- Sukena Zaidi
Updated: Feb 28, 2022
Welcome to October. We set in gear, ready to give thanks, put on our costumes and cram down on a year's supply of chocolates and candy. Amidst the excitement, we realize October brings with it Bill 23, the month of Islamic heritage! So, who are they, why do they matter? I'm sure you've heard about the schemes and alienations, the blood lust… Oh, wait, those are vampires. Again welcome to October!
This month we question ourselves on what we've been told and what we are willing to learn. Today we remember those locked in cells, blue collars, heads down. There is no secret to who they are? Or what is going on? The main question is whether you see injustice or not? What can we do about it? Why is our government not taking action? Why is the UN quiet?
Canada has risen to its reputation based on its peacekeeping image and the mixing pot it is. But the fact is that racism, ignorance, and its lack of initiative has come into question many times this year. I can talk about millions of Muslims and many other minorities suffering worldwide, but this year I want to bring light to our Uyghur brothers and sisters. How does one person's identity define their entirety? How does one person's faith decide whether they live or die?
You wouldn't believe me if I screamed at the top of my lungs, but the truth is our world has come to the point where one man's intolerance will dig another man's grave.
When I made my parents aware about the "re-education camps" in China, I was faced with an unsettling reply,
"Please whatever you do, do not post, speak, or answer anyone about this."
I asked, "Why?" like any person accustomed to free speech.
"You don't know who's listening, what if something happened to you!"
I realized that day that the human nature of fear had rooted itself so deep into our culture that we are afraid of speaking up to demand common human rights. We allowed history to repeat itself. In fact, we allowed it to be pursued without any consequences, without any questions.
Today we stay quiet about the millions of inmates who have died, escaped, and are still incarcerated. We are condemning the Holocaust, yet we are establishing and surrendering to a Nazi-like quota! We are putting to waste the millions of lives lost and martyred in the wars to free the Holocaust victims.
In just three years, China has built over 260 facilities incarcerating Muslim Uyghur citizens on crimes undocumented without any trials. Survivors' horrifying recounts of brainwashing, beating, and destruction of the culture and faith have shaken us worldwide. But why has there been no action? Media has covered the story, giving numbers and facts, reports have leaked, first-hand recounts, and leaked footage of maltreatment, rapes, and prostitution. So why has there been no action! Why is Canada silent? Why are world leaders silent! Why is the UN silent?
The fact is as it is. Our world is built on straightforward bases, and for lack of a better phrase, until our own asses are under fire, we won't take action.
We remember St. Louis and the 900, and more Jewish passengers turned back to Nazi Germany. Until Canada and other 1st world countries were directly under fire, we know that no action was taken. We remember the Sudetenland being handed over to Hitler like candy to a baby. Yet we continue to repeat our mistakes. We continue to stay quiet and let injustice prevail as long as our economy is stable and lives are made easy.
Ms. Rosemary McCarney, Canada's envoy to the UN in Geneva, states, "Canada recommends that China release Uighurs and other Muslims who have been detained arbitrarily … for their ethnicity or religion." Since 2017 this is one of the only efforts made by Canadian representatives that has been made public. This is not enough.
Corporations like Disney congratulate oppressors and tarnish the childhood magic with ignorance. The live-action movie Mulan filmed in Xinjiang only goes to motivate the injustice. The insensitivity and ignorance deprive the victims of solidarity. Does this not matter?
Is it because this time they're Muslim?
As far as I know, religion guides personal moral virtues. Islam teaches peace, "that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind" (verse 5:32)
Why does this affect us sitting oceans away? I am a Muslim. But just as a living breathing person, I can tell you that my faith, skin, or identity should not give anyone the right to dig my grave.
The fact, this injustice is brought to light by a teen able to sneak information into her makeup tik tok, shows our governments lack initiative. So this Islamic heritage month, put aside the prejudice and stereotypes, learn for yourselves. Someone's faith should not prevent you from recognizing injustice. Preach humanity. Our generation is capable of fighting those before us. Our voices can not be silenced with fear. We see right from wrong. No world power can silence you no matter where you come from and what you believe in.
@officialferozaaziz - she followers this story very closely and provides a lot of updates. She is also making a lot of efforts to help survivors and host charities for Uygur Muslims.