On the 12th of November 1933, the first of many “Islamic republics” was declared at a time when the world was reeling from the dismantlement of the last khilafah and the thinkers and leaders of the Muslim world were attempting to navigate the age of a new type of statecraft. 
This fledgling state was not Pakistan, Turkey, or Iran. It was the Islamic Republic of East Turkestan.
It was founded on four principles:
This is the land that is now occupied by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who refer to it as Xinjiang — which loosely translates into “new territory taken by force”.
Its people, comprising of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, have been suffering under brutal suppression for decades by the CCP.
Their oppression in the last few years has increased to a level determined to be genocide by an independent panel of legal experts in 2021 led by Sir Geoffrey Nice, lead prosecutor of the criminal Slobodan Milošević for his role in the Bosnian genocide. 
Uyghurs know what oppression is
Uyghurs have faced horrors such as being put into concentration camps for displays of their Islamic identity — such as simply owning a Qur’ān or responding to Salam, fasting in Ramadan, and so on; forced sterilisation; forced labour; forced marriage of Uyghur women to Han Chinese men; organ harvesting; and more, as proven by mass witness testimony and whistleblowers. 
However, their plight has not received as much attention as it should have in the Muslim world due to several reasons, including the dearth of reliable information historically able to escape this tightly-controlled region, and the growing reliance of Muslim states on China (which some go so far as to regard as colonisation).
As a result of this, some Uyghur activism outside of the Muslim world has received diplomatic and financial support from Western countries, since Chinese imperialism is increasingly being seen as a threat to US imperialism.
When Israel escalated its oppression of Palestinians after the 7th October “Aqsa Flood” operation, however, an Uyghur whistleblower in an organisation receiving support from Western NGOs and governments said something startling:
“It feels like I’m in Communist China.”
This is because they were under a tremendous amount of pressure from some of their supporters, who also happen to be pro-Zionism.
The message they’re effectively getting is,
“Shut up about Palestine, or we’ll let China finish you off.”
We are in this situation because of many unfortunate reasons, concerning the lack of Muslim unity, strength, and strategy. But, alhamdulillāh, the tide is turning.
This is partly why we launched the Stand4Uyghurs campaign, being a coalition of non-Uyghur Muslim organisations and individuals who champion the Uyghur cause from an Islamic paradigm, based on true justice and solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Islam.
And by the grace of Allah, the campaign has been building momentum among Muslims in many different countries across the world.
Launch of the UK East Turkistan Society
This year, on 12 November, I was honoured to be part of the launch of a new Uyghur organisation in the UK that aims to tell their own story and champion their own cause, likewise within an Islamic paradigm: the UK East Turkistan Society.
Their chairman is Shaykh Abdulkerim Karahanli, an Islamic scholar from a family of Ulama in East Turkestan, who had to secretly seek knowledge in underground madrasas at night — since it was a crime to do so under the violently atheist CCP regime while he was growing up.
He was even imprisoned and tortured for three months in 1995 because he was accused of the crime of secretly reciting the Qur’ān to children. He managed to escape and continue his search for knowledge across the Muslim world, settling in the UK in 2020.
In his speech, he reiterated the sentiment of all Uyghur Muslims who are connected to their brothers and sisters through īmān:
“East Turkestan is our cause. Palestine is also our cause.”
He affirmed that the Uyghur Muslims strongly condemn the Zionists for their role as oppressors against the Palestinian Muslims,
“As Uyghurs who are part of the Islamic Ummah, we understand well what occupation, oppression, and genocide means.
For this reason, we strongly condemn the Israeli massacre that continues in Palestine today, and so say: stop genocide. We wish patience and victory from Allah to our Palestinian brothers and sisters, mercy to the deceased, and a quick recovery for the affected.
We, Uyghur Muslims, as people who share the same affliction, will always stand by the oppressed wherever they are in the world, and we will continue to stand upright against the oppressors without bowing down to them.”
Also in attendance were Shaykh Ebu Bekir Hoca, a leader of the Turkish community, Dr. Asim Qureshi, Hamza Tzortzis, and Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad.
They each declared their support for the UK East Turkistan Society, and reiterated important strategic priorities for the Uyghur and Palestinian cause, such as fostering unity and addressing the “illness” of nationalism, encouraging steadfastness, the need for courage and civil disobedience in defiance of oppression, and having an optimistic, victorious outlook when facing challenges.
Islam is the basis for universal justice
It is always heartening to see widespread support for a good cause, with non-Muslims, for example, standing with us in support of the liberation of East Turkestan, Palestine, Kashmir, or anywhere else facing oppression.
However, what we soon find out is that those who are not motivated by a morality which is tethered to something outside of human desires, tribalism, and other interests, will eventually side with — or at least be silent concerning — some oppression.
If someone is pro-Palestine, they may also be pro-China. If someone is pro-Uyghur because of being anti-China, we may find them on the wrong side of justice when it comes to Israel-Palestine.
This is why, although we continue to work with anyone upon a righteous cause, we should stand firmly on our own platform of universal justice, which we are commanded towards as Muslims.
Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) states in the Qur’ān,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” 
The ongoing genocide in Gaza is proof that the world is desperately in need of a discourse on justice that is tethered to something outside of our human, tribal, or personal interests.
And I would argue that Islam is the only civilisation capable of providing this.
Islam has given us a concretisation of justice that is tethered to something unwavering and unchanging, unfettered by powerful interests or popular trends; a notion that does not require the simultaneous creation of a “human self and subhuman other”, or “liberal self and illiberal other”, one being worthy of just treatment and the other worthy of reparative violence.
Islam’s notion of justice extends to all creatures — humans, animals, property, and natural resources.
As Muslims, we have a duty to champion this for the benefit of all people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, because the world is crying out for it right now.
- Raise awareness of both the Uyghur and Palestinian plights, as some may know more about one than the other.
- Provide support to key organisations including the newly founded UK East Turkistan Society and others.
- Continue to make du'ā for the oppressed, and rely upon Islam when seeking universal justice.
- China’s chilling use of cutting-edge technology
- Xi Jinping continues downward spiral to dictatorship
- China’s obliteration of the Uyghurs’ last refuge: their home
- Uyghur Tribunal underway with bone-chilling survivor testimonies
- Uyghur Muslims suffer forced sterilisation, abortions, and removal of wombs
- China’s war on Islam: Muslim women ‘forced to share beds’ with male officials
 al-Qur’ān, 4:135