The People Declare China Guilty of Genocide

On account of the evidence of torture, systematic suppression of births with intent to destroy a community, and crimes against humanity beyond reasonable doubt, the People’s Tribunal has concluded that the Chinese government is committing genocide against Uyghurs.
Many Uyghur activists and members of the public gathered at Church House Westminster on 9 December to hear the verdict by the Uyghur tribunal. “The allegations are of the gravest human rights violations and international crimes,” said Sir Geoffrey Nice, the tribunal’s chair.

The tribunal called out the haunting evidence of a million Uyghurs being subject to detention by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) without any remotely sufficient reason. Evidence confirmed that detainees were subject to inhumane cell conditions; up to 50 people would sometimes be locked in a 22 square metre cell – making it impossible to lie on concrete – while only being given a communal bucket for a toilet. Some of the torture methods included the pulling off of finger nails, beating with sticks, being restrained in tiger chairs – where feet and hands were locked in position for days, and being put in containers filled with cold water up to the neck. Men and women were subjected to extreme sexual violence, including gang rape, forced penetration with electric shock rods, and iron bars. These are just some of the cruel violations that have taken place and continue to take place in China’s detention camps.

Further methods of control were evidenced by mass disappearances of Uyghur members, Han men forced into Uyghur homes, mass securitisation, neighbours spying on neighbours, intense monitoring of ‘separatist’ behaviour, and the involuntary removal of thousands of children from their families in order to send them to Han state-run boarding schools.

Sir Geoffrey Nice pointed to the lack of evidence of mass killings, as well as Uyghurs being allowed to return to society for short or long periods of time. For this reason, comparisons to the Holocaust were described as “well-intentioned but unhelpful”. Whilst the common understanding of genocide assumes mass killings, this is not the only indicator considered by scholars. It also constitutes the systematic suppression of births, as well as the utter destruction and eradication of a people’s lineage, culture, religion, thought, beliefs, and values, as evidenced by the ‘re-education’ camps and ‘anti-terror’ methods used by the PRC.

The PRC’s intent to biologically destroy the Uyghurs by preventing births met the legal elements of genocide. Surmounting evidence pertaining to the forced sterilisation of Uyghur women was found after considering the frequent insertion of IUD devices, which are only removable by surgical means. In addition, further findings were presented, such as forced abortions at early and late stages of pregnancy, involuntary removal of wombs, as well as the killing of babies at birth.

“The tribunal is satisfied that President Xi Jinping and other very senior officials in the PRC and CCP bear primary responsibility” for acts that occurred in East Turkistan. Let there be no mistake: the PRC’s treatment of Uyghurs links back to their agenda to destroy and eradicate Uyghur religion and culture through the use of ‘anti-terror’, ‘anti-extremism ’, and ‘separatist’ rhetoric. The Chinese state has already destroyed 16,000 mosques and has even torn down cemeteries to build ‘cafes’. In addition, “displays of religious adherence” like attending a mosque, wearing a hijab, having a beard, and not drinking alcohol or eating pork have been proscribed by the state.

Former Guantanamo prisoner and prominent War on Terror critic Moazzam Begg questioned the tribunal about the evidence suggesting the PRC’s exploitation of the War on Terror narrative through the enactment of ‘anti-terror’ policies. “To what extent do you think it has exploited that language and has been able to get away with the targeting of Muslims in East Turkistan as ‘extremists’ and ‘terrorists’?” A member of the tribunal agreed that China was able to “sweep their Uyghur problem under the global war on terrorism. They actually persuaded the US to join in on the categorisation of a Uyghur group outside Xinjiang as a terrorist group. The application of that lasted up until 2018”.

After a year and a half of compiling detailed forms of evidence and finally coming to the necessary outcome of genocide, the public are probably thinking, “What now?” Politicians who were present at the press conference after the tribunal called on the UK government to use the readily available evidence and publicly recognise that a genocide is taking place. This is something they have never succeeded to do while a genocide was ongoing. They also request the UK government to place sanctions on Chinese imports and declare a full diplomatic boycott.

There is no doubt that this tribunal is a significant step in the right direction towards putting pressure on China to end their crimes against the Uyghurs. Alḥamdulillāh, the tribunal did what governments had no courage to do. Sir Geoffrey Nice alludes that both the US and the UK acknowledged China’s crimes, but have done nothing about it.

