Washington, US: Hilton Hotels has been approached by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to not to build a hotel in China’s Xinjiang region on the site where Chinese authorities have bulldozed and desecrated a mosque.
“The notion that a corporation would do business in the same location of an ongoing genocide is unbelievable,” CAIR’s National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell told Al Jazeera.
“We say ‘never again’ but we never actually mean it. Hilton can either build a hotel and be complicit in genocide, or it can cancel the hotel and help stop a genocide,” Mitchell said.
China is planning to build a commercial centre that includes a Hilton hotel on a plot of land where a mosque once stood, AlJazeera reported.
CAIR, which is the US’s largest , has also lauded Biden’s tougher stance on human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.
“Hilton is based in the United States but seems to be ignoring the US government’s formal recognition of China committing genocide against Uighur Muslims and other Turkic minorities,” Robert S McCaw, CAIR’s director of government affairs, told Al Jazeera.
China has been globally rebuked for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities, and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
After years of denying the existence of the internment camps in Beijing, China in 2019 described the facilities as residential training centres that provide vocational training for Uyghurs, discourage radicalisation and help protect the country from terrorism.
However, several media reports and former detainees have said that those in the camps are detained against their will and subjected to political indoctrination, routinely face rough treatment at the hands of their overseers and endure poor diets and unhygienic conditions in the often overcrowded facilities.
Early this year, the United States become the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as “genocide”.
Over the past four months, the Canadian, Dutch, British, Lithuanian, and Czech parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide.