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World Uyghur Congress President - Mr Dolkun Isa visits ICC

21 January 2019

Written by: Dr. Mozammel Haque

The President of the World Uyghur Congress, Mr. Dolkun Isa along with his delegation visited the Islamic Cultural Centre, London on Monday, the 21st of January, 2019 and met Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan, the Director General of the London Central Mosque Trusts and the Islamic Cultural Centre and his staff at the Board Room of the Centre. Dr. al-Dubayan introduced the Islamic Cultural Centre and gave a brief history, background of the foundation of the Centre as well as the activities of the Mosque and the Centre.

World Uyghur Congress President - Mr Dolkun Isa

The President of the World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa introduced the situation of Uyghur in Eastern Turkestan. He said, “Xinjiang is autonomous, China does not call Eastern Turkestan. China calls Xinjiang; it is a Chinese name. Xin is new and jiang is border territory. It is a new territory for China. The territorial size is 1.6 million square kilometres (640,000 square miles); it is five times larger than Germany; may be, five or six times larger than the United Kingdom. Most of the places are mountain; only 4.6 per cent inhabitable; 94 per cent is mountainous; but it is rich territory; it is rich in resources, uranium, gold. This is the main reason for the Chinese government. Though the territory is rich, but we the Turkestani people are very poor, because we cannot use all the natural resources; never been benefitted by the Uyghur people. It is used by the Chinese government.”

Speaking about the political climate of China, Uyghur President mentioned, “In 1949 the Communist Party came into power and took control of Eastern Turkestan and in 1955 they gave autonomy to Eastern Turkestan but Turkistani people never seen the real autonomy; just the fake autonomy; or paper autonomy. Even today we have also lot of rights according to constitution. Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution guarantee freedom; everybody can believe their religion; but today in practice we don’t believe in religion. Particularly the constitution did not really practice since the current president of China, Xi Jinping. Since 2013, he attacked all religions; not only the Uyghur Eastern Turkestani Muslims even Han Chinese, Tibetan and all the people already persecuted.”

President Dolkun Isa then talked about the Chinese Cultural Revolution of 1966. There was ten years cultural revolution. “At that time lots of religious people were put in jail. People are talking about genocide, people talking of justice. May be, Hitler killed 20 million people or Stalin killed more than Hilter; but Mao Se Tung already killed 48 million people. But nobody was talking about this. He killed during Cultural Revolution time,” mentioned about Chinese Cultural Revolution period.

The current Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping was party secretary in Tibet. In August 2016, he was appointed communist party secretary in Turkestan. About him President Isa said, “He brutally killed Tibetan people. From 2014 to 2016 more than 160 Tibetan people burned themselves. That is the only choice they have.”

Concentration camps
President Isa then talked about re-education camps. He said, “Xi Jinping used his experience in Tibet and implemented very strong way that rule in Turkestan. In March or April 2017 he started new regulation called re-education camp. It is actually concentration camp. Some international media called this re-education camp; others called it detention camps; some called concentration camp. However it is re-education centre. Today it has more than 3 million people; in 2018, its number was one million. Since then only after one year passed, we heard every day new people sent to the camp; never heard people came out from the camps. So many killed,”

Muhammad Salih 82 was killed
President Isa talked about Muhammad Salih. “Muhammad Salih translated Qur’an in Uyghur language in 1980s by the order of the Chinese government. But thirty years later because of this job, he was put in the camps in November 2017 and two months later he died in the camp. He was 82-years old,” he mentioned.

Mosques destroyed or demolished
Chen Quanguo became party secretay of the region in August 2016, moved from Tibet.  Speaking about him, WUC President Isa mentioned, “In 2016 after the Chen Quanguo appointed party secretary first and he started confiscation of the Qur’an. In 2016-2017, he destroyed 3,000 to 5,000 mosques in Turkestan. We tried to explain the whole of the world; but nobody listened to us really. Within one year, 3000 to 5,000 mosques completely destroyed. Step by step all the Islamic scholars arrested and sent to re-education camps; step by step in 2016 they issued some special cards to enter to mosques; and step by step they forbidden Ramadan fasting.”

