American Muslims urge Hilton to scrap plans to build a hotel over bulldozed Mosque in China
The US’ largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, on Tuesday called on the Hilton hotel chain to drop plans to build a Hilton Hotel in China’s Xinjiang region on the site of a bulldozed and desecrated mosque.
Over the weekend, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported that China is building a new commercial centre—including a luxury Hilton Hotel— on a plot of land in Xinjiang, where a mosque was initially bulldozed and desecrated as part of the ongoing campaign against the country’s Muslim Uighur population.
According to the report, the mosque was demolished in 2018 and the area is now seeing frantic construction activity in a government bid to replace all Islamic architecture and heritage in China.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged Hilton to not go along with the plans, saying the hotel chain has a “unique opportunity” to stand against the “ongoing genocide of Uighur Muslims.”
“Hilton has a unique opportunity to take a clear stance against China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims and set an example for other prominent corporations”, said CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell.
“Hilton must stand on the right side of history by announcing it will cancel this project and cease any operations in the Uyghur region of China until its government ends its persecution of millions of innocent people.”
China has faced mounting international criticism over its policies in Xinjiang, where the United States says Beijing is committing genocide.
At least one million people from mostly Muslim minorities have been held in camps in the region, according to rights groups who also accuse authorities of imposing forced labour.
Beijing has hit back at the accusations, touting its counter-terrorism and economic achievements in Xinjiang, applying tit-for-tat sanctions, and supporting lawsuits against its loudest critics. It has also repeatedly denied that abuses take place there, saying they are work camps meant to deter extremism and boost incomes.