Jack DiMatteo: Uyghur Muslims in China need world's assistance

 Ziba Murat, is the young lady on the left (the other young lady on the right is her sister); the woman in the middle is Dr. Gulshan Abbas.. Photo: BitterWinter

By Jack DiMatteo 
Jun 9, 2019

AS A GIRL, Ziba Murat left her home and her mother in northwest China to come to the United States. Her mother, Gulshan Abbas, was a medical doctor who cared for the sick, injured and vulnerable. Despite their distance, Ziba remained close with Gulshan, regularly exchanging messages and speaking over the phone. 

But on Sept. 11, 2018, Gulshan stopped responding. Ziba immediately feared the worst. 

“That day, when she didn’t reply to my message, my heart sank immediately,” Ziba said. “I was shaking. My greatest fear was the ‘what if’ thought: What if I never see her again?” 

Ziba’s fear was not misplaced: Her mother, a Uyghur Muslim, was living in Xinjiang, or East Turkestan as it is known to the Uyghurs in China. Ziba left East Turkestan to live with her aunt, Rushan Abbas, when she was young in order to escape rising levels of hostility from the Chinese government towards the Uyghurs. That hostility escalated in 2017, when reports emerged that the Chinese were building detention camps to remove any devotion to Islam in the Uyghur population. 

READ THE FULL ARTICL AT  The Virginian-Pilot