Mumbai: Muslims spew ire at China's Xi Jinping

Updated: 13 November, 2020 07:50 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Raza Academy protests treatment of Uighur Muslims; calls out silence, selective outrage on human rights abuse

Mohammed Saeed Noori (third from right), general secretary of Raza Academy protests outside Minara Masjid at Mohammed Ali Road on Thursday. Pic/ Bipin Kokate
Mohammed Saeed Noori (third from right), general secretary of Raza Academy protests outside Minara Masjid at Mohammed Ali Road on Thursday. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

POSTERS announcing Thursday's protest against China president Xi Jinping at Minara Masjid, Mohammed Ali Road showed an imprint of a shoe on Jinping's face. The placards dominated the landscape at Raza Academy's protest against human rights abuse on Muslims and the country's attempt to suppress practising Islam and remove its cultural markers in China. The academy's general secretary, Mohammed Saeed Noori speaks out. An interview:

What form does this oppression of Muslims take in China?

There are reports that China has banned naming babies Mohammed. Uighur Muslims are being put in detention camps touted as reformation camps or camps for inculcating Chinese culture which, in essence, is done by obliterating Islam. We have heard about how people in these camps are told to tear out pages from the Koran. Government servants there are not allowed to fast during Ramzan.

How do you know such reports are credible? Have you met anybody who has experienced this?

There has to be truth in this, otherwise, why would you have all these reports coming in? The Internet has lifted the curtain and the world at least knows what is going on. There are too many reports and sources for us to be dismissive or disbelieving. There are excuses that these camps are cultural hubs or educational camps. If that is the truth, why are people forced into them? Let China give people a choice.

If the world knows what is going on, then why is there relative silence from Muslim nations? For instance, Pakistan has spoken about Kashmir, France, but not about China. Is this selective outrage?

What can we say to that? Pakistan seems to be some kind of slave to China, or economics may explain its silence. I do not know about all Muslim nations. With this protest, we are showing that we will not remain silent.

This protest is taking place amid COVID. Where will your voices reach? This, in the backdrop of simmering tension between India and China

We do not know where our voices will reach. It's our duty to raise them, and I am sure in a global world, social media will amplify these voices. This protest is the first step. We can amp up the pressure with a protest near the Chinese Consulate in Nariman Point in the near future. India and China are embroiled in a border dispute too. All Indians must come together and fight this adversary unitedly.

What do you think is the solution to the China problem?

All international human rights organisations and the United Nations need to pressure China to stop the abuse. Individual nations, many of which are puppets of superpowers, cannot do so.

Raza Academy was involved in the riots at Azad Maidan in 2012. Many protesters did not know anything about the issue of the protest — injustices against Muslims in Myanmar and Assam. They were simply protesting because they were provoked to…

That was not a Raza Academy protest. In fact, permissions for the protest were not in our name. Outsiders came in and indulged in violence. We did not participate but some sections of the media also blamed us and we got caught in the entire thing.

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First Published: 13 November, 2020 07:15 IST

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