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China invites Arsenal’s Ozil to visit Uyghur region

Mesut Ozil, football player
Football player Mesut Ozil in London, UK on 22 September 2013 [Ronnie Macdonald/Flickr]

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday that Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has received “fake news” concerning the country’s Muslim Uyghur minority and invited him to visit the region for himself.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said the German-Turkish footballer has been “blinded by some fake news and influenced by some false words”.

“I can tell him [Ozil] that China’s Xinjiang currently enjoys political stability, economic development, national unity, social harmony, and people are living and working in peace,” the Chinese official added.

Last week, Ozil slammed what he described how “Muslims stay quiet” on the atrocities taking place against Uyghur Muslims in China.

In China, he wrote on social media, “Qurans are burned… Mosques were closed down… Islamic theological schools, Madrasahs were banned … Religious scholars were killed one by one … Despite all this, Muslims stay quiet. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself? The honorable Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, says, ‘If you cannot prevent persecution, expose it’.”

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