Forum on Uyghur’s Plight: Countering Extremism or Religious Discrimination?
Venue: IAIS Malaysia, Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Reports have surfaced recently alleging that the Chinese authorities have been detaining up to a million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minorities in what have been called ‘re-education camps’ in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China. It has also been widely reported that human rights abuses were rampant in the region, aiming specifically towards ethnic minorities in Xinjiang particularly Uyghur Muslims, including threats to freedom of religion.
The Chinese government nevertheless claimed that these camps are vocational and educational training centres intended to ‘combat extremism’.
A nuanced understanding of the current plight of the Uyghurs however, requires insight into the history of the Uyghurs in the region, which has had intermittent autonomy and occasional independence before eventually becoming part of China in 1949. By examining the historical background of the Uyghurs, Xinjiang and their political and cultural relationship with the Chinese tradition, the real issues happening could be more properly understood towards a plausible solution to the current situations.
Above and beyond the sentiments of Muslim solidarity and brotherhood, the issues in Xinjiang need to be addressed impartially in a humanistic perspective in order to identify the factors and the impact of the escalations of the issues towards the Muslim world and to global peace and security. The diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Muslim world generally, is a major concern not only because of China’s status as a powerful nation but also to the global narrative of Islamophobia, radicalisation and religious extremism.
This public forum, therefore, seeks to look into the issues in Xinjiang in several scopes of discussion:
• What are the actual situations in Xinjiang?
• To what extent have there been human rights abuses and religious discrimination towards Uyghur Muslims in China?
• To what extent has the Chinese treatment of the Uyghurs been shaped by policies for countering terrorism and religious extremism?
• What are the impacts of the issue on the diplomatic relationship between Malaysia, China and the Muslim world?
• What strategies should be adopted to keep the region in peace and harmony?
1. To better understand the claims of religious discrimination and human rights abuses towards Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
2. To examine factors leading to radicalisation and religious extremism.
3. To analyse the impact on Malaysia’s foreign policy.
4. To create public awareness on human rights issues in Xinjiang.
- Mr. Mohd Azmi Abd Hamid ,(President, MAPIM), Understanding the real issues behind Xinjiang conflicts and the crackdown on the Uyghur Muslim minority in China
- Dr Alexander Wain, (Associate Research Fellow, IAIS Malaysia), Historical perspective of Uighurs, Xinjiang and root cause of problem
- Mr. Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Shamsudin, (CEO, Global Peace Malaysia), Evidence of human rights abuses accusations in Xinjiang
- Mr. Hassanal Noor Rashid, (Project Coordinator, JUST), International relations, human rights and radicalisation in Xinjiang
09:30am Arrival of Guests and Registration
10.00am Welcoming Remarks: Assoc. Prof. Dr Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil, Deputy CEO, IAIS Malaysia
10:15am Presentation I: Mr. Mohd Azmi Abd Hamid, President, MAPIM
10:45am Presentation II: Dr Alexander Wain, Associate Research Fellow, IAIS Malaysia
11:15am Presentation III: Mr. Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Shamsudin, CEO, Global Peace Malaysia
11.45am Presentation IV: Mr. Hassanal Noor Rashid, Project Coordinator, JUST
12:15pm Interactive Session
01.00pm Refreshments & End of Programme
Download PowerPoint Presentations (in PDF format)