It would be naïve to place full hopes on those who only seek to further their socio-political agenda. The essence of the problem must be addressed, which is China’s state run policies to suppress and eradicate Muslims and other minorities in East Turkistan, where individuals are tortured and persecuted for their religion. Unless this is done, we cannot expect their actions to sincerely have the Uyghur people’s interests at heart. We wait for the UK to make an open statement about the genocide and actually make references to the list of crimes against humanity taking place. We hope this sends a message to much of the international community who have shown complicity in the heinous crimes against Uyghur Muslims, and urge them once again to take action.

May Allah hasten the Ummah to success and bestow justice upon the Uyghurs and thousands of others around the world being persecuted for their dīn. And last but not least, may He aid us in standing firm with our brothers and sisters.


Communist China’s Barbaric Torture of the Uighurs

China is forcibly sterilizing Uighur women and giving them unwanted abortions in a mission to purge the Muslim minority, report says

FILE PHOTO - A perimeter fence is constructed around what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
A perimeter fence around a detention camp in the Dabancheng district of, Xinjiang, China.
  • Chinese authorities are forcibly sterilizing Uighur Muslim women and performing abortions on them, an Associated Press investigation found.
  • Since 2016, at least 1 million Uighurs have been imprisoned at detention camps as part of Beijing’s moves to stamp out their culture and ethnicity.
  • The AP reported that Uighur women were regularly made to take pregnancy tests and forced into abortions if they test positive.
  • Women have also been forcibly fitted with intrauterine devices, or IUDs, to prevent pregnancy, and in some cases they have been sterilized, the AP said.
  • Citing interviews and data, the AP reported that the measures had affected “hundreds of thousands” of Uighur women.

New evidence has come to light exposing the draconian tactics Chinese authorities are using to persecute Uighur Muslims, including forced abortions, birth control, and sterilization.

An Associated Press report published on Monday cited interviews with 30 former prisoners, family members, and a former detention-camp instructor, as well as government statistics and state documents.

Since 2016, China has interned at least 1 million Uighurs in hundreds of prisons, which it euphemistically calls “reeducation centers” or “vocational training and education centers.” They are, in reality, concentration camps designed to brainwash Uighurs and force them to abandon their heritage and religion.

According to the AP, authorities at the camps and in Xinjiang, the Uighur heartland also known as East Turkestan, have been cracking down on the birth rate by:

  • Regularly subjecting women to pregnancy tests.
  • Forcing those who test positive to have abortions.
  • Forcibly fitting women with intrauterine devices, or IUDs, to prevent pregnancy.
  • Force-feeding Uighur women birth-control pills or injecting them with fluids — without saying what they are — to make them sterile.

Reports of forced abortions and sterilization have surfaced in the past, but the AP investigation indicates that the forced birth control is much more widespread than previously thought. The AP said the measures affected “hundreds of thousands” of Uighur women.

The AP also found that a major reason Uighurs were sent to camps was being deemed to have too many children.

The government ordered one Chinese-born Kazakh woman to get an IUD inserted after her third child, the AP said. She was later told to pay a $2,685 fine for having more than two children.

The AP said it spoke with 15 Uighurs and Kazakhs who said they knew people who had been interned or jailed for having too many children.

Human-rights activists outside the Chinese Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 5.
Pierre Crom/Getty Images

Additionally, the AP said, citing several former detainees, that “women are subjected to forced IUDs and what appear to be pregnancy prevention shots.”

“Many felt dizzy, tired or ill, and women stopped getting their periods,” the AP reported. “After being released and leaving China, some went to get medical check-ups and found they were sterile.”

From 2016 to 2018, the number of sterilizations rose sevenfold in Xinjiang, the AP said.

The birth rate in Xinjiang has plummeted in recent years, largely as a result of the crackdown: It fell by nearly 24% in 2019, the AP said.

Protesters rally in support of the Uighur people in Hong Kong in December.
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

“The parents of three or more” are “ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines,” the AP said. “Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children.”

Beijing’s mission to erase Uighur culture

Beijing is on a mission to erase non-Han Chinese culture. As Business Insider’s Alexandra Ma previously reported, it “sees all Uighur people as terrorists” and often uses religious extremism as a reason to crack down on them.

