What is happening to Muslims in China?

Why Uyghur Muslims Throughout China Are Living In Fear

How a modern day genocide is happening right before our eyes.

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Deep in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of northwest China rest Turkic Muslims, better known as Uyghur Muslims. The Chinese government has long carried out repressive policies against them. But these policies have dramatically increased since late 2016 when the Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo relocated from the Tibet Autonomous Region to assume leadership of Xinjiang.

China's President Xi Jinping has overseen the harsh treatment and approach toward the Muslim minorities living in Xinjiang. In recent years, the government has installed sophisticated surveillance technology across the region, and there has been a surge in police numbers. These changes were put in place in retaliation to the Muslim population.

In May 2014, China had launched its 'Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism' in Xinjiang. After this campaign took place, the number of Muslims arrested tripled as compared to the previous five year period. The government has held people in pretrial detention centers, prisons, and in political education camps. Those that were detained have been denied due process rights and suffer torture and other ill-treatment.

As many as 1 million adults are being sent to the internment camps. Families are being separated and the Chinese authorities are putting the children of Uyghurs into dozens of state-run orphanages even if the parents are not dead. At the orphanages, the Chinese authorities are brainwashing the young children into abandoning their faith and culture.

The government has been building thousands of so-called "bilingual" schools, where Uyghur and other minority Muslim groups are taught in Mandarin and beaten for speaking in their native tongues. The children are taught that Islam, their faith, is incorrect and that they must not practice. This brainwashing starts as early as five years old. The Uyghurs fear that their children may never be the same, as the Chinese are essentially wiping out their ethnic identity, one child at a time. Experts say that what China is doing parallels to how while colonialists in the US, Canada, and Australia treated indigenous children-treatment that have left generations traumatized.

Being arrested due to simply believing in another is unjust and inhumane, yet the global community is barely batting an eye towards this matter. International media attention on Xinjiang has only focused on the political education camps. The Chinese government provides no public information on the detainees in the camps, however, refugees who have escaped describe the horror they faced. They've even denied the abuses that have occurred and instead said that these camps are "vocational education and employment training centers" for "criminals involved in minor offenses." Xinjiang officials claim that the reason for the increase in surveillance is due to the "problematic ideas" of Uyghur Muslims.

But it's not just the culture and faith of Uyghur Muslims being destroyed. On April 11, a mosque in the Gansu province in north-central China was destroyed in the latest casualty of a national campaign to eradicate Islamic traditions. Residents were told not to publish photos and videos of the destruction, according to Bitter Winter. But videos still emerged on Twitter days later to show the damaged mosque. Several people were seen crying on the ground.

As stated earlier, the international community has done little to help Uyghur refugees or condemn China's treatment of them. What these international governments should do is send a strong message to the highest levels of the Chinese government to end these grotesque violations. Both the Chinese people and International counties should challenge President XI publicly over his government's abuses in Xinjiang. We should monitor the human rights violation in China while increasing attention towards the government repression of the Uyghur Muslim population to provide a rapid international response, including public condemnations, and targeted sanctions.

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.

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Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020 and briefly touches on the Georgia Heartbeat Bill.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.


Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.


Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.


Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com


Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,

Salsa.

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