Uyghurs Under 65 Now Banned From Daily Prayers Required by Their Faith

Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region are forbidding practice by ethnic Uyghurs of the daily prayers required of observant Muslims, allowing only those 65 years of age and older to fulfill their religious obligations, sources say.The move further tightens restrictions on Islamic practice that has already seen restrictions placed on the annual Ramadan fast and the banning of religious instruction for Uyghur children under 18, who are also barred from entering mosques.Enacted in 2017, the ban on the daily prayer called namaz has been reported in three separate jurisdictions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), and is being enforced by village police officers who enter private homes to command compliance, sources said.Those found in violation of the rules are reported to local authorities and face penalties including possible incarceration in Xinjiang’s network of political re-education camps, where as many as 1.8 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims accused of “religious extremism” and of harboring “politically incorrect ideas” have been held since 2017.Uyghur households examined by police are told that only older men can now go to the mosques to pray, a village police officer in Atush city told RFA’s Uyghur Service, adding that officers visiting the homes “of course” recommend to all others that they abandon their prayers.“We don’t do things like let younger people into the mosques,” she said. “But it’s fine if they’re 65 or older.”Officers enforcing the ban introduce themselves to Uyghur families as representatives of the mosque administrative committees, the officer said, adding, “We tell them not to take part in any religious activities, and just to live in peace.”Faced with strict orders from the police, people willingly go along with the new restrictions, she said. “This is the government’s work.”Turned over to enforcersA second police officer in Atush confirmed that it has been a part of his job since 2017 to watch for Uyghurs performing namaz or other religious activities, saying that if someone is found to have broken the law, they are handed over to local enforcement groups.“We tell the offenders that they have violated the law, and we turn them over to the village brigade,” he said “The village brigade takes them for re-education, and we then inform their family about what happened. That’s how it goes.”Reached for comment, a Religious Affairs Committee worker in Turpan prefecture declined to answer a reporter’s questions, saying, “Well, in this case you need to come to our office rather than talking about this on the phone.”But a member of a “work group” in Xinjiang’s Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture confirmed that before the new regulation went into effect in 2017, only Communist Party members and children under the age of 18 were forbidden to pray.“[Now], we tell people that they have to be part of the work of eliminating religious extremism and terrorism and promoting stability -- that we all must work toward the safety and security of our region.”“For the sake of all of us, we’re ruling the country by law, controlling the country by law,” he said.Neighbors spy on neighborsReports by RFA’s Uyghur Service and other media outlets have found that Uyghurs who undertake simple religious practices, such as prayer, are regularly accused of religious extremism, and that authorities rely on neighbors monitoring one another to determine whether anyone is “guilty.”Over the past three or so years, regulations on the “ten-household system,” a means of neighbors spying and reporting on one another, have become more encompassing.According to the regulations, neighbors are expected to keep watch day and night, to note down any “mistakes” they discover their neighbors committing, and then to drop written records of those “mistakes” into a box each Monday, after which they’re collected by local leaders.Anyone who does not report a “mistake” within a given week is labeled "has ideological problems” and taken into the village cadre’s office for questioning—a threat which has effectively compelled neighbors to find fault in their neighbors’ smallest, most innocuous everyday actions.Reported by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Elise Anderson. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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White women tears are racist?

Yesterday I wrote about the increasing tide of emotionalism surrounding Leftists in the political arena, and what better way to follow that up with than another installment of White Fragility Rebuttal, where I go through Robin DiAngelo’s crowning achievement. Chapter 11 is pack full of the emotionalism as we near the end of her work. In Chapter 11, Robin DiAngelo describes how white women crying is an act of racism. Yes, really. It all goes back to the idea of Assassins Creed Racism that I explained in chapter 5. Basically, white women crying reminds black people of when white women accused black men of raping them. This Assassins Creed Racism bleeds today and thus an act of racism by white women. While Robin DiAngelo is not wrong to suggest that tears can have selfish motivations behind them, she ultimately wants you not to cry but to act. She is trying to motivate action from a sense of guilt. This is manipulative and manipulative in a very similar matter to how churches can wrongfully invoke guilt to achieve an desired action. With White Fragility, it is not the logic that made this book popular. Robin DiAngeo either validates one’s conceived sense of self-superiority, or intentionally tries to manipulate them with sleazy sales tactics. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it. When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that. Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated. The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case as our traffic the last year has been going up dramatically. June, 2018, we had 11,678 visitors. A year later in June, 2019, we were up to 116,194. In June, 2020, we had 614,192. We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above. Election year or not, coronavirus lockdowns or not, anarchic riots or not, the need for truthful journalism endures. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going. Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast. American Conservative Movement Join fellow patriots as we form a grassroots movement to advance the cause of conservatism. The coronavirus crisis has prompted many, even some conservatives, to promote authoritarianism. It’s understandable to some extent now, but it must not be allowed to embed itself in American life. We currently have 8000+ patriots with us in a very short time. If you are interested, please join us to receive updates.

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New Evidence Further Links Xinjiang Company Sanctioned by US to Forced Labor

