Uyghurs in China are indoctrinated 24-hours a day in communist ideology and Chinese culture, and the next generation will lose the Uyghur language, said Abduweli Ayup, an Uyghur activist, poet and linguist, in an interview with The Post Millennial.
Calling the Chinese policy towards Uyghurs equivalent to the ‘Holocaust’, Ayup stated that there were no Uyghur kindergartens in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where thousands of Uyghur Muslims have been detained in re-education camps.
While speaking on the indoctrination process done by China, he said that they would force people to sing Chinese patriotic songs to praise the Communist Party, the People’s Liberation Army, Mao Zedong and other leaders. It was not patriotism, but rather praising the Chinese culture. The indoctrination part also taught that Han Chinese are the teachers, elder brothers and the Uyghurs were the students, younger brothers.
Uyghurs are forcefully made to write praise for the Communist Party and learn that the country did not have any cars, electricity, railways and other basic facilities before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Speaking out against the harsh treatment of Uyghurs in China, Ayup told The Post Millennial: “Jewish people under Nazi detention were still often able to communicate in their language [Yiddish], because the Nazis did not have technology which allowed them to hear them speak amongst each other all day every day. They did not have cameras spying on the Jews at all time. Younger Jews were also mixed in detention with adults. For Uyghurs, adults are in concentration camps while kids are in boarding schools, so there is no opportunity to keep and spread information between generations…Uyghur adults are separated from the children and are unable to do so.”
Citing a German news broadcast, he said that nearly 900,000 Uyghur kids are separated from their families, which means that China is suppressing their roots and their culture, and the birth rate among Uyghurs has plummetted in the last three years.
Speaking on the importance of the Uyghur language, he stated that the Uyghur language helped in connecting the people from Hotan and Kashgar, and without the language, there would be no education system to continue the culture, and without education, the Uyghur language will become a family language before disappearing entirely.
Ayup mentioned that Kashgar, the cultural capital of the Uyghurs, was the most targeting city, as out of 4,577 documented victim stories, looking at missing family members and people who have been arrested or sentenced, 34 per cent belonged from Kashgar.
He also claimed that children were being forced to speak Mandarin, and since most of them did not speak the Chinese language, the kids do not even smile or speak much because they have to speak in a language which was not their own, which led him to open an Uyghur kindergarten of his own.
“They have a book of Chinese poetry from the Tang dynasty. It is a very famous book. Even in China, most people cannot understand it because it is written in a more ancient Chinese dialect. Uyghur kids, however, are forced to memorise these texts from thousands of years ago,” Ayup told The Post Millennial.
Ayup was jailed in China for defying the CCP’s cultural genocide of the Uyghur people by opening a kindergarten to teach Uyghur language and culture to children.
“When I grew up in Kashgar before I came to Urumqi in 1992, we had Uyghur kindergartens. I studied at a university with an Uyghur kindergarten in front of it. Ten years later, there was no Uyghur kindergarten anymore, and it makes me very sad. You see your culture in crisis, we are in crisis, and we should be taking action to protect this language,” he said during his interview with The Post Millennial.
Arrested in August 2013 along with some members of his company, Ayup said that the Chinese authorities wanted them to confess that they had led separatist activities, and that Ayup himself was accused of being an American spy sent here to instigating problems, and that he was involved in sending state secrets to foreign news companies.
Ayup was interrogated for almost six months, while under Chinese law, the process of interrogation should have been completed under 30 days. During the process, he was physically assaulted and electroshocked. In 2014, he was charged with illegal fundraising and forced to accept the crime. However, as there was no evidence to support the charge, he was instead charged with illegally owned public savings. He accepted the charges and was released after 15 months. However, since then, Ayup has been arrested three times before moving out of China.
Speaking on the conditions of the detention centres, he said that prisoners are trapped in a 20 square metres cell, where there is no sunshine and hygiene, and the place was very smelly and lacked fresh air.
“There is no Uyghur course, many Uyghur kids do not have Uyghur families, 900,000 kids do not have families, it feels very hopeless and heartbreaking,” he further said.
He also reiterated that foreign governments could play a huge role in stopping the cultural genocide of Uyghurs in China by cutting their production chains with the country, instead of simply criticising its policies.
Classified documents known as the China Cables, accessed last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, threw light on how the Chinese government uses technology to control Uyghur Muslims worldwide.
However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training. People in the internment camps have described being subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, and say they have been prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language. (ANI)