Luton Council of Mosques and Sunni Council of Mosques are outraged by a recent tweet from the Chinese embassy in the United States. The tweet, now deleted by Twitter, claimed that Uighur women have been “emancipated” from extremism and were no longer “baby-making machines”. The post linked to an article denying allegations of forced sterilisation in Xinjiang.

The persecution of Uyghur Muslims through the use of concentration camps, forced sterilization and forced labour has already been widely documented by various human rights organisations. China itself has admitted to the existence of the camps and has used Islamophobic rhetoric to justify its repression and authoritarian policies.

Many of us from Luton have witnessed the rise of the English Defence League and have seen first-hand the very real consequences Islamophobia has on Muslim communities. Islamophobia has effectively become a political tool used by governments around the world to justify authoritarian government policies by scapegoating Muslims for society’s problems.

The treatment of Uyghur Muslims is morally abhorrent and our government must not stand idly by as China continues to persecute Uyghur Muslims.