New evidence further links a company in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) whose products were banned from entry to the U.S. earlier this month to forced labor supplied by detainees from a local internment camp, RFA has learned. On Sept. 14, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency issued Withhold Release Orders (WROs)—measures intended to prevent goods suspected to have been made with forced labor from entering the United States—that targeted three entities from Xinjiang and one from Anhui province in eastern China. Among the products was apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd., located in Ghulja (in Chinese, Yining) county, in the XUAR’s Ili Kazakh (Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture. “Information reasonably indicates that these entities use prison and forced labor in apparel production,” CBP said at the time. “CBP identified forced labor indicators including the restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive working and living conditions.” The WROs follow a year of heightened U.S. scrutiny of Beijing’s sprawling network of camps in the XUAR, where authorities are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities since April 2017. And on Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act that would block imports from the XUAR, amid growing evidence that internment camps in the region have increasingly transitioned from political indoctrination to forced labor, with detainees being sent to work in cotton and textile factories. Investigations by RFA have found that former detainees placed in forced and coerced labor schemes following their detention are regularly required to surrender part of their pay to camp administrators. In some cases, they are housed in dormitories on their workplace campuses and only permitted to visit their families at home as little as once a month. In January last year, RFA learned that nine Kazakh women from Ghulja county were sent back to an internment camp after they refused to sign a labor contract with a monthly salary of 600 yuan (U.S. $90), around 40 percent of a typical wage for a manual worker, of which they would have received only around 300 yuan (U.S. $45). The women had been sent to work in the Jiafang Garments Industrial Park after being released from an internment camp, and expected to work 12-hour shifts sewing gloves and undergo an hour’s “political education” every day for the money. A map shows Ghulja county in the XUAR's Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. RFA Name-brand exports RFA recently spoke with a Europe-based Uyghur who claimed, on condition of anonymity fearing reprisal, that over the past two years their own younger sister has worked under forced labor conditions in a Zhuowan factory. The source, who provided RFA with a number of photos of different factories and workshops, said that several small- and medium-sized factories have been built in Ghulja at the invitation of the local government. “They produce name-brand gloves, bags, clothing, and other goods, and then export them to Russia as well as Europe and the United States,” the source said. “These factories and workshops are tax-exempt, and the local government has assumed responsibility for electricity, water, and rent. These factories use the people from camps basically for free. They work 10-plus hours a day. Those who cannot meet the demands placed on them face all sorts of punishment.” Photos provided by the source show that the Zhuowan factory is located within the Jiafang Garments Industrial Park and reveal rows upon rows of workshops and other buildings inside a large complex. The source also provided the business card of Zhuowan’s general manager, Wang Xinghua. Repeated calls to Wang by RFA reporters went unanswered at the time of publishing. The source said they felt compelled to share information about factories in the region after learning that products made by their sister and other forced laborers were making their way to countries like the U.S. According to information available online, Zhuowan was founded with a private investment of some 460 million yuan (U.S. $67.5 million). It is registered as a limited liability company, and was registered in November of 2017, well after the start of the internment campaign in Xinjiang. The goods it produces include both leather and wool gloves. According to the website of the Ili prefectural government, the total land area of buildings in the Jiafang Garments Industrial Park in the Ili Yidong Industrial District measures around 160 mu (26 acres). When founded in September 2016, the park contained 15 workshops and agreements were signed to locate 15 garment factories there. By August 2017, seven factories in the park were producing apparel and “close to 2,000 [people] were put to work.” Reporting by RFA and a number of other news outlets over the past several years has shown that a staggering number of factories have been built in Xinjiang contemporaneous to the campaign of mass incarceration—many of which are located on the site of or nearby known internment camp locations. Gulzira Auelkhan (R) and a fellow worker at the Zhuowan factory in Ghulja county, in late 2018. Gulzira Auelkhan ‘Just like a camp’ Gulzira Auelkhan, a Kazakh woman RFA reported on last year who worked at Zhuowan, recognized details in the photos supplied by the source in Europe of the factory and Jiafang Industrial Park and confirmed that she had been sent there after spending 15 months prohibited from leaving an internment camp between July 2017 and October 2018. “This is Jiafang—I worked in a glove factory there for three months,” she said. “The Zhuowan glove factory and the camp were both on the grounds there. [The factory] was just like being in a camp. Even now, just thinking of it makes my heart cry. I can’t stand it.” Auelkhan, who relocated to Kazakhstan in 2019 after finishing the work detail, described the factory as a two-story building on the edge of the industrial park structure, where armed police stood “everywhere.” “It was a 20-minute bus ride between the workshop and the camp—at 6:30 a.m. Beijing time, when it was still pitch-black outside, the police would put us onto the bus and take us to the workshop,” she said. There, she claimed, she worked on a floor with more than 200 other Uyghurs and Kazakhs who had been released from a camp. “Between the two floors there were at least 500 Uyghur and Kazakh women, as well as a small number of Hui [Muslim] women [working],” she said. “Excluding the 40 minutes in which we were allowed to eat meals, we spent all the rest of our time under the heavy weight of work, without even the permission to get a drink of water. We got off work at 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. We would go back to the camp and take part in brainwashing sessions.” Each day at work, Auelkhan and others were expected to sew 20 pairs of gloves, each of which could take 30-50 minutes to complete. She said that because she was forced to study Chinese at night, her eyesight had become poor and she was “never once able to complete the work assignment.” “We tried to help one another to complete our work assignments, because there were all sorts of punishments for us if we didn’t finish,” she said. “They even scared us by saying we might go back into the camp.” While Auelkhan was promised 600 yuan for her three-month stint at Zhuowan, at the end of the contract she received nothing and was forced to sign a document saying she had received “free job training” from the company. She was beaten by police when she told them should wouldn’t sign until she received the money she was owed. Visiting officials are briefed outside of the Zhuowan factory, in an undated photo. RFA listener Global market Auelkhan told RFA she is devastated to know that the gloves she and her fellow workmates made are being sold on the global market. “The leather gloves we sewed are sold in China for 250 yuan (U.S. $37)—the cheapest sell for 180 yuan (U.S. $26),” she said. “They told us that the gloves are also sold in the U.S. and Germany, that they would go to foreign countries.” When asked what brand of gloves they were making, Zhuowan managers told workers that the labels would be added once they were sent to different workshops in other parts of China. Additional details of the link between Zhuowan and the internment system, as well as the conditions at the glove factory, were confirmed by Darren Byler, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Asian Studies, at the University of Colorado, Boulder in an September 2019 interview he conducted with a Kazakh man named Erzhan Qurban published in the journal SupChina. Qurban had spent nine months in a camp in Ghulja before being released in November 2018, at which point he was promptly forced to work at the glove factory. Reported by Gulchehra Hoja for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Elise Anderson. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Continue Reading New Evidence Further Links Xinjiang Company Sanctioned by US to Forced Labor

Danielle D’Souza Gill fights for the pre-born by discussing ‘The Choice’

Young women in America are arguably the most under-served portion of the population by the Trump campaign. It’s not for lack of trying, but the demographic is one that isn’t easily reached through the channels the Trump campaign works the most. Thankfully, they’re taking advice from certain young women, including Danielle D’Souza Gill, who are recommending better ways to reach young female voters. Gill isn’t just a member of the Women for Trump advisory board. She’s also a published author whose new book, “The Choice: The Abortion Divide in America,” is currently available for pre-order with a release date of October 6. In it, she takes on the talking points of the pro-abortion left by addressing it through a lens they claim to understand: Choice. Gill believes it does come down to choice and she’s hopeful that people will make the right one for pre-born babies. In this interview on NOQ Report with our EIC, JD Rucker, Gill breaks down what’s happening in the world of Women for Trump as well as how her fight against abortion is a universal one for men and women across America. She positions the debate as one that’s empowering for those who choose life. It’s a different angle that should be considered by all pro-life activists in America today. One of the things that makes America great is our right to choose. Danielle D’Souza Gill understands that choice is important, which is why she named her pro-life book “The Choice.” More Americans need to make the right one. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it. When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that. Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated. The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case as our traffic the last year has been going up dramatically. June, 2018, we had 11,678 visitors. A year later in June, 2019, we were up to 116,194. In June, 2020, we had 614,192. We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above. Election year or not, coronavirus lockdowns or not, anarchic riots or not, the need for truthful journalism endures. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going. Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast. American Conservative Movement Join fellow patriots as we form a grassroots movement to advance the cause of conservatism. The coronavirus crisis has prompted many, even some conservatives, to promote authoritarianism. It’s understandable to some extent now, but it must not be allowed to embed itself in American life. We currently have 8000+ patriots with us in a very short time. If you are interested, please join us to receive updates.

