Identity is a word that has become alien, foreign and it no longer exists for the Muslims of the Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
As anyone would have it, freedom is a fundamental human right, a need, such that it is not even regarded as one; freedom is an act, a principle, and becomes a way of life. Sadly, Uyghur Muslims are being stripped of something no human being should ever need to fight for, let alone survive.
Since 2014, the Chinese Government has persecuted honest civilians, detaining them against their wills, trying to ‘convert’ their Islamic principles and practices into an indoctrinated totalitarianism dogma, and they spare no mercy or extents to achieve this enslavement.
The world knows what is happening to them. The world is aware. But as usual, because the face of the oppressed are Muslim, nobody cares, and unfortunately, it seems, other Muslim countries are also choosing to turn a blind eye.
Why is it like this? Of course. Fear. Prejudice. Discrimination. Power. Capitalism. These truly are the roots of all evil, and they have infested their ways into the vines of justice and moral, no, rather human integrity. Humanity.
Popularised by Western media, we have become conditioned to view Islam and Muslims in one negative position, so it is a given that changing the narrative of stigmatised terrorists and oppressors to now vulnerable, terrified, and helpless victims is a nuance that modern society is neither comfortable nor do they want to catch up with. Is this a matter of when they are ready? Or simply that they refuse to? Seeing reality in a different narrative, might I say, is at the precipice of all the requiems of our dreams, or, I suppose, our nightmares.
It is important to lose these paradigms because the reality is that as we sit here, comfortably, enjoying our Ramadans, our Eids, our life, there are over one million lost brothers and sisters of humanity, who have disappeared from the lights of earth and are being tormented under the darkness of dictatorship, though they, and other allied nations, will state otherwise. If this is not a form of terrorism and genocide, then what is?
And such double standards and hypocrisies are well-known for the Muslim community. Let us move to Rohingya. Muslims there are being killed and raped, again, for the same claims of cleaning individualism and the freedom from religious beliefs that come with it, by indoctrinating a symmetric-like state, and this is being done by Buddhists of Myanmar, once again, another socially induced perspective of goodness and light, and that is not to say, that peaceful Buddhists and the asceticism of Buddhism are not but goodness, peace, and harmony, in fact, it very much is, but this is the hypocrisy I am talking about. There is no race, no face, no religion, and not even a mind or age to violence, crimes, terrorism, evil, oppression. Negativity, as with positivity, are transparent modes and know no boundaries or bases. They can never have them. This is a societal conditioned matter. Yet, the same idealisms of our societies consciously endeavour to create new realms of yin-yang that simply cannot exist.
The world has yet again chosen to plead the fifth: evoke silence over the injustices that so many Muslim communities are facing, rather than to stand with them in solidarity, condemning inhumanity just as they are so keen to do so when the support seems to be in their honourable and dignified favours. Between Rohingya, Kashmir, Gaza, and Uyghur, the oppression these Muslim people face is of but two variables: ignorance versus discrimination. Especially in the Western world and other parts of the globe that have become influenced by such norms, values, and ideologies. We have become conditioned to see one party as one way and one party as another. As a result, double standards will never cease to poison economic and political legitimacies. We are hushed over the crises happening to Rohingyas because they are Muslim; likewise, we plug bullets into our ears over the education reformation camps in Uyghur, again, because they are Muslim. This constant bias and double standards will continue, something Palestine and the torment of Gaza civilians have known since 1948; had it been a Muslim community usurping another nation, the whole world would be in tears. Words truly do hold such depth; had it not been for such atrocities, I might have pleaded the fifth, just like the rest. Remove ‘Muslim,’ and all that is left are humans. People. Perhaps the oppressed might have a better chance at hope had the whole world been truly blind. Sightless. Leaving the foundations of empathy to pave the way toward genuine unity and compassion.
This article is transparent, as I intend. It is time human beings stripped ego and called a spade a spade when it is blatant. We pick and choose like supermarkets; hence, man is fundamentally the reason for any, if not all, issues in the world, be that poverty, war, homelessness, gentrification, all of it.
Unless we do not endeavour to view the looking glass as transparently as that, clearly, with the way this pandemic and the political darkness this world seems apt to be heading toward, who knows, five years from now, we will see another horror. Maybe this time, it will be presented in an image we wish to accept; maybe it will not. But how many more inhumane crises need to happen for us to revert to our inner state of a child? When you see something bad and dislike it because it is bad, not these illogical, ironically enough, reasoning, we frost onto so many-layered ‘angel’ cakes, trying to justify quantum which cannot be justified?
I ask you when?
Because lest we forget, bad things can happen to us all; imagine it was us, well, I would hate for the rest of the world to play a fool to your problems. The truth?
Well, I guess it is just none of my business. Right?
By Marisa Paulson
Disclaimer: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Identity International.