Muslim scholars from Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accompanied a delegation this week in the Xinjiang province in north-western China, where the Chinese government has been committing human rights abuses and atrocities against the local Uyghur Muslim population.
The delegation – from the UAE-backed organisation, The World Muslim Communities Council (TWMCC) – was hosted in Xinjiang province this week by Chinese authorities, which took it to visit the 'Museum of Combatting Terrorism and Extremism', referring to those terms Beijing uses to describe any form of dissidence in the area.
In a statement released by TWMCC on Monday, its Chairman and delegation head, Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, "hailed the efforts of the Chinese authorities in combating terrorism in Xinjiang and praised the interest and determination of the Chinese leadership to serve all people in the region."
Since 2017, human rights abuse and atrocities against the Xinjian province's Uyghur population have been revealed in numerous reports, investigations and witness testimonies from survivors.
As part of that persecution, the Chinese government has set up so-called 're-education camps' – which hold over one million native Uyghur Muslims – in which there is rampant torture, the sexual abuse and forceful sterilisation of women, as well as the forcing of Uyghurs into labour to produce goods and products to export internationally.
Although Al Nuaimi "emphasised that caring for Muslims in China is a great necessity, and we must make it clear to the world that ethnic, religious and national affiliations do not conflict but complement each other", he advocated that the unification of identities and races in China "must be reinforced by the educational curriculum" – a phenomenon which Uyghur dissidents and activists fear only seeks to eradicate their unique culture and identity in their region.
The Saudi, Syrian, and Emirati Muslim scholars participating in the delegation comes as no surprise, as they all represent governments which have refused to condemn or investigate the persecution of the Uyghurs, and which have agreed to collaborate with Beijing in deporting Uyghurs abroad back to China.
Despite the delegation visiting the Xinjiang region, those visits are criticised as being managed, arranged and herded by the Chinese authorities in an effort to limit the exposure delegates and officials have to the 're-education camps' and the realities of life in the province.