Continue Reading Danielle D’Souza Gill fights for the pre-born by discussing ‘The Choice’

Lao Christians, Government Work to Educate Rural Authorities on Law Protecting the Church

Members of Lao Christian communities are now working with central government officials to inform rural authorities of a law protecting the evangelical church in areas where harassment of Christians continues, Lao sources say.The Law on the Evangelical Church, approved and signed into law on Dec. 19, 2019, allows Lao Christians the right to conduct services and preach throughout the country and to maintain contacts with believers in other countries. Lao churches must fund their own operations, however, and must obey other Lao laws, rules, and regulations.To make the law more widely known, church members working in cooperation with the Interior Ministry and the Lao Front for National Construction held a seminar on Sept. 16 in the central province of Bolikhamxay, a church member in the province told RFA’s Lao Service next day.Only Christians living in the capital Vientiane and in other large cities were formerly acknowledged and respected by the general public, RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for reasons of personal safety.“But those living in rural areas were considered ‘bad elements’ by other residents and by village authorities. Many Christians were abused, reeducated, evicted from their villages, arrested, and jailed--mainly because the local authorities did not understand Christians.”“Now we hope that these meetings will improve understanding between the authorities and Christians,” he said.Seminars were also held last week in Bokeo and Savannakhet provinces, with similar meetings planned for other parts of the country in the near future, sources said.“The government has officially approved this law,” a Christian pastor in Bolikhamxay said, also speaking on condition he not be named. “At the meeting, we explained the law to the representatives of local authorities, and these representatives will pass the information along to other local officials, including authorities in the villages.”“Before, we had a lot of problems. But now things will start to improve because local authorities and the general public everywhere are being made aware of the law,” another local Christian said, while another church member voiced the hope that Christians will now have “more rights and fewer restrictions and limitations.”Laos’ new law will be beneficial for the country’s Christians when it is more widely known, an official responsible for religious affairs in Savannakhet said.“Once it is understood, there will be less mistreatment of Christians because, like any other law, it will have to be respected,” he said.Reached for comment, officials at the Ministry of Interior declined to speak to RFA.Cases of abuse still seenThough improvements in religious freedom conditions were observed in Laos last year, cases of abuse were still seen in remote rural areas, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in a report released in May.“In recent years, the number of people arrested or detained for their religious practices has decreased,” USCIRF said, adding that there were no reports in 2019 of central government authorities carrying out arrests, “although there were several cases at the local level.”Ethnic Hmong families in Laos meanwhile remain objects of suspicion by authorities, with three families evicted from their homes and village in Luang Namtha province’s Tine Doi village earlier this year for refusing to renounce their Christian faith, sources told RFA in an earlier report.On March 15, Lao pastor Sithon Thipavong was arrested by local officials for conducting unspecified religious activities in Kalum Vangkhea village in Savannakhet province’s Xonbury district and was later sentenced to six months in prison, with no official explanation for his arrest ever released.Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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Bishop Robert Smith discusses the state of America’s soul

The worst thing that has ever happened to this nation is the election of President Obama. That’s the first takeaway from Bishop Robert E. Smith, and it only gets more controversial from there. The African-American Bishop has no problem speaking his mind and condemning those who have fought for the forces of evil. In the latest episode of Two Mikes, Dr. Michael Scheuer and Colonel Mike asked poignant questions of the Bishop, and the answers were all worth hearing. “If we’re not praying, we won’t be staying,” Bishop Smith said. The interview combined the worlds of culture, politics, and religion as the intrepid trio called out all who have taken this nation and this world down the wrong path. It’s a short but important interview for all to hear. “Why would we not be bold enough? We’re living in the last days,” Bishop Smith said. That’s the state of America in a nutshell. It’s time to focus on the things that are important. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it. When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that. Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated. The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case as our traffic the last year has been going up dramatically. June, 2018, we had 11,678 visitors. A year later in June, 2019, we were up to 116,194. In June, 2020, we had 614,192. We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above. Election year or not, coronavirus lockdowns or not, anarchic riots or not, the need for truthful journalism endures. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going. Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast. American Conservative Movement Join fellow patriots as we form a grassroots movement to advance the cause of conservatism. The coronavirus crisis has prompted many, even some conservatives, to promote authoritarianism. It’s understandable to some extent now, but it must not be allowed to embed itself in American life. We currently have 8000+ patriots with us in a very short time. If you are interested, please join us to receive updates.

Continue Reading Bishop Robert Smith discusses the state of America’s soul

Missing Uyghur Confirmed Dead by UN Working Group on Disappearances

A retired Uyghur driver who disappeared in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) more than four years ago and was believed held in an internment camp has been confirmed dead by Chinese authorities in response to an inquiry by the United Nations, according to his daughter. China’s government rarely acknowledges inquiries by foreign authorities or international bodies seeking clarification on the status of missing persons within its borders, particularly ethnic Uyghurs, of whom up to 1.8 million are believed to have been extrajudicially detained in a vast network of internment camps in the XUAR since April 2017. Fatimah Abdulghafur, a Uyghur poet and activist living in Australia, recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that she only learned of the death of her father, Abdulghafur Hapiz, earlier this month—nearly two years after it occurred—because the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) made a formal inquiry to the Chinese government after registering his disappearance in April 2019. “A letter came directly from the U.N. and they said the contents of the letter came from the Chinese government,” Abdulghafur said. “The PDF they sent showed his name, Ghopur Hapiz, his passport number, and his household registration in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi), and it said he died of pneumonia and tuberculosis on Nov. 3, 2018,” she added, using an alias for her father, who is also known as Abdulghafur Siddiq, Gupur Apizi, and by his Chinese name Apizi Wufuer. No information was provided about whether Hapiz had been detained or was interned at the time of his death. According to the Chinese government, Abdulghafur’s mother, Rushangul Abdurehim (Adudureyimu Ruxianguli), who had also gone missing and is believed to have been placed under house arrest, “is living a normal life in society.” Abdulghafur’s brother Abdusami Ghopur (Abudusemaiti Wufu) and her sister, Meryem Ghopur(Bumairiyanmu Wufu)—both of whom had been registered as missing with the WGEID—were not mentioned in the communication. Her brother is thought to have been detained at an internment camp, while her sister is believed to have been placed under house arrest with her mother. Seeking information Abdulghafur told RFA she had last spoken with her father on April 25, 2016 via the Chinese messaging platform WeChat. “With a sense of urgency in his voice, he left a message saying, ‘Daughter, please call me back immediately—please call me, I have something important to say,’” she said. “The message came overnight, and after I got up in the morning I listened to his message and tried to call him, but he’d already disappeared. I started looking for my dad after that.” Abdulghafur said that her younger sister, who lives in Turkey, told her she had learned from a source inside the XUAR that their father had been taken to a camp in March 2017. “She said someone had sent her a message saying there was a way that she could save him, but she didn’t know how to do so,” Abdulghafur said. “Since going in [to the camp], he hadn’t come out—that’s what she said.” “They didn’t take my mother and youngest sister in … They put them under house arrest at home, made it so they couldn’t go outside. But they took my younger brother into a camp—Sami Ghopur.” Abdulghafur tried multiple methods over the past several years to publicize the cases of her family members and to seek information on their whereabouts, including through interviews with media outlets and making inquiries to human rights lawyers in China and other countries, before registering them with the WGEID in April last year. She said she learned in May 2019 through sources in the XUAR that her brother, who she believes was targeted by authorities because he had traveled to Turkey and taken the holy Islamic hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, had been released from the camp he was placed in. However, she only learned about her father’s death earlier this month after the Chinese government responded to the WGEID inquiry. ‘Open-minded thinker’ Abdulghafur Hapiz, who was born on Jan. 5, 1955, had a long career working in both government offices and private enterprises. For a number of years, he worked at a government travel bureau in Kashgar and later opened a restaurant in the city. Most recently, Hapiz had been conducting business between Kashgar and Korla (Kuerle)—a county-level city in Bayin’gholin Mongol (Bayinguoleng Menggu) Autonomous Prefecture and the XUAR’s second-largest city—several prefectures away. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Hapiz worked for a branch of the China Youth Travel Service, driving often between Kashgar and Pakistan, and Abdulghafur said that his work in travel exposed him to early abuses of the Chinese state against Uyghurs who traveled abroad. “The business of forcing Uyghurs to return to the homeland had already started happening in Kashgar in the 1980’s,” she said. “My father’s boss went [to Pakistan] to bring back young people who’d gone to Karachi to study, who’d gone to study at an Islamic university there. They lied to the students and told them they were going to do this and that for them, but after they brought them back to Kashgar they locked some of them up in jail … my father told us about a lot of things like this.” Abdulghafur called her father “an open-minded thinker” who was straightforward in expressing his opinions and said she believes that his direct knowledge of government abuses over the past several decades was the reason for his detention. “He always had his finger on the pulse of what was going on,” she said. “Whether writers, poets, governors, or mayors, he interacted with them. That’s why my dad had woken up [to what was happening], in spite of the fact that he himself didn’t have the power to do much. He knew what the government was doing.” Abdulghafur said that she has assisted close to 100 Uyghurs in filling out applications to the U.N.’s WGEID to search for information about their missing family members. She has also begun a formal collaboration with staff of the Uyghur Transitional Justice Database in Norway to help others attempting to locate their lost loved ones in the XUAR. Reported by Mihray Abdilim for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Elise Anderson. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Continue Reading Missing Uyghur Confirmed Dead by UN Working Group on Disappearances

