• Washington DC
Follow Us:

UN Panel: Uyghur Genocide Is the Epitome of State-Sanctioned Islamophobia

CUS Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 8, 2024



On July 5, 2024, the Center for Uyghur Studies (CUS) co-organized a panel discussion titled “Countering Islamophobia in Asia: From Awareness to Action” as part of the 56th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, alongside CAP Liberté de Conscience and Campaign for Uyghurs. The panel included experts and activists from various countries, including Turkish MP Ayyuce Turkes, Khairul Anwar Ismail, former Deputy President of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), Adlan Athori, Secretary-General of OIC Youth Indonesia, Thierry Valle, President of CAP Liberté de Conscience, Rushan Abbas, Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, and Abdulhakim Idris, Executive Director of CUS. The panelists discussed the rising threat of Islamophobia in China, offering diverse perspectives.

Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris highlighted the concrete Islamophobic policies of the CCP in East Turkistan, stating, “The Chinese regime’s genocidal policies in the Uyghur homeland are the epitome of state-sanctioned Islamophobia. All Islamic practices have been criminalized, resulting in millions of Uyghur Muslims being detained in concentration camps under the pretense of ‘re-education.’ Since 2014, thousands of mosques have been demolished, closed, or repurposed. The Chinese government has burned the Quran and destroyed religious materials. In 2017, a government document labeled Islam a ‘mental illness’ to be eradicated. Under the label of ‘Sinicization,’ Uyghur customs are forced to conform to Chinese norms, and even Islamic elements are removed from Uyghur architecture. In a nutshell, Uyghurs are denied the right to practice their religion under China’s Islamophobic policies.”

Mohd Khairul Anwar Ismail, a Malaysian lawyer and former Deputy President of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), underscored China’s Islamophobic policies against the Uyghur people. He stated, “The Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslims is one of the most severe instances of Islamophobia. The Uyghurs have been subjected to mass internment in what the government calls ‘re-education camps,’ which also include forced labor, forced sterilization, and other atrocities. This systematic persecution of the Uyghur people has been recognized as genocide by various countries and international bodies.”

Adlan Athori, Secretary-General of OIC Youth Indonesia, emphasized the importance of Muslim countries responding to the Uyghur Genocide. “As a Muslim country, Indonesia is responsible for responding to the Uyghur crisis according to the principles of solidarity and brotherhood. We must speak against the human rights violations of the Uyghur people and call for a peaceful resolution.”

This event provided a rare opportunity to shed light on the Islamophobic policies of the Chinese government at the United Nations, an important topic that has been neglected over the years. As Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris noted, “When Islamophobia is mentioned, China rarely comes to people’s minds. The reason is that China has been successful in covering its Islamophobic policies and religious persecution of Muslims over the decades.”

Last year, CUS published the report “Islamophobia in China and Attitudes of Muslim Countries” to bring attention to this topic. The report examines the CCP’s systemic and historic Islamophobic policies since 1949, aimed at “Sinicizing” Islam and Muslims. It details China’s war on Islam in East Turkistan over the past seven decades, especially in recent years, and exposes China’s disinformation campaigns and propaganda to prevent global Muslim outrage. The report concludes by highlighting the OIC’s failure to address the Uyghur genocide and the attitudes of Muslim-majority countries toward the issue. It is available in Arabic, English, Turkish, Russian, Malay, and Indonesian.

Post navigation

Copyright Center for Uyghur Studies - All Rights Reserved