NBA: Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya draws criticism for saying “nobody Cares for Uyghur Muslims”

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Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya draws criticism for his comments about the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China during a discussion on the All-In Podcast.

The Uyghurs are the largest minority ethnic group in China’s north-western province of Xinjiang. During the past few years, China is being accused of State-backed organized genocide of Uyghur muslims.

Watch his video and reactions of the people, below.

Chamath Palihapitiya is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian and American venture capitalist, engineer, SPAC sponsor, and the founder and CEO of Social Capital. Palihapitiya was an early senior executive at Facebook, working at the company from 2007 to 2011.

Reacting to Chamath Palihapitiya’s comments about Uyghur muslims and treatment of Chinese government with them, a Twitter user Meghan McCain wrote:

“Openly saying you don’t give a sh1t about mass genocide because of religious faith in China on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is really….. really something.”

“You’re a disgrace @chamath and a sociopath,” she added.

“Where in America are there 1M Muslims in concentration camps undergoing mass rape and torture? @chamath & @NBA = Pathetic,” wrote another user.

Another person wrote: “In case you were ever on the fence as to whether or not @chamath was a scumbag….”

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay… it’s nice that you care, the rest of us don’t care… of all the things I care about, yes it’s below my line.” — Golden State @warriors part owner, Chamath Palihapitiya. Great work, @NBA.”

Here is full video of “All-in-Podcast” in which Chamath Palihapitiya made these comments about Uyghur Muslims.

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Who are the Uyghur Muslims and why is China being accused of genocide?

China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Uyghur population and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

A leaked photo of Uyghur muslims held in one of Chinese concentration camp in Xinjiang
A leaked photo of Uyghurs allegedly held in Chinese concentration camp in Xinjiang

Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps”, and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms.

There is also evidence that Uyghurs are being used as forced labour and of women being forcibly sterilised. Some former camp detainees have also alleged they were tortured and sexually abused.

The US is among several countries to have accused China of committing genocide in Xinjiang. The leading human rights groups Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have published reports accusing China of crimes against humanity.

China denies all allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, claiming its system of “re-education” camps are there to combat separatism and Islamist militancy in the region.

Satellite images show rapid construction of camps in Xinjiang, like this one near Dabancheng.

Image via BBC

Who are the Uyghurs?

There are about 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslim, living in Xinjiang, which is officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

The Uyghurs speak their own language, which is similar to Turkish, and see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations. They make up less than half of the Xinjiang population.

Recent decades have seen a mass migration of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) into Xinjiang, allegedly orchestrated by the state to dilute the minority population there.

China has also been accused of targeting Muslim religious figures and banning religious practices in the region, as well as destroying mosques and tombs.

Uyghur activists say they fear that the group’s culture is under threat of erasure.

What are the allegations against China?

Several countries, including the US, Canada and the Netherlands, have accused China of committing genocide – defined by international convention as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.

The declarations follow reports that, as well as interning Uyghurs in camps, China has been forcibly mass sterilising Uyghur women to suppress the population, separating children from their families, and attempting to break the cultural traditions of the group.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has said China is committing “genocide and crimes against humanity”.

The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has said the treatment of Uyghurs amounts to “appalling violations of the most basic human rights”, and the UK parliament declared in April 2021 that China was committing a genocide in Xinjiang.

A UN human rights committee in 2018 said it had credible reports that China was holding up to a million people in “counter-extremism centres” in Xinjiang.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute found evidence in 2020 of more than 380 of these “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, an increase of 40% on previous estimates.

Earlier, leaked documents known as the China Cables made clear that the camps were intended to be run as high security prisons, with strict discipline and punishments.

People who have managed to escape the camps have reported physical, mental and sexual torture. Women have spoken of mass rape and sexual abuse.

Leaked video shows hundreds of blindfolded and bound men
Video: A drone video appearing to show hundreds of blindfolded men being led from a train in China has raised new concerns over the ongoing crackdown on Muslim Uyghurs in the far western region of Xinjiang. Via CNN

What does China say?

China denies all allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It said it 2019 that it had released everyone from its “re-education” camp system, though testimony from the region suggests many are still detained and many were transferred from camps to formal prisons.

China says the crackdown in Xinjiang is necessary to prevent terrorism and root out Islamist extremism and the camps are an effective tool for re-educating inmates in its fight against terrorism.

It insists that Uyghur militants are waging a violent campaign for an independent state by plotting bombings, sabotage and civic unrest, but it is accused of exaggerating the threat in order to justify repression of the Uyghurs.

China has dismissed claims it is trying to reduce the Uyghur population through mass sterilisations as “baseless”, and says allegations of forced labour are “completely fabricated”.

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Taimur Malik is a content creator / Blogger, creating content for multiple blogs, websites and News portals since 2014. The stories published by Malik are based on thorough research and reliable sources.