I watched ‘Cuties’ so you don’t have to. Here’s my takeaway.

An unpleasant part of my job as a cultural commentator is to watch films and read books that I have no interest in or that might be morally questionable. This first hit home when I was working for The Federalist and the publisher wanted his writers to comment on the popular book Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m no shrinking violet and I have wide berth for Christian liberty, but I just didn’t feel like trudging through bad writing that glorified sadistic sex. I complied, however, and wrote several articles, because it was a pop culture phenomenon that needed wise criticism, and I didn’t want to write commentary for something I hadn’t read. I also wanted to do our readers the service of reading it so they didn’t have to. I’m once again faced with this same chore regarding the new film on Netflix called “Cuties.” Because the cultural impact of the sexual revolution is a great interest of mine and one Christians must grapple with, I wanted to be able to comment on the film with a thorough understanding of what was being presented. So I buckled down and watched it. I wouldn’t, however, say that everyone who comments on the film has to watch it, especially those who take seriously guarding their thoughts. It’s enough to know that it sexually exploits 11-year-old actresses to come to the conclusion that it’s unworthy of art and our disproportionate attention. The film itself is nothing original. It’s basically a coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old girl raised in a strict Muslim family who becomes enthralled with the libertinism of the world and wants to experience it despite religious opposition generated by her conservative family. Sound familiar? To put it bluntly, this film is basically a version of Footloose except it’s set in Paris instead of Oklahoma, the religious scolds are Muslim instead of Christian, the kids are a group of 11-year-old girls instead of high schoolers, and the dancing is highly sexualized twerking and grinding instead of the fun dance moves of Kevin Bacon. Let me, however, repeat the most significant difference: 11-YEAR-OLD GIRLS are engaged in highly sexualized dancing that is nothing short of exploitation. I’m not exaggerating on this point. Though the dancing is a small part of the movie, the sequences are long with a lot of close-ups; the girls are humping the ground, grinding into each other, sticking their fingers in their mouths, and looking seductively at the camera. You saw similar dancing by young girls at the NFL halftime show headlining Jennifer Lopez and Shakira—an event that also created a lot of controversy for obvious reasons. The movie opens with the unoriginal storyline that religion is bad for women and inhibits their sexual liberty—except in this instance the filmmaker comes closer to the truth by using extremist Islamism and its actual oppression of women. To start the film rolling, a young girl named Amy is led into a room of religious women, where one of the leaders says, “Women must be pious because in hell there will be many more women than men. … Where does evil dwell? In the bodies of uncovered women. Therefore we must strive to preserve our decency, obey our husbands, and fear God when we educate our children.” Because I know how Hollywood thinks, this setup isn’t just a commentary on misogyny in Islam. It’s setting up the old conflict between religion in general (including Christianity) and women’s liberty that we’ve been hearing about since the sexual revolution. One of the most widely accepted doctrines of the women’s liberation movement is that women need to be free sexual creatures to be truly respected as women, and religion stands in the way of that freedom. If they’re not free to use their bodies as they wish, have sex with whomever they want, be publicly naked when they want, even engage in porn as a testimony of their “control” over their own bodies, then they are being oppressed by religious scolds. This film focuses on the Muslim religion, but it just as easily could have used a perverted view of Christianity to make its point that religion is oppressive to female sexuality. I know this. You need to know it, too. Amy, who walks around like she’s in a cloud, witnesses this religious oppression, sees her mother’s distress at having to endure her husband marrying another woman, and suffers her aged aunt’s continual judgment about piety and modesty, only to be stimulated when she discovers a girl her age dancing in the laundry room of her apartment building. The bulk of the movie is Amy becoming increasingly captivated with a group of girls who dance like strippers at a club and longing to become “free” like they are. Everything degenerates from this point on. Amy starts dressing scantily, watches dance porn on a stolen phone during prayer time, becomes fascinated with seeing a boy’s penis, slathers on makeup, posts a nude pic on the Internet, tries to seduce a family friend, and fully embraces the gyrating dancing of her adopted group of skanky friends—all while her mother, in quiet reluctance, prepares to attend her husband’s wedding to his second wife. Amy will also have to attend—something she dreads, and it pushes her into even more disturbing and decadent behavior. I’m going to give you a spoiler, so if you really want to watch the movie, stop now and skip this and the next three paragraphs. The climax of the film is when Amy’s family finds out about her debauchery (of course they do). They react as you imagine they would—her mother even threatens to kill her. The aunt—always focused on religion—exercises purification rites on her, only to find Amy in full meltdown mode, gyrating like she’s dancing, with more close-ups of her bottom, and leaving her aunt to think she is possessed by an evil spirit. Amy is unrepentant (of course) and proceeds to participate in a dance competition with her friends. The final dance scene is grotesque, with more close-ups of the girls’ bodies, crotches, and bottoms while they writhe, pucker their lips, and gaze sexually into the camera. The dance isn’t received well by the audience or the judges. Their reactions could be cut and pasted from the beauty pageant dance scene in “Little Miss Sunshine.” At some point in the dance, Amy’s conscience hits her. So she stops, begins to cry, and runs off the stage. The film closes with Amy returning home where the wedding guests are arriving. She’s in her slutty dance clothes, so her aunt erupts when she sees her, but her mother steps in and defends Amy. Her mom, who just a day or so ago was threatening to kill her for going full slut, becomes her greatest defender. The writers didn’t do a great job setting up why, but enough is there to conclude that mom is so angry about her husband getting married, and she feels trapped by the situation, that she has a moment of sympathy for her daughter who is clearly acting out and longing to be free as well. She even goes so far as to tell Amy that she doesn’t have to attend the wedding if she doesn’t want to. The story ends with Amy changing out of her dance suit and into simple clothes that aren’t slutty but they aren’t the dour clothes of her religion. She walks outside and joins a group of wholesome girls skipping rope. She steps in and starts jumping, her frown turning to a bright smile. She finally finds liberty. It’s not in the depraved dance group, but it’s not in conforming to her parents’ oppressive religion either. She’s now a fully liberated girl, thanks to her debased experiences where she explored her sexuality and to her mother setting her free. If this story were of a young woman, I’d merely have been bored with the unoriginality, immorality, and predictability of the tale. But, I want to emphasize once again: this is a story about an 11 year old. A young girl is put into the landscape of feministic themes about sexual expression and religious oppression, and she and other girls are used as canvas to tell a story that women have been repeating for decades. The only difference is now the storytellers are focusing on vulnerable girls, which is the trajectory of our society regarding sexuality in general: younger and younger and younger. Feminism itself is increasingly targeting girls with its message of liberty. “Girl Power” is everywhere. Evidently, freeing bored housewives of their bored lives isn’t enough. Modern feminists have to get girls on board at young ages to groom them to be sexually free as they have defined freedom. Because of our history of “sexual liberation,” we have a society that is saturated in sex, not just among adults but now among children. This sexualization has been on the increase for years, and it has created a whole host of social problems. Just read this report by the American Psychological Association (not the most conservative source) about how damaging sexualizing girls is. The drug use, pregnancy, abortion, low performance in schools, depression, suicide—the list goes on and on. Yet, here we are, continuing to sexualize girls—and not only sexualize them, but exploit them for the mere purpose of telling a story. This is the point I want to close with. All the others about avoiding sexual immorality and holding these adults accountable for the sexual exploitation of child actors are obvious. My point here is more nuanced. I want to ask you to think about what we justify in the name of storytelling in filmmaking. I say filmmaking because putting stories on stage and in film is very different than using words in a book. In the medium of the novel, actors aren’t involved, and the visual is not engaged. I’m not saying immoral books are justified, but it’s an entirely different world when you put stories into film. The fact is not all stories need to be shown. Using little actresses (real people!) as sexual objects to tell a story is wrong, even if your goal is to show that women should not be sexual objects. And this is the great irony of this film. It focuses on women’s liberation and women not being used as sexual objects, but they violate their own goals by doing to these girls the very thing they say they oppose. The filmmakers used young girls as tools to tell a story about freeing women from religious oppression. They justified subjecting viewers to the sexualization of girls and exploiting the girls themselves in the name of storytelling. This is nothing short of blind idolatry. Worship of film in which the gods are writers who can do and say and use anyone as they wish because they have justified their actions in the name of the Holy Story is one of the great evils here. Sadly, society rewards them by paying to watch and demanding more like it. We as a “civilized” people need to rethink our devotion to film at all costs. Not every story needs to be shown; not every tale needs to be visually portrayed. There are real people involved, people who are exploited to tell that story, and viewers who are debased by watching it. It’s time we started putting people before tales, moral truths before exciting plots, thoughtfulness before imagination, and human dignity before the mighty dollar. Originally published at Romans One. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it. When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that. Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated. The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case as our traffic the last year has been going up dramatically. June, 2018, we had 11,678 visitors. A year later in June, 2019, we were up to 116,194. In June, 2020, we had 614,192. We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above. Election year or not, coronavirus lockdowns or not, anarchic riots or not, the need for truthful journalism endures. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going. Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast. American Conservative Movement Join fellow patriots as we form a grassroots movement to advance the cause of conservatism. The coronavirus crisis has prompted many, even some conservatives, to promote authoritarianism. It’s understandable to some extent now, but it must not be allowed to embed itself in American life. We currently have 8000+ patriots with us in a very short time. If you are interested, please join us to receive updates.

