, reported Al Jazeera.

The Sunday rally was first such move dedicated completely to  Uighurs.

Hong Kong has been witnessing anti-China movements for several months now.

World Uyghur Congress tweeted: "Thank you to the people of #HongKong for their support & solidarity. The Chinese govt's horrific repression is bringing Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Tibetans & others together in pursuit of basic rights & freedoms.#StandWithHongKong #StandwithTibet #StandwithUyghurs #ClosetheCamps."

An investigation had recently dismissed China's claim that detention camps built across Turkic Muslim, also known as Uighurs, majority region Xinjiang are built for re-education purposes to counter extremism.

The leaked papers have revealed the systematic way in which the Beijing government is brainwashing hundreds of thousands of Muslims in a network of high-security prison camps.

The Chinese government has consistently claimed the camps in the far western Xinjiang region offer voluntary education and training.

Official documents were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which has worked with 17 media partners globally.

The leaked Chinese government documents, which the ICIJ have labelled 'The China Cables', include a nine-page memo sent out in 2017 by Zhu Hailun, then deputy-secretary of Xinjiang's Communist Party and the region's top security official, to those who run the camps.

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