Why should I care about the Chinese concentration camps?

Muslim detainees listen to speeches in a camp, taking place in Xinjiang, China.


Muslim detainees listen to speeches in a camp, taking place in Xinjiang, China.

Eesha Lawande, Copy Editor

Over one million Muslim minority groups are being detained in concentration camps in China, while being forced to practice ideas against their religion.

As China denies what they are doing to the Uighur Muslims, the country has built camps, so this minority group can support the Communist Party. The country stays quiet and claims the Uighurs are “voluntarily attending the reeducation centers” while the government is actually preventing them from learning the Quran, a sacred book that is part of their religion.

The detainees are rewarded for confirming to the Communist Party with opportunities to visit their families. If a member of the party finds evidence that someone hasn’t transformed, China will prevent them from seeing their family unless they see progress through their training.

Leaked documents from the Chinese government show that they track down all Uighurs with a foreign citizenship, living in and out of the country. International rights groups claim that this is wrong and that China has been torturing and mistreating the Muslims, while China claims to be educating them.

Senior Morgan Lamar thinks it’s sad to see events like this still happening because acceptance of all religions should be a reality by now. “The fact that we have to deal with this is terrible, and I hate how the world has become like this,” she said. 

The Muslims are forced to speak Mandarin, eat meat and stop practicing their religion. Meanwhile, the children are taken away from their families and put in orphanages, where they are stripped of their identity. “Taking away someone’s rights and identity is wrong because everyone has the right to practice their own religion and no one should take that away from them,” said Lamar.

The Chinese government has been hiding what is being done in the camps and denying any wrongdoings toward the Muslim minority group.

Students are educated on events in the past so “history doesn’t repeat itself”, yet the systematic oppression of a group based on their religion is occurring again. 

History teacher Jeff Meyers thinks it’s frustrating to see all of this happening again. “We don’t put an embargo on them because we need China,” he said. “Some politicians fail to acknowledge the past, which makes it easier for things like this to occur again.”

Meyers connected this event to something else happening in the world and how the US handled that. “We can make a connecction with the Armenian Genocide because while the whole world said it was a genocide, our country claims it wasn’t, and just this year our senate unanimously said it was,” he said. 

While Muslims are being held in camps, the US legislation believes the Trump administration should take a bigger part in what China is doing. The US government officials believe China should be held accountable for their actions.

Now, the Trump administration has blocked the Chinese officials from getting their visa, and they will have consequences for disobeying the law.