Continue Reading I watched ‘Cuties’ so you don’t have to. Here’s my takeaway.

What is racial stamina? And do you have any?

One of the first terms Robin DiAngelo drops is racial stamina, but there is almost the expectation that you should know what these terms mean. As a non-woke person, these are new terms for me. And Robin DiAngelo uses these terms in passing without providing context clues to know what they mean. “Racial” functioning as an adjective or adverb in DiAngelo’s writing alters the succeeding word into some new Social Justice Warrior phrase. But in chapter 10 of White Fragility, we finally get enough context clues to define “racial stamina.” Racial stamina may be colloquially defined as the ability to accept accusations of racism or racist behavior. Racial stamina has no regard for the merit of such accusations of race (because meritocracy is an idea to maintain white supremacy.) To be defensive in any way against accusations of racism is to exhibit white fragility. See how non-falsifiable this all is? According to Robin DiAngelo, ideal white woke person will bend over and take a baseless accusation of racism, without vaseline, get up afterwards, and say thank you. This is extremely anti-intellectual, to disregard context and merit for a claim. But intersectionality, which ultimately argues one’s ability to see truth is ultimately determined by their intersections of oppression according to Critical Theory (Cultural Marxism). This was honestly my favorite chapter to review because her concept of racial stamina is entirely laughable. It is also a solution, to build up one’s racial stamina, that she advocates. And this nonsense is why we need to purge society of Critical Theory, because we are laughing at the idea of racial stamina now but not for much longer. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it. When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that. Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated. The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case as our traffic the last year has been going up dramatically. June, 2018, we had 11,678 visitors. A year later in June, 2019, we were up to 116,194. In June, 2020, we had 614,192. We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above. Election year or not, coronavirus lockdowns or not, anarchic riots or not, the need for truthful journalism endures. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going. Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast. American Conservative Movement Join fellow patriots as we form a grassroots movement to advance the cause of conservatism. The coronavirus crisis has prompted many, even some conservatives, to promote authoritarianism. It’s understandable to some extent now, but it must not be allowed to embed itself in American life. We currently have 8000+ patriots with us in a very short time. If you are interested, please join us to receive updates.

Continue Reading What is racial stamina? And do you have any?