Fasting During Ramadan Forbidden
WUC President spoke about Fasting in Ramadan was forbidden. He said, “In 2016, may be, you have heard this news in the BBC, CNN or all the international media reported over the fasting. Fasting was forbidden but some people felt to fast; so they started fasting secretly. Then Chinese government does not care whether the government employees eat and drink during lunch time; but in 2016 and 2017, Chinese government during the lunch time in Ramadan provided water and food; forced to eat and drink; otherwise they will be punished. Fasting is the personal choice; you fast or not; but in the 21st century in my country, fasting is forbidden.”

“It is the old tradition of the Turkestani people to fast during Ramadan. During the Ramadan time, all restaurants are closed; just open at Iftar time; but the government forced to open, you should open the restaurants during the daytime. Whoever closes the restaurant during the daytime in Ramadan, will have to close all the time. Their business will be closed. Plus they are forced to sell alcohol and cigarettes in all the Muslim restaurants,” he mentioned.

Alcohol-drinking competition in Ramadan
WUC President also mentioned about alcohol beer-drinking competition during Ramadan. He said, “In 2015, for the first time alcohol beer-drinking competitions during Ramadan time was introduced and implemented and last year in 2018 implemented among the woman.  In 2016, Chinese government gathered all the imams and all the sheikhs and forced them to dance in front of bus. And today China is not only against Turkestani people, not only against Uyghur people; it really starts war against Islam.”

China starts really war against Islam
Speaking about the Qur’an, WUC President mentioned, “In 2016 and 2017, government orders all the people to bring the Qur’an to the local government or to the police station before July 2017; Uyghurs who have Qur’an should bring to the local government; if you don’t bring and if they find this; then you would be punished. The local government asks why you keep the Qur’an; are you reading? Does not matter whether they read it or not. Some scholars do not read the Qur’an but just keep it; but then there are lots of questions and then they did arrest the people who were afraid to bring the Qur’an to the local government but there is one river Ulja river; people in the middle night throw the Qur’an into the river. This is the situation.”

Muslim names Forbidden
President Isa also mentioned about the Muslim names. He said, “When China saw there was no response from the Islamic world, it started step by step other harsh actions. China said, okay, I can do more; step by step they today you cannot give Muslim names even to your baby, to your children; Muhammad, Ahmad, Shahid, Ayesha, Khadija all these names are forbidden. You cannot give such a name to any baby today. Even then came the next regulation: under 16-year old if you have already such a name you have to change.  The government orders: ‘Please change the name, you don’t have to pay alteration and admission fee to the government. So nice of the Chinese government!”

Cannot greet Islamic greeting:
It is a cultural war
WUC President talked about the cultural war. He mentioned, “Today all the mosques are closed in East Turkestan but some mosques are open. China has two types of Muslims:  East Turkestani Muslims, Uyghur, Kazak, Uzbek and the Qui Muslims; then there are Tunqa Muslims; they are 11 million Muslims. They speak in Chinese language. But they are Muslims. They go to the Mosques but Turkestani people are not allowed to go to Mosque; cannot read the Qur’an, and today you cannot greet each other in Islamic greeting – Assalamu Alaikum. It is a cultural war; you cannot greet each other Assalamu Alaikum.”

Check point every 200 meters
WUC President then mentioned about the checking of smart phone. He said, “On your way police will stop you and ask you for smart phone. Every 200 meters there is check point. In the capital of Turkestan 960 police man in the station; it means every 200 to 300 meters there is check point. They ask the people to stop and ask for their smart phone. In any phone,  if they find any word religious or Islam that will be a big problem for you. That’s why people today, really afraid to use smart phone.”

President Isa lamented on the
silence of Muslim world
President Isa lamented, “All these things are happening in Eastern Turkistan, Muslim world just silent on this. Three years ago, one of the catholic pastors in New York burnt Qur’an on the street; world Muslims stood up; Turkestani people gathered and protested against him and it was stopped because it was in America. But today China burnt the Qur’an but no news, no reaction from the world. We cannot give the names; we cannot say Salam alaikum.”

Mother passed away in the
concentration camp
Speaking about his personal tragedy, Isa mentioned, “I personally lost communication in the middle of April 2017. Since then I have no news; my mother passed away in the concentration camp; my mother was 78 years old lady; and I lost contact with her. Just 12 June last year 2018 suddenly I got the sad news; breaking news that my mother passed away.”

