CUS Press Release
For Immediate Release
April 20, 2023
The Center for Uyghur Studies would like to extend its warmest greetings and congratulations to the Muslims around the world on the arrival of Eid al-Fitr. We pray that Eid brings joy and warmth to everyone celebrating.
As we celebrate this joyous moment after the end of the holy month of Ramadan, we also wish to bring the Uyghur Genocide and China’s war on Islam to your attention. The people of East Turkistan, who have been the victims of the genocide committed by the Chinese communist regime, have spent another Ramadan under surveillance and persecution. While the Islamic world is excited about Eid al-Fitr, the Uyghurs are punished for believing in Islam on the one hand and unable to hear the voices of their families and friends overseas.
The Uyghurs have been restricted from observing Ramadan and celebrating Eid since 2017 as a result of China’s war on Islam that seeks to eliminate all traces of islam in East Turkistan. Every year, as Ramadan approaches, the Chinese authorities increase their surveillance on the Uyghurs to make sure that Uyghurs cannot fast and observe the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. Moreover, as attending the Mosque is used as a pretext to send Uyghurs to concentration camps, and the Chinese regime has either closed, demolished, or converted the Mosques in East Turkistan, the Uyghur Muslims cannot also celebrate Eid al-Fitr. For instance, reports have shown Uyghurs being forcibly taken to festivals during Ramadan, where they were forced to eat and drink alcohol.
Amid this great oppression and blatant violation of religious freedom, the Muslim-majority countries continue to ignore China’s crimes against Uyghur Muslims. During such an important occasion, It is sad to see the Islamic world’ s failure to to support their fellow Uyghur brothers and sisters. From governments, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to prestigious Islamic institutions, the Islamic world failed to send a strong signal to China that it cannot continue business as usual with the Islamic world while it is violating the rights and religious freedom of Muslims in East Turkistan.
Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris said, “We congratulate the Islamic world on Eid al-Fitr. However, Eid al-Fitr is not a joy for us. Every Eid, we once again feel the pressure and persecution experienced by our relatives in our homeland deep in our hearts. There is no such thing as a holiday for Uyghurs who are forbidden to fast during Ramadan. The Uyghurs are being forced to choose between surrendering to the systematic, oppressive and torture-filled brainwashing operation of the Chinese Communist regime and giving up their faith in Islam, or rotting in prisons and being disappeared. Unfortunately, the people of East Turkistan are entering another Eid abandoned by the Islamic world.”
This Eid al-Fitr, we urge the governments of Muslim majority countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take a strong stance against the genocide and religious persecution of the Uyghurs by the Chinese communist regime. We also call on Islamic NGOs and leaders to voice their support for the Uyghurs and raise awareness of their situation among Muslim communities. Last but not least, let us all come together to remember all those who are suffering in concentration camps, forced labor camps, and everyone separated from their loved ones in our prayers.