From the Editors

China’s attack on the Uighurs and their Muslim faith

Will the US and other nations speak up?

In the remote northwest province of Xinjiang, Chinese officials are enacting a cultural genocide with few parallels in modern history. It’s been described as the largest incarceration of an ethno-religious minority since the Holocaust. A Turkic-speaking Muslim people known as the Uighurs—along with Kazahks and other Turkic groups—are being subjected to mass detentions and their expression of Islamic faith is being crushed. Uighurs have been imprisoned for such deeds as wearing a headscarf or reciting a verse from the Qur’an in public.

As many as 1 million Uighurs have been charged with “infected” thinking and placed in reeducation camps. Often enduring physical torture and forced labor, the prisoners are required to speak Mandarin and indoctrinated with the views of China’s ruling party.

China’s plan to erase Uighur religious and cultural identity includes the destruction of mosques, shrines, and cemeteries. More than 10,000 religious sites have been destroyed, according to one prominent researcher on the topic, Bahram Sintash, a Uighur living in the US whose own father was taken into custody in 2018 and has not been heard from since. Sintash has collected evidence from satellite photographs and the testimony of escapees.