America's consumer paradise means hell on Earth for Chinese Muslims

Would you give up Cyber Monday to save the Uighurs?

A Uighur.
(Image credit: Illustrated | REUTERS/Osman Orsal, REUTERS/Thomas Peter, SpicyTruffel/iStock, Fourleaflover/iStock)

You're in your bed and you wake up with a black bag over your head. When you can see again you have no idea where you are: exposed concrete room, very cold. You're forced to perform manual labor, to attend talks on patriotism, to learn a new language, to sing inane songs. You are beaten — for refusing to eat pork, for sending messages on a phone you don't have and wouldn't even know how to use, for refusing to confess to crimes you have not committed, for confessing to crimes you have not committed, for any offense at all or none. If you are under the age of 35, you are raped, often by more than one person at a time; if you are a woman and become pregnant you will be forced to have an abortion, perhaps more than once. Or you may have a contraceptive device inserted inside you against your will. No sleep, and you stink. Then there are the drugs that are supposed to protect you from the flu and AIDS; these weaken your cognitive faculties and lead to the end of menstruation and sterilization. If you are actually sick with a condition like diabetes you will receive no treatment. And it could be worse: You could be brought to the black room, where you will be be electrocuted and made to sit on a bed of nails and have your fingernails ripped out, even though the black room officially doesn't exist and talking about it is forbidden. All of this is carried out by a sinister body with administrative and military as well as economic authority over an entire region; it is known only as "The Corps."

This is not a summary of a dystopian novel or a pitch for a new Hulu original series. It is a description of the conditions under which perhaps as many as a million Uighur Muslims live in China in 2019. China, in case you had forgotten, is the United States' largest trading partner, the country whose achievements in everything from infrastructure to STEM education we are supposed to be fawning over, the country our president is an idiot for wanting to tangle with, and prominent sports figures are officially not allowed to criticize. In the last six or so years they have created hell on Earth for the country's largest Turkic ethnic minority group in the ostensibly autonomous Xinjiang region.

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