The Board of Deputies today hosted a roundtable discussion which brought together representatives from across the Jewish community to meet and listen to Dolkun Isa, the President of the World Uyghur Congress – the representative group of the oppressed Muslim minority in China.
Dolkun Isa and his colleague, Rahima Mahmut, spoke movingly about their experiences in China. Dolkun told the meeting that more than 5,000 mosques had been destroyed and copies of the Quran has been burned. He said the oppression was on a massive scale and estimated that 1,200 camps had been set up by the Chinese authorities to hold 1.8- three million Uyghur citizens. One camp holds 140,000 people.
He said: “In this time of grave crisis, it is essential to build a stronger cooperation between different groups. Uyghurs need global support from all human beings.”
Following the event, Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman said: “In the week that we are marking Holocaust Memorial Day and the liberation of the most notorious concentration camp, it is intolerable that the Uyghur Muslims are being persecuted on this scale. It is the responsibility of all of us in the Jewish community to stand up and make our voices heard in their support.”
Attendees included representatives from Jewish youth movements, synagogue denominations, activists and the Jewish human rights organisation Rene Cassin.
Rahima Mahmut will be speaking at an event in Parliament on Thursday entitled A Warning for humanity: How can communities unite to protect the Uyghurs?
Photo: (left to right) Rahima Mahmut, Dolkun Isa, Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker, Amanda Bowman