Is the Arabic-speaking world finally learning about Xinjiang?

Foreign Affairs

A YouTuber named Joe HaTTab put out a 15-minute video in Arabic titled “Where did China’s Muslims disappear?” on May 27, and it already has over 750,000 views. He followed up on May 31 with an English-subtitled travel vlog in Kashgar called “Prayer is forbidden in this city !!,” and it has more than 420,000 views.

The scholar Rian Thum noted how the first video went viral and commented on the relative paucity of Arabic-language coverage on Xinjiang: “My sense is that Saudi and Pakistan govs are censoring reporting. Al Jazeera (Qatar) in Arabic has a lot, incl. a report on Saudi silence. Turkey has a bunch. Jordan not so much, depends on the paper.”

Other news from Xinjiang

Kazakh-Chinese Xinjiang whistle-blower gets refuge in Sweden

Sayragul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh from China, became one of the most outspoken witnesses of the Xinjiang camps after she fled to Kazakhstan and testified in court about her experience in what she called a secret “prison in the mountains.” She was initially denied asylum by Kazakhstan and has been in legal limbo for many months, her future uncertain. More than a year later, AP reports that Sauytbay “was issued an alien’s passport by Sweden” and “has left for Sweden, where she expects to get political asylum.”

Nazi concentration camp comparisons

Donald Clarke, a law professor at George Washington University, commented on the appropriateness of the Nazi comparison with ethnic cleansing of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and argued that the reaction of the West is “a story of intense reluctance to act by the world’s governments.” He wrote:

The implicit argument seems to be that one must not compare any government to the Nazis until the mass killings have actually begun, but that approach turns “Never Again” into a meaningless slogan. If the admonition means anything, it means that we have to identify situations with the potential to turn into humanitarian disasters before they get there. It is hard to argue that the world’s governments have erred on the side of oversensitivity on this issue, finding too many false positives instead of too many false negatives.