My father won’t get hospital treatment because he’s terrified we’ll be reported to China as Uighur Muslims

A photo posted to the WeChat account of the Xinjiang Judicial Administration shows Uyghur detainees listening to a 'de-radicalization' speech at a re-education camp in Hotan prefecture's Lop county, April 2017.  Wikipedia

Gulnaz Uighur
Sep 08, 2019

A few weeks ago, my father fell seriously ill. So ill that he stopped going to work. He urgently needed to be taken to the hospital but he refused to go. His reason for not doing so introduced me to a new fear many Uighur Muslims like ourselves are facing. My father was afraid that if any hospital staff reported our Uighur identity to the Chinese embassy, then we could be deported too. 

He didn’t want our family to end up like millions of Uighurs in “concentration camps”. He insisted on treating himself with home remedies. He insisted on betting his life for our safety. It took us two weeks to make him feel better. After days of tending to him during that painful time, I stepped out and saw a group protesting, and my heart filled with anger. They were protesting in support of Kashmir. But the reasons behind the hurt I felt are more complex than you think. 

Since that fateful day when India revoked Article 370, people all around the world, especially the Ummah (Muslim community), started speaking up. Pakistan became active and asked the world to stop the “genocide”. In a blink of an eye, the Organisation of Islamic Corporation (OIC) called an emergency meeting to condemn the lockdown. And the world stood together against it.