The left is trying to abolish God

John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, wrote “Worship, the Ultimate Priority” a number of years ago. His message is timeless, and remains in print. Little did I know that as I prepped to teach my class at church (in person!) that I would find a key purpose of the Left’s demand that churches cease in-person services explicitly laid out in a story told for decades. MacArthur recounts … “A pastor went to see a man who didn’t attend church very faithfully. The man was sitting before a fire, watching the warm glow of the coals. It was a cold winter day, but the coals were red hot, and the fire was warm. The pastor pleaded with the man to be more faithful in meeting with the people of God, but the man didn’t seem to be getting the message. So the pastor took the tongs beside the fireplace, pulled open the screen, and reached in and began to separate all the coals. When none of the coals was touching the others, he stood and watched in silence. In a matter of moments, they were all cold. “That’s what’s happening in your life,” he told the man. “As soon as you isolate yourself from God’s people, the fire goes out.” -MacArthur, John. Worship (p. 144). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. This is exactly what we are seeing. Many churches that have been filled with lukewarm Christians will never recover from the lockdowns. Their coals have gone out. Without the regular company of believers, those who have not fully committed themselves to God find themselves weakened and may never come back. I don’t think many of the radical Left have read MacArthur’s book or heard that illustration from the pulpit, but the result is the same. Their rabid hatred makes them celebrate when those who believe differently are harmed. If divine authority is belittled, so much the better. Little do they understand that they are culpable in eternal harms. But the Father of Lies is happy to use his useful idiots to do his work. Churches need to rapidly realize that the pandemic is over. If someone is ill, they should stay home. Otherwise, they should not forsake the assembling together (Hebrews 10:23-25). It is an essential part of keeping the flame of faith burning. Ted Noel MD posts on social media as DoctorTed or @VidZette. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it. When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that. Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated. The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case as our traffic the last year has been going up dramatically. June, 2018, we had 11,678 visitors. A year later in June, 2019, we were up to 116,194. In June, 2020, we had 614,192. We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above. Election year or not, coronavirus lockdowns or not, anarchic riots or not, the need for truthful journalism endures. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going. Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast. American Conservative Movement Join fellow patriots as we form a grassroots movement to advance the cause of conservatism. The coronavirus crisis has prompted many, even some conservatives, to promote authoritarianism. It’s understandable to some extent now, but it must not be allowed to embed itself in American life. We currently have 8000+ patriots with us in a very short time. If you are interested, please join us to receive updates.

Continue Reading The left is trying to abolish God

Detainees Endure Forced Labor in Xinjiang Region Where Disney Filmed Mulan

Detainees at an internment camp in an area of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), where Disney shot part of its blockbuster film Mulan, are being subjected to forced labor making socks and crushing gravel, according to a local official. Disney released its U.S. $200 million live-action version of the popular 1998 animated film “Mulan” about a young woman who pretends to be a man so that she can join the military on behalf of her sick father on its streaming platform Disney+ on Sept. 4. In the credits of the long-awaited remake, the company thanks several entities known to have contributed to Beijing’s repressive rule in the XUAR, where authorities are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since April 2017. Among those thanked in the credits are the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda commission in the XUAR, which has sought to justify the camps as voluntary “vocational centers,” despite reporting by RFA’s Uyghur Service which has found that detainees are mostly held against their will in poor conditions, where they are forced to endure inhumane treatment and political indoctrination. Disney also thanked the Turpan (in Chinese, Tulufan) prefectural branch of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, which in July was sanctioned by the Trump administration for its role in abuses in the region. Turpan, where the film was shot in part, is a prefecture-level city in eastern Xinjiang whose population of around 650,000 people is some 75 percent Uyghur. The ancient Silk Road city is known as being one of the earliest to have rolled out a campaign of “transformation through education” of Muslims, beginning in August 2013. RFA recently learned from local police officers that as many as eight camps are in operation within the prefecture’s boundaries, despite claims in Paris earlier this month by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that all those sent to camps in the XUAR have been released and placed in employment. A source who is familiar with the situation in Turpan, but declined to be named for fear of reprisal, told RFA that authorities sent many residents to one of the camps outside of Turpan city in 2017 as part of what they initially termed a “15-day training session” that was to be completed at the end of China’s Oct. 18-25 19th Party Congress held in Beijing that year. However, families of the detainees were later told that, because the “training” had resulted in a “positive effect on social stability,” those at the camp would remain there for the foreseeable future, according to the source. By the end of 2017, camp authorities had begun building factories inside the camp and detainees were made to wear color-coded uniforms that classified them according to their so-called “crimes,” the source said. No salaries provided When pressed for details about the camp, the political commissar of the Chengzhen District Police Station, in Turpan’s Toksun (Tuokexun) county, told RFA that the camp, which is the prefecture’s largest, is located “outside of Turpan city,” without elaborating. But a Uyghur police officer in the seat of Toksun county, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told RFA that the camp is known as the No. 4 Training Center, located in the desert along the highway linking the county to Turpan city, and houses detainees who are forced to labor in factories built within the walls of the complex. “There is nothing there but a training school—it’s six to 10 kilometers (four to six miles) outside of [Turpan] city center … in the middle of the desert,” he said. “It’s still there in operation. Right now, there are factories built inside there and they are manufacturing socks and household items. There is also a gravel factory inside. I was told that some are working in the gravel factory and others are working in the sock factory.” The officer said he was unsure of how many buildings exist within the complex because he is not permitted to enter but claimed there are “numerous” structures there. “No one from the outside is allowed in for security reasons,” he said. When asked whether detainees are provided salaries for the work they do, the officer said, “no, not yet.” Those who have been accused of more serious “crimes” are taken to work at the Zhongtai Yanhua Gurong Cement Factory at 6:00 a.m. each morning and returned to the camp at 8:00 p.m. “It’s in Toksun’s Awghuy village, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) outside of the county center,” he said. “I don’t know how many people work there but there are a lot of them.” Forced labor scheme Reports of the forced labor conditions in Turpan come amid indications that China is increasingly relocating some inmates of its three-year-old internment camp program that has drawn international condemnation and U.S. sanctions, sending many to work in factories across China and arbitrarily sentencing others to prison terms without trials. Investigations by RFA have found that former detainees placed in forced and coerced labor schemes following their detention are regularly required to surrender part of their pay to camp administrators. In some cases, they are housed in dormitories on their workplace campuses and only permitted to visit their families at home as little as once a month. On Monday, the Trump administration announced new customs actions to block imports of hair, apparel, and cotton products believed to be produced with forced labor by three entities from Xinjiang, as well as computer parts produced by one from eastern China’s Anhui province. In a message posted to Twitter that day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed China’s “immoral use of forced labor,” which he said “is at odds with American values.” “We won't tolerate products exported to the U.S. made on the backs of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups across China,” he wrote. Mulan backlash Disney has faced significant backlash, including a growing call to boycott Mulan, over its decision to film in the XUAR despite ongoing rights abuses there, as well as for thanking entities linked to mass incarceration in the region. Last week, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts led 17 other U.S. lawmakers in writing an open letter to Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, demanding clarification on the company’s cooperation with XUAR agencies. Globally, Mulan has earned U.S. $37.6 million to date at the box office. The film, which has faced tough reviews in China for what critics say are poor action scenes and its deviation from the plot of the original animated feature, endured a disappointing debut of only U.S. $23.2 million. Reported by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Mamatjan Juma. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Continue Reading Detainees Endure Forced Labor in Xinjiang Region Where Disney Filmed Mulan