The government has harnessed tech to monitor the population, including installing spyware on Uighurs’ phonesidentifying them via a file-sharing app, and installing hundreds of thousands of facial-recognition cameras across Xinjiang.

A Chinese government official scanning a QR code on the wall of a house in Xinjiang, giving him access to the residents’ personal information.
Xinjiang state radio via Human Rights Watch

At the camps, prisoners are forced to redecorate their homes to make them look traditionally Chinese and to sing propaganda songs to get food.

Prisoners are also subjected to medical experiments. China has been accused of harvesting the organs of some Uighurs. It has denied the claim.

Last week, the spotlight on China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims intensified after John Bolton, the former US national security adviser, wrote in his new tell-all book that President Donald Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping “should go ahead with building the camps,” adding that Trump thought it “was exactly the right thing to do.”

Shortly after reports about Bolton’s book were published, Trump signed a bill to sanction China over its oppression of Uighurs.

The Stupidity of ‘Rewriting’ the Quran

Authorities in China want to ‘rewrite the Qur’ān’ to fit socialist ‘values’.[1] In other news, the Egyptian coup regime that has executed thousands of pro-democracy activists wants to create a ‘renewed Islamic discourse’ to address ‘extremism’.[2] Hindu extremist groups in India, whose supporters are typically seen glued to bats and Molotov grenades, want to ban the Qur’ān.[3] And the list goes on.

The irony of some of the most extreme and callous people today to try to ‘ban’ or ‘reform’ what predates their long-expired ancestry is only one side of the story. Some in the capitalist west have even gloated at the news. For many, it is not about China rewriting the Qur’ān as much as just having it deformed into anything else. Few in the West openly support changing the words. But calls to somehow change its traditional interpretation to make it more congruent with state power or today’s modern philosophies are becoming all too common.

‘Rewriting the Qur’ān’ to what exactly?  

The Chinese authorities want to ‘reform’ the Qur’ān to suit their ‘socialist values’. Do they mean Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, or a social hierarchy built on the mythical dragon and worm? What exactly does this mean? Will their injunctions and ‘verses’ sanction the Communist Party’s ideologies? Mass detention centres for the cultural genocide of millions of Uyghur Muslims, including banning beards, name-changing, force-feeding, digital surveillance, forced consumption of pork and alcohol, forced marriages, and separating parents from their children?[4]

Perhaps for others, Qur’ānic ‘reform’ was not supposed to take this disproportionate twist. It is simply to align it with the modern political sensibilities of the hyper-liberalised world; what’s the fuss?

Well, here lies a bigger dilemma. The whole point of ‘liberalism’ is derestriction and hectic individualism. ‘Free thinking’ is, after all, a reaction to form and imposition, hence its countless manifestations – maybe as many as its thinkers. ‘Lack of form’ cannot beget form, let alone to ‘reform’. It is trivial. Reform would need to follow someone’s choices and inclinations, but whose choices? If it is those of the committees commissioned to make the changes, their choices would exclude millions of others of human ‘deities’, privileged with their own free thinking.

This is an idiosyncratic rewrite, modernised to fit the current day philosophies. But why must we agree with that, however it is defined, if it can ever be defined? Will it lean towards anarcho-capitalism, classical liberalism, liberal feminism, modern, syncretic, or traditionalist liberalism? Or communism, Marxism, Leninism, or further developments into socialism? But which application: the Cuban, Russian, Swedish, or Chinese? A basic reading into the endless and divergent array of political and economic philosophies produces one conclusion: those wanting to rewrite the Qur’ān are either patently stupid – thinking the only manifestation of thought is their secular thought – or personally dislike Islām’s ideology about as much as its adherents personally dislike theirs.

Outside the realm of Islām (or monotheistic religion altogether), society’s secularists have dealt countless blows to one another over the ages imposing their own secular ideology. Theirs is best suited to govern the world and is the polar opposite to their other secular opponents. If the Qur’ān is ‘reformed’ to suit one ideology, it becomes irrelevant for another. If it is ‘banned’ altogether, would that even help the secular world to settle on the best system without theorising across the ‘right’ and ‘left’ political spectrum?

