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July 19, 2020 1:18 pm

Activist on Hunger Strike for Persecuted Uyghur Muslims Praises Jewish Community for Their Support

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A pro-Uyghur demonstration in Hong Kong, Dec. 22, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Lucy Nicholson.

A British Muslim activist who is on a hunger strike to draw attention to the persecution of Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese government praised the Jewish community on Saturday for its support and activism on the issue.

“My Jewish brethren are the only ones I ain’t gonna call out,” Maajid Nawaz tweeted on Saturday. “They’ve stepped up already and are here with me right now.”

Nawaz is well-known as a critic of antisemitism and radical Islam, and campaigned against the antisemitic former leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, in the UK’s elections last December.

He is currently on the fifth day of his hunger strike. He is urging supporters to sign a petition that would force the UK government to debate the Uyghur issue in parliament.

The Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group in the region of Xinjiang, have been subjected to a brutal campaign of dislocation and “reeducation” by the Chinese government in recent months, including deportations to camps, torture, unsanitary conditions, and psychological pressure techniques intended to force them to conform to the communist party line.

The UK’s Jewish News reported in January that World Uyghur Congress president Dolkun Isa met with British Jewish leaders asking for aid and support.

Amanda Bowman, vice president of the leading Jewish group the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said at the time, “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,” she added.

A particularly emotive video has been making the rounds online showing Uyghur Muslims being herded on to trains for deportation to camps, recalling similar images from the Holocaust.

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