US Muslim group urges Hilton to drop project on bulldozed Uyghur mosque
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA): The largest Muslim advocacy organization in the US urged Hilton Worldwide Holdings on Tuesday to drop plans to build a hotel on the site of a bulldozed mosque in China’s Xinjiang region.
The call by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) came after a report this week by the British daily The Telegraph that China is building a new commercial center, including an upscale Hilton Hotel, on the site where a mosque was initially demolished.
The site where a mosque once stood in the heart of Hotan in China’s Xinjiang region is now under construction tHiltoo become a commercial tower block that will house a Hampton by Hilton hotel, the Telegraph said.
ASPI, Canberra-based think tank, estimates that 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang – about 65 per cent of the total – have been destroyed or damaged due to Chinese government policies since 2017. Roughly 60 per cent of the region’s Islamic sacred sites, such as shrines and cemeteries, have been razed or altered.
CAIR’s National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said Hilton has a unique opportunity to take a clear stance against China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims and set an example for other prominent corporations.
“Hilton must stand on the right side of history by announcing it will cancel this project and cease any operations in the Uyghur region of China until its government ends its persecution of millions of innocent people,” Mitchell said in a statement.
Since 2017, China has carried out massive and systematic abuses against Muslims living in Xinjiang.
China’s alleged erosion of religious, cultural and human rights for more than 1 million ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang in the last decade has enraged western countries, prompting sanctions against Chinese officials and firms.
Officials are accused of putting Uyghurs in concentration camps which China defines as re-education and training centers. Beijing vehemently denies rights violations of its citizens.
[Archive Photo: Uyghur Muslims in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, om July 7 2015. Photographer: Mahmut Atanur/AA]
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