China has destroyed and built over scores of traditional burial grounds belonging to the Uighur people in the northwestern Xinjiang province, as part of what critics claim is a ruthless campaign to wipe out the history and cultural identity of the region’s indigenous Muslim population. Satellite images published last week showed flattened earth and new car parks (or other facilities) on the sites of Uighur cemeteries. More than a million Uighurs are believed to have been detained in “re-education centres” in the province since 2017.
A deep, human disgrace!
All over the world we see reactionary, right-wing politicians taking control. I fear this is not just a passing spasm, paralleling the emergence of the Hitlers of the 1930s world. It took years of slaughter and effort to dislodge the tyrants, and in 1945 commentators were congratulating free societies for being strong and resilient enough to crush them. Now we are going through a similar reactionary spasm. But we must hold firm to Epicurean beliefs in moderation and resolutely speak out in favor of democracy and human rights for all human beings. I hope no one considers these comments to be platitudes. I am old enough to remember the bombs, the destruction, the homelessness and dislocation. I wish it repeated on no one.