The world wars in the 20th century and the deaths of around 100 million people is testament to inordinate levels of disharmony in secular political thought. Isn’t trying to synchronise the Qur’ān with either of the ideologies that spurred that magnitude of ‘intolerance’ exactly what would make it intolerant?

In fact, it follows that no two irreligious ideologies have ever agreed on their single main contention with the Qur’ān. This is the clearest proof of the objectivity of the Qur’ān and the subjectivity of its detractors! In other words, if you think the Qur’ān clearly needs changing, first work out what is clearly right, convince us it is clearly right, before telling us what is clearly wrong! In fact, some anti-religious thought, such as Dawkins, holds that it only takes overcoming a taboo for anything to be right, even eating dead human flesh.[5]

The Qur’ān asserts, proves, and challenges others to disprove that it is the unequivocal truth from the Divine, whilst the counter theories of individual secularist (or atheist) thinkers are, at best, different to one another. And two counter ideologies cannot simultaneously be the best:

What you are promised is certainly true. The Judgement will certainly take place! By Heaven with its oscillating orbits. You certainly have differing beliefs. Averted from it is he who is averted.[6]

Separating the ‘Sheikhs’ from the ‘Shakes’

The Qur’ān will simply not be changed. Neither its word, not its intended interpretation. Besides Allāh’s promised divine protection, history testifies to this reality. The Mongols, for instance, wreaked havoc in the Muslim world. Their assault sought nothing less than the total extermination of Islām, and maybe even the world. They were the largest contiguous empire the world has ever seen. They invaded some 16% of the earth, massacred inordinate numbers, and decimated a vast amount of literature. The Muslims’ epochal battle of Ain Jalut was the first time the Mongol advance was permanently halted, and the Muslim Mamluks salvaged the Western world from the Mongolians’ attempt at world domination. But the point is that if Genghis Khan failed to eradicate Islām or the Qur’ān, then Xi Jinping definitely will fail in the same venture.

As nervous as it makes some, there are in fact countless benefits from the attacks against the Qur’ān. For conciseness, let us just take one example. The nature of the Qur’ān is such that the more you study it, the more it convinces and overwhelms. This is ironic because so far as its social code is concerned, the typical criticisms are around its penal code, rights afforded to men and women, and the institution and regulation of Jihad under its state. Out of the entire Qur’ān, these issues end up being studied the most by Muslims on the receiving end of criticism which, in turn, presents to them the compelling acumen behind that jurisdiction. In other words, Muslims have become experts and are particularly equipped to deal with issues at least one strand of secularist thought has raised as contentious.

Recently, I was moved by a verse about legal retribution for a murderer after reading into its Tafsīr. This is partly thanks to the Islamophobic narrative that cannot get enough of repeating the same criticisms and hearing the same answers. The criticism has to do with the Qur’ān endorsing capital punishment for the killer as retribution. In such circumstances, the authority to punish lies squarely with the victim’s family. During the verse’s discourse, however, Allāh emphatically appeals to Ukhuwwah (brotherhood) to encourage amnesty:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى ۖ الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالْأُنثَىٰ بِالْأُنثَىٰ ۚ فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَاءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ

You who have Īmān! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the case of people killed: free man for free man, slave for slave, female for female. But if someone is absolved by his brother (pardoned from retaliation), blood-money should be claimed with correctness and paid with good will.[7]

In the most heart-rending reminder of Allāh’s mercy, seamlessly weaved into a ‘legal verse’, the murderer of your relative is referred to, not as a ‘murderer’, assailant or enemy, but your sibling. If one were to open the Magna Carta, or any social or legal code in the world, would it, in elucidating punishment, momentarily move off the technical and legal discourse to touchingly appeal to the status of the killer as a sibling? Does the narrative of your human rights even give way to amnesty for the sake of indispensable reward in another world?

Yes, attacks against the Qur’ān have shaken some of the doubtful ‘shakes’ among us off the fence. ‘Shakes’, however, should never think that their doubts will take them into a universe of philosophical certainties. The difference is that Islām would have provided confident answers, had they asked, whilst the alternative secularist plethoric ocean of questions the shaker ends up in wouldn’t. After all, a philosophy that cannot answer the question of why we exist will clearly fail to provide a convincing narrative on how we should exist!