“It is 21st century I tried to contact; communication is not the issue for the people. I am trying to contact world institutions how she was passed away? Still I did not have an idea about this. What was happening? She passed away in camps and I had no idea. International media rung the police station two three weeks later and I heard my mother was arrested one year ago; put her into concentration camps and she passed away nearly one year later. She was 78 years old lady. We believe in God, we believe in Allah; I can meet her in the next life. My father is 90 years old but I had no idea whether he is alive or dead. No news coming; no news,” lamented Isa.

WUC President also mentioned about his other relations. He said, “After I got the news of my mother passed away I was crying. I suffered quite a couple of months; okay I make dua for her; but I have no idea about my father; whether he is alive or dead. My younger brother has disappeared since May 2017; he was in concentration camps. This time just a couple of weeks ago, I heard about my older brother; he was a professor; he was sentenced for thirty years.”

What type of re-education is this?
WUC President questioned about the type of re-education is this. He said, “Today couple of hundreds professors, scholars, lawyers are in the camps. China said, we are re-educating them. Do you really re-educate the professors, for what purpose? Even some professors already 90 years-old; 90-years-old professors will be educated; yes. Actually the Chinese government have the ethnic cleansing policy there. They actually start war against Islam. We are suffering because we are Muslims. That’s the issue.”

Double-faced Chinese government
President Isa mentioned about the double-faced China. He said, “The Chinese government has two faces: if they visit Western countries they say woh, we are victim of terrorism, because the Western world believes Muslim and Islam is terrorism; yes China uses the same. Uyghur is Muslim. That’s why, China argued they are victim of terrorism; and on the China’s list I am on the top of the terrorist list. My name was in the Interpol; I have been suffering 21 years; fortunately last year 2018 February finally my name is deleted from the Interpol. I have been fighting; never stopped fighting. I have never seen bomb in my life. I have never seen real gun in my life; I just saw in the movie; but I am top number of terrorism.”

“China is trying all; if you read Qur’an you are terrorist; if you are saying Salam Alaikum you are immediately called terrorist; because in January 2016 China has passed a new bill Counter-terrorism Law. If you say Salam Alaikum; it is terrorism; everything is terrorism. If China has diplomatic communication with the Western countries they say we are victim of terrorism. We Turkestani are terrorists,” said President Isa and added, “If they go to Muslim countries, they say we have Muslim minorities. They cheat the people; because of ethnicity, because of religion, we really suffer for this.  Step by step they are doing it. They are coming to the other parts of China.  Muslims in China as well. So it is really an unimaginable situation now in Turkestan.”

We Turkestani seek help from the Muslim World
WUC President urged the Muslim world to help Turkestani Muslims. He appealed to the Muslim world. “We seek help from the Muslim world; your help; we need because it is 21st century if someone say China to stop; it works. Lot of lobbying work are needed. There is United Nations; there are more than 15 European countries; we have to work with them.  6th of November, 2018, United Nations review China’s human rights report. More than 4,000 Turkistani people gathered in the United Nations Geneva; we held a big demonstration.  Before this, on 27 April, another 5000 Turkistani people gathered before the European Council in the Brussels. We held big demonstrations. Now slowly slowly international media pay attention to the Uyghur situation and the United Nations special session on China 14 countries sit all and they asked the Chinese government to close immediately these camps and they closed these camps. UK also spoke; Germany also spoke. Unfortunately, no one Muslim country except Malaysia.”

Islam is illness and this must be
Eradicated: It’s a slogan
Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan wanted to know the human rights situation in other parts of China and also enquire about the other religious communities in China. President Isa replied, “There are lots of problem also; there is lots of human rights lawyer, human rights defenders were in jail and some persecution of Christians as well; because Chinese communists party is anti-religious government. Today Chinese Christians are also victims of Chinese persecution. Today Buddhists in Tibet also.”

“But if you compare the situations of Muslims with some other religious groups; it is unbelievable; because Chinese government say Islam is illness; yes, they openly say this. Islam is illness and this illness must be eradicated; it is a slogan,” mentioned WUC President Isa.

Written by: Dr. Mozammel Haque

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