Activists are calling on the U.S. Olympic National Committee to boycott the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics set to be held in Beijing, China.
Wa'el Alzayat, the CEO of a group working to increase Muslim-American involvement in politics called Emgage, believes China is violating the ideals of the international sports event as it continues to violate the most basic rights of its Uyghur Muslim community. State-sponsored oppression has been affecting Muslims in the country for decades. To many people, it doesn't make sense for the country to host an event that promotes "peace, friendship and understanding in the world."
Taking part in the winter games while China continues to jail and horrifically abuse millions of Muslims would be unfathomable, Alzayat said, according to HuffPost.
"The Olympic Games are a showcase of what is best of humanity and a celebration of our differences. The mass incarceration of Muslim minorities in China and the intentional attempt to erase their identity are anathema to the Olympic spirit," he explained.
"We cannot as Americans participate in good conscience in these Games as long as these concentration camps are operational," he added.
The U.S. has been taking clear measures against China over its treatment of its Muslim community. Earlier this year, the country restricted visas for the Chinese government and Communist Party officials involved in these inhumane persecutions.
The restrictions came soon after the U.S. commerce department implemented export limitations on local companies, preventing them from selling their products to 28 Chinese entities.
The export restrictions mostly affect face recognition and other surveillance technology products. China's Public Security Bureau and several firms involved in surveilling Xinjiang residents were on the list of barred companies.
Abuse against Muslims in China is systematic
Activists and human rights groups have called the Chinese government's conduct as a "campaign of ethnic genocide." The East Asian country has always strongly denied committing any abuses, reiterating that measures taken by them are an attempt to crack down on "extremism."
However, just last week, leaked documents exposed China's systematic brainwashing of Muslims in prison camps across the country, something the government has previously denied.
The documents revealed that the Xinjiang population, to which the country's Uyghur Muslim population belongs to, are monitored, abused, and locked up in camps under strict rules.
There have been multiple reports in recent months confirming the state of abuse in these prison camps. People who escaped the so-called "re-education camps" in China have reported torture, rape, and abuse.
Last month, a Muslim woman who escaped - after being detained in November 2017 - said inmates were "gang raped, subjected to torture and medical experiments and forced to eat pork."
Other documents in the recently leaked report confirmed that 15,000 people from southern Xinjiang were sent to the camps over the course of just one week in 2017. A report released earlier this year also noted that a mobile "tracking" application was being used by police officers and authorities to monitor Uyghur citizens.
The persecution of Muslims in the country has been well-documented by top human rights organizations, especially when it comes to the Uyghur community. Uyghurs make up about 45 percent of China's Muslim-majority province Xinjiang.
Muslims living in the province are barred from giving their kids certain Islamic names, wearing burqas, and donning "abnormal beards." Under regulations passed in recent years, people of the faith are forced to watch state television and provided guidelines on how children can be educated.
In 2017, Xinjiang's Muslims were reportedly ordered to turn in all religious items to police, including prayer mats and copies of the Holy Quran.