But more importantly, these attacks have also created ‘Sheikhs’ who are not sitting on the fence. A new breed and calibre of certain Muslims (with yaqīn, intellectual certainty), which is refreshing. If it were not for the unrelenting attack on Islām they would have remained ordinary, like a drop in the ocean. Maybe they would not have studied the Qur’ān’s nuances, subtleties, and profound sciences, nor would they have grasped some of its endless beauty nor shared them with others. And if certainty is pervading our hearts concerning the ‘contentious’ verses in particular, how then of the others?

Let us thank Allāh for the contentment and delight of Islām, and ask Him to guide humanity to His Light.

Walhamdu lillāhi rabbil ‘ālamīn.





[6] Al-Qur’ān 59:5-9

[7] Al-Qur’ān 2:178

China’s Concentration Camps: What Can We Do?

It was just a week ago when news outlets, including Islam21C, [1] reported on a joint letter signed by 22 UN ambassadors condemning China for their abhorrent treatment of Uyghur Muslims. They collectively stated:

“We call also on China to refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of movement of Uighurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang.” [2]

Whilst such statements are perhaps lacking in any tangible consequence, they are still welcome and at least continue to apply some pressure on China to halt its attempts to ethnically cleanse our Uyghur brothers and sisters in the East Turkestan region.

However, what was most striking about the joint statement, was the absence of a single Muslim-majority country as a signatory. Nations across Europe and as far as Canada, Australia, and Japan, signed the letter, but there was a deafening silence from the Muslim world. Not anymore though.

On Friday evening, a new letter was published; this time it was signed by 37 states, including a number of Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan, along with the likes of Myanmar and Russia. But rather than adding to the condemnation of blatant human rights abuses, these nations instead wrote in support of China, somewhat echoing statements of Chinese propaganda:

“We commend China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.” [3]
“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalisation measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centres. Now safety and security has returned to Xinjiang.” [4]

Further signatories of this shocking letter included Qatar, Kuwait, and the tyrannical Assad regime. Considering the other signatories, the only surprising fact was that no one signed on behalf of Egypt’s coup dictator, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi!

The shock and focus of the Muslim world switched from the silence of their so-called leaders to witnessing their explicit support for the severe oppression of fellow believers. In a well-known ḥadīth, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [5]

We may wonder; if this is the weakest form of faith, what then is the active support of such evil?

A Recent Timeline of Worsening Abuse
China’s treatment of the Uyghur population of East Turkestan has been making occasional headlines for a number of years, albeit with limited attention from the mainstream media. The 12-million-strong population in the resource-rich region of East Turkestan have faced a series of measures over the years under the guise of ‘fighting terrorism’. Starting with reports of Muslims being prevented from fasting and the banning of the ḥijāb and growing of beards, [6] measures widened around 2016 to 2017 to restrictions on naming of children with Muslim names, [7] banning the Qur’ān and prayer mats, [8] and limiting travel for Ḥajj.[9]

Yet, with the exception of Turkey quietly raising concerns, [10] Muslim nations remained silent, as did the world at large.

It was only in 2018 when reports emerged of large numbers of Muslims being forcibly taken into detention centres in the region, that the UN and certain nations started to raise concerns. In April 2018, one US diplomat estimated that somewhere between tens and hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims had been locked up in these centres. [11] Very little information was offered on what occurs in these prisons, which China refers to as ‘voluntary re-education camps’.

Furthermore, the crackdown reportedly widened to extreme digital surveillance, force-feeding of pork and alcohol, [12] and even forcing Muslim women to marry ethnic Han Chinese men.

Fast-forward to today – less than 18 months later – and it is said that more than 4.4 million Uyghurs are being held. That is more than 1 in every 3 Muslims in the region! [13] A recent BBC report also detailed how children are being separated from their parents, with no contact allowed at all. [14] It reported that China has spent $1.2 billion on upgrading school facilities to accommodate these removed children, who now face a similar fate to their parents in concentration camps.

The situation is described by China expert, Adrian Zenz, as “cultural genocide” [14]:

“I think the evidence for systematically keeping parents and children apart is a clear indication that Xinjiang’s government is attempting to raise a new generation cut off from original roots, religious beliefs and their own language.”

“I believe the evidence points to what we must call cultural genocide.” [14]

As prominent journalist CJ Werlemen put it, we are witness to the “largest industrial scale persecution of a religious minority since the Holocaust” [15] and we find Muslim leaders, at best, staying silent, and at worst, speaking in support of such persecution!

