Why Are Jews Protesting China’s Uighur Genocide Louder Than Muslims?
Too many British Muslims are silent about China’s abuse of Uighur Muslims, buying China’s own denialism, backed by many Arab states, and refusing to protest with the ‘wrong’ kind of Muslim, or with ‘Zionist entrapment’ Jews
Rows of men, their shaven heads bowed, eyes blindfolded and sitting on the ground, close to waiting trains. Their hands seem to be constrained; guards walk in between the rows of identically-garbed detainees. That’s what a leaked drone video of Chinese Uighur Muslims from Xinjiang showed, and which went viral online.
The video, verified as having been shot in Xinjiang in August 2019, rightly led to online uproar. When the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, was invited on a UK primetime TV talk show to explain the footage, he added insult to injury by attempting to deflect clear, detailed questioning.
Xiaoming looked like he had been caught in the headlights, as the video played in a loop on the screen behind him. While he was claiming that, in China, “We treat every ethnic group as equal,” those young men could be seen onscreen being marched off to the trains, mostly likely to one of the “re-education” detention camps established by the Chinese state in which it is estimated one million Uigurs are being detained.
Those images of de-individualized detainees waiting to be transported, coupled with reports that China was exporting tons of human hair cut from the scalps of interned Uigurs, and their Nazi resonances made waves in with British Jewish communities. Echoes of the steps towards the mass mechanical genocide of the Holocaust have activated British Jews into becoming a collective voice for the defense of the Uighurs.
The community’s umbrella representative body, the Board of Deputies, wrote to the Chinese Ambassador saying no one “could fail to notice” the similarities between the Xianjiang video and Nazi Germany. The Holocaust Educational Trust’s chair made an explicit analogy with the Holocaust, saying “Every news report, every video online, every testimony should be a rallying cry for all of us,” and that “We Jews, of all people, must not be silent over the Uighurs.” The Reform Movement’s senior rabbis declared that defending the Uighurs was “the only moral option we have.”
The president of the United Synagogue, representing the UK’s Orthodox synagogues, also invoked the Holocaust as a reason to speak out: “Those carrying out these acts in Xinjiang may already be complicit in genocide according to the UN Genocide Convention.” The former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, wrote “That people in the 21st century are being murdered, terrorised, victimised, intimidated and robbed of their liberties because of the way they worship God is a moral outrage, a political scandal and a desecration of faith itself.”
At times like this, I remember who actually stood with Bosnian Muslims when they were savaged by the Serbs. I remember listening to Kemal Pervanic, a Bosnian Muslim survivor of the Omarska concentration camp, when he described how Serb military and paramilitary forces forces had killed, humiliated and mutilated Bosniaks in Tuzla, Omarska and Sarajevo in the mid-1990s. They kept the Muslim prisoners so thirsty that many of them were forced to drink contaminated water from the industrial warehouses in which they were detained.
Source and More: Haaretz.com