Letter to the editor: Silence has terrible price
To the editor:
Attending an institution of higher learning like KU allows you to be in an environment cherishing inclusion and diversity of opinion. But you quickly come to find not all the world is like that.
Recently a professor brought awareness of a situation thousands of miles and light years away from our Mount Oread utopia: the brutal religious persecution of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Province of northwest China.
There the Chinese government operates detention camps which the U.S. State Department estimates are holding up to 2 million people. This is the largest mass incarceration since the Holocaust. Networks of cameras with facial recognition software put everyone under continuous surveillance. Cameras are in people’s homes, monitoring behavior. Beards and public prayer result in imprisonment. Free world countries are pressured by China to deport Uyghur Muslims, who will never be seen again.
President Trump and the West’s Islamophobia play into China’s hands, emboldening the Chinese movement to eradicate the “Abrahamaic Faith,” whose roots Judaism, Christianity and Islam share. China’s religious persecution is an assault on the entire civilized world. All of us — America, the West, the global community — mustn’t stand mute!
Remember the words of Martin Niemöller, the German Lutheran pastor, who spoke up in the 1930s: “Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out … Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” We need to speak out now, for we once witnessed the terrible price of silence.