Perhaps it is not that surprising in some cases, given that the Saudi Crown Prince has praised the measures in the past, saying “Saudi Arabia respects and supports it [persecution of the Uyghurs under the pretext of fighting terrorism] and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China” [16] whilst the United Arab Emirates was alleged to have deported an Uyghur mu’addhin at random, amongst others, seeking to please the Chinese. [17]

Why is the Muslim World so Silent?
The abysmal silence of Muslim political leadership has previously been explained by Lukman Harees in an article: China is a key trade partner to almost every Muslim country – to the extent that turning against China would probably result in severe damage to their economies. Furthermore, it is a sad reality that many of our leaders are known for their lack of Islamic principles – i.e. their own corruption and their abuse of the rights of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) and His creation – so they are hardly likely to throw stones from their glasshouses.

Muslims around the world yearn and pray for a time when our response would be like that of the story of the Muslim woman and Caliph al-Muʿtaṣim, in 837 CE. In this well-known historical event, one of our sisters was attacked by a group of Romans whilst in their land, and she was locked up unjustly. She cried out to the Muslim ruler at the time, al-Muʿtaṣim, who was thousands of miles away. But her call was heard by a passer-by, who rushed to make this incident known to the Caliph.

Upon hearing what had happened, the response was immediate. Al-Muʿtaṣim said:

“A report has reached me that one Muslim sister was attacked in a Roman city. I swear by God, I will send an army that is so big that when it reaches them, it [the tail end of the army] is still leaving our base. And tell me the strongest city of these Romans and I will send the army to that city.”

The army, led by al-Muʿtaṣim himself, swiftly defeated the oppressors in their most fortified land, ʿAmūriyyah, and rescued the woman. [18]

This incident highlights the sanctity and honour of a fellow believer and shows how oppression against even one sister was dealt with – under true Islamic leadership. Indeed, paying to free captives is from amongst the categories of zakāt, [19] showing just how significant eradicating such oppression is in our dīn. Imām Mālik mentioned:

“It is obligatory for the people to ransom those taken as prisoners of war, even if doing so consumes all their property.” [20]

Read More: Why the Muslim World is Silent Over China’s Repression of Uyghurs

What Can We Do Today?
Recalling an incident from our rich Islamic history is all well and good, and it shows us what we are sadly missing – especially when contrasted against many of the puppet regimes in place today. But the natural question is, what can we do about this injustice?

We are an ummah of 1.6 billion, from various backgrounds and various levels of religious adherence. But regardless of how ‘practising’ one is of their religion, it is safe to say that almost every single one of those 1.6 billion will witness the suffering of our brothers and sisters in East Turkestan and feel pain in their hearts, just as we do when we see suffering elsewhere in the world. This is brotherhood and sisterhood, on top of natural human instinct and empathy.

As mentioned in the ḥadīth further above, when we are faced with an act of evil, the best thing one can do is seek to change it with their hands – within one’s ability – and failing that, speak against the crime.

Some of the actions available to almost every Muslim, certainly in the Western world, include:

I. Trying our best to avoid Chinese goods. The consumer power of 1.6 billion Muslims should not be underestimated, and even if a small portion of these boycotted Chinese goods (to the extent possible), the impact will be felt. A large number of Muslims support the BDS campaign against Zionist occupation; why can this not be extended to China for their crimes.

Recently, CJ Werleman has led this call, acknowledging that whilst there may be Chinese presence in almost every product, there are still specific corporations that are vital to the Chinese economy, such as from Huawei, Vivo, Lenovo, ZTE, Anker, Haier, and others from the technology sector. He details other sectors and well-known, easily-avoidable brands that could be targeted. More can be found here.

II. Speaking out frequently and raising awareness on the plight of our brothers and sisters in East Turkestan. One should never underestimate the power of speaking out against evil. China, for such a large and seemingly powerful nation, is incredibly sensitive to criticism. This can be clearly seen from the way they have responded to reports about Uyghur treatment, starting with blanket denials, to speaking of “voluntary re-education camps”, and now taking the desperate step of inviting foreign diplomats and journalists to visit the centres themselves.

