Statement on persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China

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26 November 2019
Jane Drapkin – LJ Social Justice National Officer
Rabbi Aaron Goldstein – Chair, Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors

As Jewish Communities around the country begin planning and training for education around Holocaust Memorial Day, we cannot ignore a potential genocide unfolding in plain sight right now – being perpetrated by China against the Uyghur Muslim and other minority groups.

The current programmes of ‘forced re-education’ has already been called a ‘cultural genocide’. The evidence of concentration camps, transportation of large groups of people from Xingiang Province to other less accessible areas, torture and dehumanisation suggest an actual genocide would be all too easily arranged should the world remain silent on this issue.

When participating in the weekly protests outside the Chinese Cultural Embassy in Hampstead, it was noticeable the number of Muslim drivers who stopped, asking about the cause – which they had generally not heard about – and why we, as Jews, were protesting. Our voice does matter and it was heartening to see the Board of Deputies voicing concern, which in turn will hopefully put pressure on the Foreign Office. Hopefully last night’s BBC Panorama expose will also broaden the population in the UK who are now receptive to our call.

Liberal Judaism supports calls for the maximum international pressure on China until the Uyghur Muslims and all others incarcerated with them are released. This is an attack on all humanity and its vital that the world responds.

 

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