Premier League club Arsenal’s Turkish-origin midfielder Mesut Özil on Friday accused Muslims of staying silent over China’s oppression against minority Uighurs in Xinjiang.
On his social media accounts, the footballer wrote under the headline, “East Turkistan: Bleeding Wound of Islamic Ummah,” calling Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution… Glorious believers who put up a fight alone against these who forcefully move people away from Islam.”
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 13, 2019
“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,” he added.
China has been oppressing and persecuting the Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim group, and restraining their religious, commercial and cultural rights.
China’s Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
In a report, last September, Human Rights Watch accused the Chinese government of carrying out a “systematic campaign of human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.