US Holocaust Museum condemns China for treatment of Uyghurs

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, an organization whose aim is to fight against modern attempts at genocide, has released a stern report in which it criticizes China for that nation’s treatment of ethnic Turkish Muslims living in Xinjiang.

The center, which is a part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, issued a report titled “‘To Make Us Slowly Disappear’: The Chinese Government’s Assault on the Uyghurs” in which experts expressed “grave concern” that China was attempting a genocide against its Uyghur population.

“The Museum’s findings, based on publicly available information, demonstrate that China is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect its citizens from genocide and crimes against humanity,” a page on the Holocaust Museum’s website reads.

Uyghurs are ethnic Turks, most of whom practice Sunni Islam and live scattered among numerous nations. However, the largest population of Uyghurs, about 12.8 million, is found in China.

The Chinese government has a long, checkered history with its Uyghur population.

In 2014, according to Human Rights Watch – which in April of 2021 issued its own report highlighting Chinese atrocities – China launched a “Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism” in Xinjiang, where a Uyghur autonomous zone is found.

Human Rights Watch quotes Chinese religious affairs official Maisumujiang Maimuer as having said in 2017 that the nation’s goal was to, “Break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins. Completely shovel up the roots of ‘two-faced people,’ dig them out, and vow to fight these two-faced people until the end.”

According to the Simon-Skjodt report, the Chinese government has increased its efforts to forcibly assimilate or remove its Uyghur population.

Among the measures taken have been mass surveillance of Uyghur communities, which has been used to incarcerate between 1 and 3 million people in government-run detention centers, prisons, and labor camps.

More recently, the government has begun taking steps to prevent Uyghur women from bearing children by means of forced sterilization or the compelled use of intrauterine birth control devices. Additionally, detention centers have been used as a means of separating men from women.

“The persecutory nature of violations perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghurs of Xinjiang and the privileging of Han Chinese (the majority ethnic group) culture over that of other communities, is all the more alarming when set against the CCP’s coercive efforts to curtail female reproductive capacity,” the report reads. “There is an increasing entrenchment of Han supremacist values in the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs, which has nurtured an environment where genocidal ideologies can take root.”

Chinese officials have maintained there is no validity to such reports, even as more and more evidence emerges.

In light of China’s human rights issues, United States businesses have faced increased social pressure of late in their dealings with China.

Perhaps most notably, Disney received backlash in 2020 for filming some scenes for its live-action remake of “Mulan” in Xinjiang, at least one person argued within sight of reeducation camps, and thanking that city’s leadership in its credits.

According to a USHMM webpage, “The mandate of the Simon-Skjodt Center is to alert the United States’ national conscience, influence policy makers, and stimulate worldwide action to prevent and work to halt acts of genocide or related crimes against humanity, and advance justice and accountability.”

This was the second report from the center about China’s treatment of Uyghurs. In 2020, the center announced it was reasonable to believe China had committed crimes against humanity.