‘The Jewish People Do Not Want to See the Same Happen to the Uyghurs’: Israeli Activist

Anne Destiny 1 is one of the few Israelis actively campaigning against the persecution of ethnic Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) on Twitter. The social media activist, who asked to be identified only by her Twitter handle, said that the Israeli government should speak out against repression in the region, where authorities are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since April 2017. As more evidence about Beijing’s policies in the region raise the question of whether Chinese authorities may be committing a form of genocide as defined by the United Nations, Anne Destiny 1 said that Jews in Israel are increasingly concerned by the Uyghur situation, although they are wary of drawing comparisons to the atrocities of the holocaust in Nazi Germany. Anne Destiny 1 recently spoke with RFA’s Uyghur Service about the work she is doing to draw attention to rights abuses in the XUAR and how she believes the Israeli people can help pressure China to end its crackdown in the region. RFA: When did you first learn about the plight of Uyghur people? Anne: I had heard of the Uyghurs already maybe 20 years ago. I think it was in 2017 that I became aware of the atrocities that they endure. It was only in the last three years that I’ve actually known about their sufferings. RFA: What was your reaction after you heard of what was happening to the Uyghur people? Anne: I must say I was shocked because I actually heard it from a Uyghur friend that we got to know in Europe. So, it immediately became very personal. It was a shock. We got the message that his parents had gone missing. RFA: As an Israeli, what made you speak out on the Uyghur issue? Anne: I think it's just kind of a conviction that this is something that has to be spoken of. We can't just sit quietly and watch this happen. So, I thought about what I can do as an individual is to get on Twitter and try to inform other Israelis, but also anybody who's interested. So, I started posting Uyghur related news since 2018, because I felt the need for information. RFA: What sort of activism has taken place in Israel so far? Anne: In Israel, they are taking part in Friday protests outside the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv … And also, in the last couple of years there have been university lecturers speaking not only about Uyghur culture but also about what is happening to the Uyghurs and the persecution that they are currently facing inside XUAR. RFA: China is one of Israel's largest trading partners and sources of foreign investment, alongside the United States and Europe. Under these circumstances, what is Israel’s position towards the current ongoing Uyghur crisis? Anne: So far Israel hasn’t made any official statements about the Uyghur crisis. It has not shown any support, but neither has it condemned it. But I do believe this can also change because I think on a personal and grassroots level, we can effect change. RFA: Why is the Israeli government’s response towards the ongoing humanitarian crisis so important? Anne: I do think that one of the aspects is that Israel being a nation that was established after the Holocaust, it has affected this nation. We are very sensitive to others when we … see genocide happening elsewhere in the world, and do not want to stay silent. And Jewish people vowed that the Holocaust should never happen again. I'm actually really pleased to see that people are really waking up to what is happening to the Uyghurs. Drawing comparisons RFA: Most of us, especially in the Jewish community, won’t compare any current atrocities to the Holocaust due to the idea that comparisons like these make light of the annihilation of the Jewish people. But there are voices emerging now that when it comes to the Uyghur crisis, there is no alternative but to compare the two because there are many echoes of the past. In your opinion is there any similarities between what had happened to the Jews and what is currently happening to the Uyghurs? Anne: Well, there are definitely many similarities and the scale of the dehumanization is the most obvious thing. Putting people in camps with poor conditions. I actually had a talk with follow activists from the Jewish advocacy for Uyghurs about how they view this. The Holocaust is such a sensitive thing in the Jewish state, and this is actually quite shocking for them to see something similar that resembles the Holocaust is happening again. The Jews are kind of divided about the use of the word Holocaust … But then again, comparing the two, [Uyghurs and Jews] I think we definitely need to compare, because this is almost like a genocide in the making. So, I think the Jewish people are starting to compare what is happening to the Uyghurs with the Holocaust. They may not use the actual name Holocaust, because for them it is a kind of reference to what happened to their families in the 40s. But … the Jewish people definitely do not want to see the same happen to the Uyghurs. So, they want to prevent it from happening. RFA: Why are world leaders so reluctant to call the Uyghur crisis a genocide? Anne: I think is that this is already meeting some the U.N. characteristics for genocide. So, I think if we acknowledge it as genocide it will actually force world leaders to act. RFA: There was an article written by young Jewish student in America, in which he urged the Jewish community, especially young Jews, to speak out against the Uyghur crisis. What can young Jews and Israelis do to force China to stop its abuses against the Uyghurs? Anne: I think young people can be very active in just influencing their own community, colleges, and universities. And I notice many young people acting on social media … I can see that the third generation of Jews whose grandparents are Holocaust survivors, they have this inbuilt ability to empathize with people when they hear what they're going through. What is happening to the Uyghurs is already on such a level that even young people feel that the comparison to the Holocaust can be made and they feel they need to shout louder than ever that we should never let this happen again. Reported and translated by Shahrezad Ghayrat for RFA’s Uyghur Service.

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Federal Judge Rules Pennsylvania “Lock-Down Rules”, and COVID Compliance Decrees, Unconstitutional…

A federal judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania had ruled that Governor Tom Wolfe’s dictates, decrees and rules were/are unconstitutional restrictions on liberty. U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV concluded the governor’s stay at home orders, limits on gatherings and closure of “non life-sustaining” businesses violated citizens’ Constitutional rights. The judge was responding to a lawsuit brought by a group of Pennsylvania businesses. “The Constitution cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures. Rather, the Constitution sets certain lines that may not be crossed, even in an emergency.” ~ Judge Stickman [full pdf below] The well-thought ruling, while accepting and appreciating the challenges presented to government, finds the arbitrary and capricious definitions/applications of rules amount to ever-changing dictates that infringed on basic constitutional rights without any due process in place.  Full ruling below. One win for freedom. Here’s the ruling: . (Reuters) […] Ruling on a lawsuit brought by business owners and Republican politicians, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, said the restrictions were executed with good intentions but were arbitrary and violated individual rights. While some of the limits have been lifted since the lawsuit was filed in May, the Democratic governor has maintained some restrictions on gatherings and on bars and restaurants. The Wolf administration was reviewing the ruling, a spokesperson told Reuters. (read more) Share this: Like this: Like Loading...

