Home News China inks deal with Hilton to build hotel over bulldozed Uyghur mosque:...

China inks deal with Hilton to build hotel over bulldozed Uyghur mosque: report

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Hilton Hotels has allegedly inked a deal with Chinese Communist authorities to build a new property at the site of a Uighur mosque bulldozed by the government — and the hotel chain is refusing to comment on reports of the plan.

Multiple emails and phone calls made to the hotel chain by The Post were not returned regarding the plans, first reported by The Telegraph earlier this month.

Bitter Winter, an online magazine about religious issues in China, reported Wednesday that the land where the Duling Mosque used to stand in Hotan, part of Xinjiang province, was sold at public auction to a local developer.

That developer, the magazine reported, then signed a contract to develop a Hampton by Hilton Hotel.

The mosque was demolished in 2018, according to satellite images from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the group behind the Xinjiang Data Project.

And construction on the Hilton project, the Telegraph reported, is already underway.

Propaganda on the construction site’s walls urges those passing by the structure to “warmly celebrate the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary,” the UK outlet reported.

Two Uighur men walk through the rubble of a recently demolished building next to a mosque 14 August 2000 in a Turkish-speaking Muslim minority neighborhood in Urumqi, the capital of China's historically troubled Xinjiang province.  China's aggressive Han colonization and discriminatory policies in the province have caused a resurgence of ethnic violence, including assassinations, riots and bombings, against the state by Muslim Chinese, or Uighurs.  According to an official document from the Party Central Committee in 1996, the rise in violent forms of opposition and urban terrorist campaigns against the Party by ethno-nationalist separatists in Xinjiang could eventually influence the whole country's stability.
Chinese Communist Party officials claim to have long suspected Uighurs of harboring “separatist tendencies” because they have their own culture, language and religion.
AFP via Getty Images

It is one of many mosques to be bulldozed in the province in recent years as part of Beijing’s attempted ethnic cleansing of Chinese Muslims.

China, a nation that has faced a wave of international scrutiny over the past few years relating to its activities in dismantling democracy in Hong Kong and its refusal to accept responsibility for negligence and a lack of transparency at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, has not let global tensions stop its mass internment of Uighurs in Xinjiang province.

Xinjiang is a province in the Communist country where an estimated 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained since 2016.

These ethnic minorities are held in internment camps and prisons where they are subjected to ideological discipline, forced to denounce their religion and language and physically abused.

Chinese Communist Party officials claim to have long suspected Uighurs of harboring “separatist tendencies” because they have their own culture, language and religion.

Many officials have used such a rationale when defending their genocide of Uighurs in interviews and other state-media appearances.

The behavior they are justifying, as shown in a BBC News exposé released in February of this year, includes systemic torture and rape in Uighur concentration camps.

Following the release of the BBC report, China banned the outlet in its territory.

China is destroying burial grounds where generations of Uighur families have been laid to rest, leaving behind human bones and broken tombs in what activists call an effort to eradicate the ethnic group's identity in Xinjiang.
“Hilton has a unique opportunity to take a clear stance against China’s structural human rights abuses and Islamophobia and to set an example for other prominent corporations,” CAIR’s national deputy director Edward Ahmed Mitchell wrote.
AFP via Getty Images

While the overwhelming evidence against Beijing did not seem to deter Hilton from continuing with the project, some Muslim advocacy groups hoped speaking out would.

Thus far, though, Hilton appears to be pressing forward, albeit quietly.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a top Muslim advocacy group, wrote to Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta earlier this month to protest the deal.

It is not clear what kind of response they received from the hotel CEO. A spokesman for the group did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

“Hilton has a unique opportunity to take a clear stance against China’s structural human rights abuses and Islamophobia and to set an example for other prominent corporations,” CAIR’s national deputy director Edward Ahmed Mitchell wrote.

By ignoring the genocide and continuing to do business in Xinjiang, he wrote, “American corporations would be sending a clear message that it does not support international human rights.”

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