BY AMBER JUAREZ
Photo courtesy of AP Images. Muslim Indians in China protesting against Muslim detention camps.
According to BBC news, China has been hiding Muslim detention camps which they have locked up approximately thousands of Muslims ages 20-79 in the western region of Xinjiang. On Oct. 24, 2018, BBC news conducted a full investigation of the camps that no one seems to be talking about because the media has been distracting us from it.
In 2018, satellite images of the camps were released and showed that it is built exactly like a giant prison. BBC news reporters asked locals if they knew about the camps and they said that it was a “re-education school.” A shopkeeper near the camp said, “There are tens of thousands of people there now. They have some problems with their thoughts.”
The locals think that they have problems with their thoughts because of their religion. This is evidence that people around camps were well aware of what was going on. Also, China has denied locking up thousands of Muslims several times by justifying their actions as counter-terrorism and preventing extremism. This shows that they believe most Muslims are terrorists when in reality they are not.
State-run television shows in China air segments of the camps and makes them look like schools. The segments show clean classrooms full of students engaging in coursework. “students” at the camps are taught how to speak and write in Chinese.
With the majority of the Muslim population in Xinjiang not fluent in Chinese, the camps especially target those that do not speak Chinese. If these facilities were schools they wouldn’t be targeting one specific group of people, it would be open for everyone.
In these detention camps, Muslims are stripped from their language, religion, and culture. The women are forced not to wear their headscarves which is very disrespectful in their religion. No human being should be stripped away from their own beliefs. It is unethical to force a group of people to learn a whole new language just because you think they are terrorists. It is not right to categorize a group of people for one person’s selfish actions.
The media has not brought any light upon this serious matter. Every time this topic is brought up, it seems to be pushed back, and everyone focuses on celebrity news. People need to be aware of the severe problems that are going on in the world.
I am writing about this topic because I want students to be aware of what’s going on in the world. Action is needed to end the detention camps. Together we can bring awareness to this situation and gain the government’s attention to help bring the detention camps to an end. If nobody speaks up about this, it is going to continue, and more innocent people will be locked up.