On Thursday, a group of over forty Muslim-American civil rights organizations in the U.S. announced a campaign to boycott Hilton all over the world because the Hilton announced to construct a hotel on the site of a Uighur Mosque that the Chinese Xinjiang region authorities bull-dozed.
Speaking at a press conference in Virginia held in front of the Hilton headquarters, Council on American-Islamic Relations said that they had been negotiating indirectly with the administration of the hotel group, appealing them to call off the construction plan of the hotel, but that negotiations end with no results.
Executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, announced their worldwide boycott campaign against Hilton. Further, he added that everyone has the right and choice to choose where to go on their travel or to carry out business conferences or to hold events, banquets, or weddings. Awad also said that the recent project is an open violation of human rights that contributes to the destruction of Uighur faith and culture.
#LIVE NOW: CAIR, Coalition Partners Announce Global Boycott of @HiltonHotels Over Plan to Build Hotel on Site of Demolished #Uyghur Masjid in #Chinahttps://t.co/Ig4Ykm4UgB #BoycottHilton #HiltonHurtsUyghurs #GenocideHotel #SaveUyghur
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) September 16, 2021
China paid a long campaign against the mostly inhabited Muslim Uighur population with mass imprisonments, separating children from families, forcible sterilizations, and destroying cultural and religious locations. However, China denied the claims. The site that driven the boycott was a masjid in the Hotan region, the Chinese local administration destroyed it in 2018, and now Hilton plans to turn the place into a Hampton Inn hotel.
Local authorities destroyed how many mosques in Xinjiang between 2017 and 2020?
Awad said that they already knew the proposed project of the Hilton group in early June. In July, a bipartisan United States congressional commission requested Hilton Worldwide not permit its name to be associated with the hotel project. According to the Australian Strategic Policy institute research, local Chinese authorities partially or completely destroyed around sixteen thousand mosques in nine hundred Xinjiang locations between 2017 and 2020.
China removed minarets from mosques and demolished some of them. The reports on the ground verified the destruction, and also satellite images confirmed the destruction from previous years until now. However, officials in Beijing told CNN earlier this year that they didn’t forcibly destroy or restricted any religious sites, and they also invited the media to visit the sites.
Reuters said that in twelve days of reporting during Ramadan in April and May, the journalists observed several partially or completely demolished mosques. In addition, the United Nations (UN) and human rights groups evaluate that the authorities held around one million Uighurs Muslims and other ethnic minorities in camps. Initially, China denied the existence of camps, but afterward, it stated that they are vocational centers to combat extremism in the area.
The U.S. Announced to Import Ban on all Cotton and Tomato Products from Xinjiang
Additionally, China denied allegations that it mistreats minority Muslims of Uighur in Xinjiang or that they carried out forced labor there. In January, the United States announced an import ban on all tomato and cotton products from Xinjiang over accusations that they made with the forced labor of Uighurs.
Many western brands like Nike, H&M, and Burberry faced consumer boycotts in China after growing concerns about alleged forced labor in Xinjiang. China holds approximately twenty percent of the global cotton market, and eighty percent of its cotton comes from Xinjiang. Likewise, earlier in September, a human rights group filed a lawsuit against German prosecutors alleging that many fashion retailers profited from forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China.
On Monday, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations’ rights chief, said that current efforts to gain access to the Xinjiang region of China to investigate reports of serious violations against Uighurs Muslims have failed. Further, she adds that she was finalizing a report on the situation.