American Jews, Christians and Muslim Leaders Protested Against Chinese Oppression of Uighurs

By Tahir Imin Uighurian


A rally of multi-faith groups aiming to encourage the US Department of State to address the oppression of the Uighurs was held by Uyghur Rally Group in New York City on Tuesday, February 5th. This event was organized as a response to the unjust imprisonment of more than 3 million Uighur Muslims in Chinese concentration camps, and to voice support for the proposed bill “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019.”

Uyghur Rally, the name given for the demonstration by the organizers, presented a mission statement as “We believe our country must protest this enormous attack on human rights, human dignity, and ability to worship God.” And, its website put a message from Torah: “No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness and to untie the cords of the yoke; To send the oppressed free; To break off every yoke.” Isaiah 58:6.

Rushan Abbas, a Uighur activist whose sister is currently being detained in a concentration camp, and Alfred Uighur gave speeches during the event. Alfred Uighur’s father, Mr Arkin was sentenced to 11 years in prison for sending his son to study in the US. Also, Sami Steigmann, a Holocaust survivor shared his perspective on the modern era Chinese concentration camps.

Uyghur American activist Rushan Abbas (1st from right) Photo Credit: Rushan Abbas

More than 200 people attended the rally. Leaders and scholars from American Jews, Christian and Muslim communities delivered speeches. The religious leaders unanimously called on the US government, the UN and the Muslim world to committ more efforts to save the lives of innocent Uighur people and to pressure China to shut down the concentration camps and release all the detained Uighurs.

Photo Credit: Uyghur Rally Group

Imam Khalid Latif, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and Reverend McWeeney, head of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the office of Timothy Cardinal Dolan have expressed their strong concerns over the horrible situation the Uighur people are living in now. Another prominent Muslim figure Imam Suhaib Webb called the Muslim world to stand with Uighur Muslims.

The rally was organized by Yosef Roth, a rabbinical student at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Corby Johnson Religious, a student at the New School and Sofia Ahsanuddin, a medical student in New York City.

More than 200 people attended the rally.
Photo Credit: Uyghur Rally Group


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