Xinjiang, Gaza: The West’s Insufferable Hypocrisy on Human Rights

At a reception for foreign diplomats in Bejing on May 13 at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the president of the Xinjiang Islamic Association, Abdureqip Tomurniyaz, who heads the school for Islamic studies in Xinjiang, accused anti-China forces in the U.S. and other Western nations of spreading rumors and lies. “They want to sabotage Xinjiang’s harmony and stability, contain China’s rise and alienate relations between China and Islamic countries,” he said. More specifically, he charged the U.S. with turning a blind eye to its own human rights violations, citing the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, as well as anti-Muslim discrimination at home.

In fact, what is criticized in the west are the measures Beijing has taken to eradicate the breeding ground for extremism and terrorism in Xinjiang by improving the livelihoods of the local populations, and setting up vocational training and education centers. The charge that freedom of religion is denied to the Muslim population has been amply refuted by virtually all visitors, and also by the videos from May 13 showing men praying inside mosques and people dancing in squares outside for the celebration. There are some 24,000 mosques in the province, which is more per capita than in many Muslim countries.

Nonetheless, just one day before, the U.S., Britain and Germany had brought together a gaggle of “human rights activists” at the UN in order to stip up conflict over Xinjiang. At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was reiterating the false claim that the central government was guilty of “genocide” in the province. This is the same Anthony Blinken who has been bending over backwards to prevent the Security Council from condemning the Israeli bombing of Gaza or issuing a call for an immediate ceasefire (cf. above).

U.S. failure to act on Gaza has done much to discredit its alleged concern over “human rights” in Xinjiang, and shown to the world community that the accusations are simply a political ploy in an attempt to undermine China’s growing international influence.

That has been acknowledged by a former UN official, Alfred de Zayas, himself an American, who called the whole issue bogus. The Uyghur language is on all street signs and even the money is in the Uyghur language, he said. There is no attempt to destroy their heritage or culture. “Nobody really cares about the human rights of Uygurs in Washington,” de Zayas told Xinhua News Agency. “The allegation is a geopolitical weapon, a useful Kalashnikov in the propaganda war.”

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