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US Media Pans Disney Over Filming Mulan in Xinjiang

U.S. media outlets have questioned Disney’s decision to film parts of its new blockbuster film in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) amid a campaign by Beijing that has seen hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs thrown in extrajudicial detention. Disney released its U.S. $200 million live-action version of the popular 1998 animated film “Mulan” about a young woman who pretends to be a man so that she can join the military on behalf of her sick father on its streaming platform Disney+ on Sept. 4. In the credits of the long-awaited remake, the company thanks several entities known to have contributed to Beijing’s repressive rule in the XUAR, where authorities are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since April 2017. Among those thanked in the credits are the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda commission in the XUAR, which has sought to justify the camps as voluntary “vocational centers,” despite reporting by RFA’s Uyghur Service which has found that detainees are mostly held against their will in poor conditions, where they are forced to endure inhumane treatment and political indoctrination. Disney also thanked the Turpan branch of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, which in July was sanctioned by the Trump administration for its role in abuses in the region. On Monday, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby calls for a boycott of the film, saying that because Disney had gone out of its way to thank state agencies responsible for rights abuses in the XUAR, “anyone with a functioning conscience should be nauseated.” He noted that while Disney in 1996 produced the movie Kundun, about the life of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, it quickly apologized for the film after Beijing restricted the company’s access to Chinese audiences. “Maybe Disney has no qualms about its open and shameless collaboration with the brutes of Beijing, but the rest of us should,” Jacoby writes. “Don’t reward that collaboration with your dollars. Boycott ‘Mulan.’” Disney also drew the ire of CNN anchor Jake Tapper during his State of the Union segment on Sunday, during which he slammed the company for thanking XUAR entities in the film’s credits. He also dismissed an attempt last week by Disney’s Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy to justify the company’s decision, citing “common knowledge” that filming in China requires the permission of government publicity departments and saying it is standard practice to acknowledge national and local governments in film credits. “Really? How standard is it to film in an area where the local government has concentration camps and is being accused of genocide?” Tapper asked. “I guess we should be happy no parts of Fantasia needed to be filmed in occupied Poland.” Letter from lawmakers The two reports followed the release of a Sept. 11 open letter to Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek from co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, as well as 17 other U.S. lawmakers, demanding clarification on the company’s cooperation with XUAR agencies. “The decision to film parts of Mulan in the XUAR, in cooperation with local security and propaganda elements, offers tacit legitimacy to these perpetrators of crimes that may warrant the designation of genocide,” the letter read. The lawmakers noted that Disney states on its website that the company believes “social responsibility is a long-term investment that serves to strengthen our operations and competitiveness in the marketplace, enhance risk management, attract and engage talented employees, and maintain our reputation.” “We seek to fully understand how you implement this commitment in the activities you undertake in China,” the letter said. Globally, Mulan has earned U.S. $37.6 million to date at the box office. The film, which has faced tough reviews in China for what critics say are poor action scenes and its deviation from the plot of the original animated feature, endured a disappointing debut of only U.S. $23.2 million.

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Hong Kong Catholics 'Divided' Over Response to National Security Crackdown

Catholic priests in Hong Kong have been asked to avoid "instigating hatred and social disorder" by their bishop, as the local Catholic diocese appeared to signal it wouldn't oppose a draconian national security law imposed on the city by Beijing.A letter issued to priests by Cardinal John Tong Hon, the current administrator of the Hong Kong diocese, said priests should not use sermons to "convey the preacher’s personal views  (such as his own view on a social or political issue) but God’s message," the Catholic newspaper The Tablet reported."In a critical time like today, our faithful are hoping to hear something comforting, constructive and encouraging from the preachers during the liturgy," the paper quoted the letter as saying.The letter came after a group of Hong Kong Catholics dropped a planned fundraising campaign to buy advertising space to print a prayer for democracy in a local newspaper, after pressure from church leaders.Catholic Benedict Rogers, a human rights activist with the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party and the founder of the rights group Hong Kong Watch, hit out at the Catholic Church's response to an ongoing crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong."While many Catholics, and Christians of other traditions, have played leading roles in Hong Kong’s movement for democracy, it is by now clear that the hierarchy in Hong Kong has kowtowed to the Chinese Communist Party," Rogers wrote in an op-ed for the Hong Kong-based Catholic UCA News website."There is a shocking divide between those who would kneel and bow in prayer to God before fighting for justice, freedom and human dignity, and those who instead kneel and bow to Beijing," the article said.Church in Hong Kong dividedThe national security legislation, which was imposed by Beijing on the city without recourse to its Legislative Council (LegCo), has divided the Catholic Church in Hong Kong, The Tablet reported.While some figures like Cardinal Joseph Zen have spoken out against the law, which criminalizes speech and peaceful dissent, and said they are willing to risk arrest and prison, the diocese, which ministers to more than 500,000 Hong Kong Catholics, appears anxious to avoid offending Beijing, and has urged its schools to embrace China's insistence on "patriotic education."Ying Fuk-tsang, director of Christian Study Center on Chinese Religion & Culture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the new law has sparked a culture of fear and denunciation in Hong Kong."Now it's all about intimidation, or maybe naming or criticizing to make you feel that you should be afraid," Ying told RFA."In the past, naming names wouldn't have mattered, because the national security law didn't exist," he said. "But now, it's pretty easy to accuse someone of breaching the law, and that's a pretty serious accusation."Not optimisticProtestant pastor Yuen Tin-Yau, former chairman of the Hong Kong Christian Council, said he isn't optimistic about the future of religious freedom in Hong Kong."The Chinese Communist regime in mainland China doesn't have religious beliefs; totalitarian regimes usually don't," Yuen said. "There will be no problem as long as you don't oppose them, but if you criticize them, I don't think they will accept that."I don't know how things will turn out in the future," he said, and urged caution, to avoid provoking the authorities."I think that if you have something to say, you should of course say it; there is no need to avoid that," Yuen said. "But you should be very careful what you say."The Protestant Hong Kong Pastors' Network has been outspoken in its opposition to the national security law, and has already been accused of "secession and subversion of state power" by Beijing-backed newspapers the Wen Wei Po and the Ta Kung Pao, and at least two of their members have now reportedly fled the city.Article 32 of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, states that Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of conscience, as well as freedom of religious belief and freedom to preach and to conduct and participate in religious activities in public.Reported by Man Hoi-tsan for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Shiite Muslims to Observe Arbaeen Remotely over Pandemic: Iran

Iran’s health minister says this year’s Arbaeen march, which is to mark the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), will be held remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saeed Namaki said in a phone conversation with Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi that in the year of the Coronavirus pandemic, perhaps the best way to express devoutness to Imam Hussein (AS) is new methods not experienced before. The Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the ulema as well as cultural figures in Iran and Iraq must come together to make a more detailed plan for the Arbaeen mourning ceremony this year, noted Namaki. “It is necessary to form a joint committee between the Ministries of Health of the two countries to hold the glorious mourning ceremony of Arbaeen remotely. With the cooperation of the two countries, we are trying to seriously fight COVID-19 in order to contain the disease as soon as possible,” added Namaki. Iran’s minister of health emphasized that the country’s relationship with the honourable people and the land of Iraq is historic and will never be broken. “This year in Iran, with the support of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, a very glorious but protocol-based Muharram ceremony was held. We were able to follow health protocols in such a way that the least harm from the corona virus was recorded.” For his part, the Iraqi health minister said it is very nice to hear good news from Iran about the control of COVID-19 and the reduction of the number of deaths. “We continuously follow the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the control of this disease and we have learned lessons in this regard,” underlined Tamimi. Subscribe

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Catholic Nun Who Addressed DNC Convention Declined to Take Position On Abortion: ‘I Would Have to Study It More Intensely’

“It’s not the issue that we work on. I’m a lawyer. I would have to study it more intensely than I have,” she added.

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