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CAIR Report: #BoycottHilton; Dr Aafia Siddique Solidarity Rally

Sep 24, 2021

By Staff Writer

Boycotts have been advocated over The Hilton Hotel’s construction of a hotel on the sight of a now-destroyed Uighur Masjid in China’s Xingjian province.

Beijing has been implementing an ethnic cleansing campaign on the country’s Uighur population, which number around 30 million. Millions have been imprisoned, tortured, sexually abused and around half of the region’s previous 15000 Masajid now no longer stand.

This is an attempt by the Xi Jinping regime to ensure homogeneity and maintain the Chinese Communist Party’s control over the Chinese and alter Chinese society’s makeup. Counter-terrorism is conveniently an excuse, with the country’s political and economic might ensure that no government has adopted any real sanction in response.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, a deputy director at the Centre for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and national vice president for the Muslim lawyer’s association, provided an update on the boycott Hilton campaign that the organisation has launched.

He argued that the campaign was launched to multinational companies, who were silent and complicit in Beijing’s repression of the Uighurs, who have been severely repressed and seen much of their rights revoked by the regime.

“Sadly, many American corporations and other corporations around the world are, you know, indifferent to, or complete. In the genocide by continuing to do business in China as usual. So that’s why we have decided to launch this boycott campaign against Hilton in coordination with weaker groups and Muslim groups in America and around the world…” Mitchel argued that the campaign had had much success, with pickets and rallies in Washington and thousands endorsing the boycott online.

Concerning the Afghan refugees being settled in the US, most of whom are Muslim. CAIR has translated its “Know your Rights” booklet into Dari and Pashtun. Notably, most of the 120 thousand evacuees are supposed to be en route to the US. Mr Mitchel alluded that many refugees don’t speak English and are entering a new environment. The booklet contains information on legal rights, immigration rights and fundamental freedoms, amongst others.

Mitchel also provided an update in the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who has been unfairly and incomprehensibly sentenced to 86 years in person under the dubious charge of trying to shoot an army officer with his weapon while in custody. Dr Siddiqui lawyers have requested that the case be examined and be subsequently freed or deported to Pakistan, mainly due to conflicting witness testimony and the dubiousness of the charges.

“What’s strange is she had disappeared for years, and then later it turned out that she had been essentially arrested and held in secret government custody for years and possibly her family with her. When she showed back up on the radar, the government eventually transferred her to America. It claimed she had tried to open fire on American soldiers while meeting with her, using their weapons. The story doesn’t make sense. The most obvious one of which is that the witnesses tell their different stories about what happened in that room.”

Dr Siddiqui’s lawyers also want her freed, pointing out that aside from this incomprehensible charge and conviction, she has not been charged for anything and has been abused while in prison. Rallies were held to highlight her plight, especially in Texas; however, the process will be a long one.

Further, with Muslim Students, CAIR has publicly called on the University of Maryland to construct or provide a prayer room for the hundreds of Muslim students registered. Mr Mitchel did allude to the fact that many universities in the US have already instituted such a measure. In the case of the University of Maryland, CAIR only went public after private attempts had failed.

Last, in more positive news, the US congress was able to temporarily halt about a billion dollars in funding for Israel’s Iron Doom system in an attempt to keep the government running through December 2021. The bill had the clause removed after pressure from progressive Democrats. However, the military aid was subsequently added back in.

This indicates a slight change in US congressional behaviour, which is out of sync with public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Opinions are changing. People recognise that the Palestinians are human beings and deserve to be treated fairly and that our government should not fund their oppression, so we see progress. Now, granted, this money would probably be given to the Israeli government anyway later, but for now, no was the answer.”

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