U.S. Weighs Sanctions Against Chinese Officials Over Muslim Detention Camps

 

.WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering sanctions against Chinese senior officials and companies to punish Beijing’s detention of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims in large internment camps, according to current and former American officials.

The economic penalties would be one of the first times the Trump administration has taken action against China because of human rights violations. United States officials are also seeking to limit American sales of surveillance technology that Chinese security agencies and companies are using to monitor Uighurs throughout northwest China.

Discussions to rebuke China for its treatment of its minority Muslims have been underway for months among officials at the White House and the Treasury and State Departments. But they gained urgency two weeks ago, after members of Congress asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to impose sanctions on seven Chinese officials.

Until now, President Trump has largely resisted punishing China for its human rights record, or even accusing it of widespread violations. If approved, the penalties would fuel an already bitter standoff with Beijing over trade and pressure on North Korea’s nuclear program.
Last month, a United Nations panel confronted Chinese diplomats in Geneva over the detentions. The camps for Chinese Muslims have been the target of growing international criticism and investigative reports, including by The New York Times.

Human rights advocates and legal scholars say the mass detentions in the northwest region of Xinjiang are the worst collective human rights abuse in China in decades. Since taking power in 2012, President Xi Jinping has steered China on a hard authoritarian course, which includes increased repression of large ethnic groups in western China, notably the Uighurs and Tibetans.
On Sunday, Human Rights Watch released a detailed report that concluded that the violations were of a “scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.” The report, based on interviews with 58 former residents of Xinjiang, recommended that other nations impose targeted sanctions on Chinese officials, withhold visas and control exports of technology that could be used for abuses.

Any new American sanctions would be announced by the Treasury Department after governmentwide consultations, including with Congress.
Chinese Muslims in the camps are forced to attend daily classes, denounce aspects of Islam, study mainstream Chinese culture and pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party. Some detainees who have been released have described torture by security officers.
The Trump administration has confronted China over economic issues — the two countries are in the middle of a prolonged trade war — but has said little about rampant abuses by its security forces.

“The scale of it — it’s massive,” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said of the Muslim detention centers in an interview. “It involves not only intimidating people on political speech, but also a desire to strip people of their identity — ethnic identity, religious identity — on a scale that I’m not sure we’ve seen in the modern era.”

Ethnic Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking group that is mostly Sunni Muslim. With a population of around 11 million, Uighurs are the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang. Some of the desert oasis towns and villages that they consider their homeland are being emptied out as security officers force many Uighurs into large detention centers for weeks or months.

Gulchehra Hoja, a Uighur-American journalist who works for Radio Free Asia, which is financed by the United States government, said at a congressional hearing in July that two dozen of her family members in Xinjiang were missing, including her brother.

what are the virtues of the month of muharram ?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

1- A Muslim is to be keen to get closer to Allah and draw nearer to Him all the time. Such keenness gains more weight and significance during blessed occasions and times.
2- One of these occasions in which a Muslim should exert more effort and show more keenness is the month of Muharram.
3- Muharram is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months.
Answering your question, the Fatwa Center at Islam Q and A, states:
Indeed, the sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says, “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein.” (At-Tawbah 9:36)
Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession: Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which stands between Jumad (ath-Thani) and Shaban.” (Al-Bukhari)
Muharram is called so because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity. Allah Almighty says, “so wrong not yourselves therein“, which means do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
It was reported that Ibn Abbas said regarding the above verse that these four months were singled out and made sacred. Sins in these months are more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
Qatadah said concerning this phrase “so wrong not yourselves therein” that:
“Wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful than wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will.
Allah has chosen certain ones of His Creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech His remembrance or dhikr. He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights laylat al-qadr, so venerate that which Allah has told us to venerate.
People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allah has told us to venerate.” (Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat at-Tawbah, verse 36).
The Virtue of Observing More Voluntary Fasting during Muharram:
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’ month of Muharram.” (Muslim)
The phrase “Allah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month.
Al-Qari said:
“The apparent meaning of the above hadith is to fast all of the month of Muharram. But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadith is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast more in Sha`ban because he may have not learnt of the virtue of Muharram until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month, or because certain circumstances may happened during this month hindering him from fasting such as sickness, travel, etc.” (Sharh al-Nawawi `ala Saheeh Muslim).”
Thus, a true Muslim has to seize the opportunity of these blessed days and tries his best to get as much reward in them as possible.
Allah Almighty knows best.