Those foreign visitors the sites face the awkwardness of seeing blatant staged events, and scripted interviews, that are so obviously done out of force, that it ends up being even more damning on China – as recently reported by the BBC when they said:

“This was China’s narrative in the mouths of people selected for us, and for whom any cross-examination might pose a serious risk.” [21]

Another example is China’s response to the original critical statement last week. Within days, a counter statement had been prepared and signed by their 37 friends and desperate partners, that has been noted to be almost verbatim matching the Chinese script. [4]

III. Following on from the above, we, as Muslims, must continue to work towards empowering our own voices and media narratives rather than having to rely on others who may lack transparency and are highly selective in what they choose to show outrage over.

For example, one might notice that we have 22 mainly-Western nations, leading calls for justice in China. In fact Western media, such as the BBC, have recently been doing a commendable job of raising awareness of the plight of the Uyghurs as well.

But whilst their stance on this particular matter is praiseworthy in spirit; it is, of course, only done due to seeing the likes of China and Russia as unfriendly or inferior nations. One can easily contrast their reaction to this matter against their reaction to the crimes of Zionist occupiers, both on a state and a media level.

If there was genuine concern for justice, there would be uniformity in their condemnation for any oppression, and concerted efforts to eradicate Islamophobia and any other discrimination wherever it is found – including within the ranks of the Tory leadership.

The narrative of Muslims, by being based on the true justice of the Sharīʿah, should be powerful enough to push others towards greater transparency and consistency; which would in turn result in a fairer media and far more public pressure to end oppression in all of its forms.

IV. Raising awareness of the harmful nature of so-called ‘counter-extremism’ policies that are Islamophobic in nature and promoted by state actors and their cheerleaders. Across Europe and the USA, we see many policies and programmes such as ‘Prevent’ that are baseless in their approach and place entire communities under suspicion. The reality is these programmes, in their nature, are no different to China’s approach to the Uyghurs.

Yes, they may be on completely different scales, but they share the underlying and fundamental principle of looking at Muslims with suspicion and treating religious practice as a ‘conveyor-belt to terrorism’. It is the same narrative, just that one is carried out by liberal democracies and one by a secretive Communist state.

V. The above four steps can only make a big impact through the unity of Muslims; working together towards greater good. Our differences should never prevent achieving greater good – and it is something we should be striving for. Furthermore, such cooperation will only empower Muslims and ultimately make them less reliant on others, and perhaps one day end the perceived need to be subservient to corrupt nations.

Alongside this, we must also work towards reducing our dependence on unjust regimes, be they China or the USA. This means strengthening transparency, democracy, and accountability in public and civil society institutions in Muslim-majority countries to bring them closer to the ideals they once lived by before they were dismantled and pillaged by colonisers. We each have a part to play, be it as a dāʿī, a parent, a politician, an entrepreneur, a civil servant, an aid worker; the reawakening, revival, and strengthening of the ummah requires everyone to do their part.

VI. Making duʿā’ for our ummah and never despairing. One should never underestimate the power of duʿā’, and one should certainly never lose hope in the mercy of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā). He is Most-Wise, and He is Most-Just.

These six steps may not seem like game-changers that will immediately fix the problem or free the Muslims of China and elsewhere from oppression in the way al-Muʿtaṣim freed the oppressed woman, but we are not judged by Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) on the outcome of our actions – as He says in Sūrat al-Aʿrāf:

وَإِذۡ قَالَتۡ أُمَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوۡمًا‌ۙ ٱللَّهُ مُهۡلِكُهُمۡ أَوۡ مُعَذِّبُہُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا‌ۖ قَالُواْ مَعۡذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ

“And when a community among them said, ‘Why do you advise a people whom Allāh is [about] to destroy or punish with a severe punishment?’, they said ‘to be absolved before your Lord.’ And perhaps they may fear Him.” [22]

Hence witnessing change should not be our primary focus – the key is to take action, with sincerity and according to our ability – as this is what we will be judged upon.

What will you prepare for your answer before Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā)?
May Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) free all of our brothers and sisters from oppression, forgive our shortcomings and give us the tawfīq to get to work. Āmīn.







[5] Saḥīḥ Muslim














[19] Al-Qur’ān 9:60

[20] Fiqh al-Sunnah, Volume 3


[22] Al-Qur’ān 7:164