Challenging China: Muslim Minorities Detained

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Challenging China: Muslim Minorities Detained

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The United Nations is looking towards China as evidence of their mass detainment of Muslim minorities has become more prevalent. On Nov. 4, a UN humans rights review was held to look further into the conditions under which could be one people are being million held in detention centers throughout China’s western region.


According to the Washington Post, China defended criticism by justifying the treatment of Muslims as necessary to stabilize regions, that had formerly been hot spots for extremism.


“I feel like it’s a natural thing to view others in a different way,” senior Mustafa Quraishi said. “When you see a minority, you see them as less powerful. They don’t have as many people. You see them as a threat to your way of life.”


Xinjiang is the largest region of China. It is located in the westernmost area, right under Russia, and is bordered by Mongolia on the right and Kyrgyzstan on the left. The region is home to over 20 million people, and nearly half of them make up the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighur minority. Xinjiang also contains the harshest administration in all of China. The recent administrative actions taken by the Chinese government are not anything new and only highlight a trend that has been seen before.


“I don’t think it’s a problem for people to believe differently, but ignorance causes problems,” Quraishi said.  “People hate because they don’t understand. Since they aren’t able to understand, they aren’t able to adapt to it, or they don’t really know what it is.”


Despite the fears by Chinese authorities of extremism in the area, the actions taken by authorities are seen as unacceptable by the UN and others.


“I believe the reason that this is happening in the world today is because of all the negative attention minorities get and people who don’t look at both sides of the story to get the full picture,” senior Mohammad Muhanna said. “


Pushes by UN officials and other countries to end the detention centers will continue, as they demand answers and urge China to allow the Uighur minority to express their beliefs freely.


“It’s natural,” Quraishi said. “It comes from a lack of knowledge, from ignorance. If you can educate them more on this topic, if you can rationalize with them on this topic, I think it will go to a less degree.”

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