In a groundbreaking report published on Friday by the Centre for Uyghur Studies (CUS), the think-tank highlights how, unlike the mainstream discourse around Islamophobia in the West, China’s state-imposed Islamophobia has received little attention from the global community, particularly from Muslim countries. 
The report, titled Islamophobia in China and Attitudes of Muslim Countries, goes into great detail regarding the historical origins of China’s anti-Muslim stance and its growing hostility towards faiths and ideologies that oppose communist and atheistic ideals.
While the 88-page paper highlights numerous examples of how Islam has been “Sinicised”, criminalised, and securitised at the hands of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), it also exposes Muslim countries’ shameful complicity in the violent treatment and genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Chinese-occupied East Turkestan.
The Executive Director of the CUS, Abdulhakim Idris, stated in accompanying remarks,
“Today, the Chinese regime is waging a war on Islam in East Turkestan and committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims.
“However, the Islamic World is yet to recognise the real nature of the Chinese regime, due to the mass disinformation campaign the Chinese regime is carrying out among Muslim countries.” 
The think-tank also argues that Muslim nations, time after time, are displaying their lack of concern for the Uyghur Muslims of East Turkestan.
This was arguably demonstrated in 2019, when 37 Muslim-majority countries including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, and Kuwait published a letter praising China in response to and countering another letter by 22 UN member states who drew attention to China’s human rights violations against the Uyghurs. 
Many argue that this move was deeply harmful and that it was exacerbated in 2022, when a majority of Muslim nations voted against investigating China’s crimes against humanity – which were revealed in a UN investigation. 
Why is the Muslim world quiet?
In short, it is the financial agreements, dependencies, and economic ties which supersede the moral conscience of Muslim-led and Muslim-allied states.
The report examines the role of the historic Silk Road, now rebranded as the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), which is a neo-colonial and expansionist project seeking to connect China with the rest of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East through land and sea trade routes.
East Turkestan is of critical importance to the success of this project, given the natural resources and strategic geographical location which connects them to four out of the six major trade corridors. Since its launch in 2013, mass detainment into concentration camps has been taking place, as well as suppressive measures of indoctrination, surveillance, and other genocidal policies. 
In 2022, Wang Yi – China’s top diplomat – announced to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers that the BRI has thus far invested $400bn in 600 projects across the Islamic world.
Finances under the microscope
The report takes a closer look at various financial agreements that China has with Muslim countries.
Here are some of the statistics that were presented:
|Details of economic relationship
|China has invested over $10bn in construction projects under the BRI.
|The country signed a 25-year agreement with Iran that is worth $400bn.
|The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the largest economic corridors with a valuation of $46bn. CPEC investments into Pakistan total approximately $65.69bn.
|The cost of construction projects undertaken by China in Türkiye is $10.6bn.
|China’s investment into Egypt between 2005–2022 was approximately $6bn, and construction initiatives amount to $17.8bn.
|The Kingdom benefits from large oil exports to China; $55.5bn worth of oil was sold to China in 2022 alone. Moreover, total investment from China between 2005 and 2022 was around $52.12bn.
Are Muslim countries complicit in the Uyghur genocide?
Due to some of the economic reasons mentioned above, the CUS claims that member states of the OIC support China, and are complicit in their violence against Muslims.
This was apparent after a delegation from the OIC visited East Turkestan and lent their support to China.
The delegation stated,
“We appreciate the efforts of the People’s Republic of China to provide care for Muslim citizens.” 
Instead of responding to the calls of East Turkestan’s Muslims who are trying to wake up the Muslim world to the oppression they are facing, the CUS argues that they have caused more grief and fear amongst Uyghurs around the world.
- Muslim governments are aiding & abetting oppression
- Thousands across the globe gather in solidarity with Uyghurs
- Uyghur officials call for bold action after international conference
- UN has confirmed China’s war on Islam – how long will the Islamic world remain silent?
View the report in full
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