The Uyghur Crisis and Islam in East Asia: What Everyone Needs to Know

Since 2017, the Chinese government has imprisoned over one million Uyghur Muslims in what has become the largest mass internment of an ethnic minority group since World War II. Currently, around 11 million Uyghurs—a predominantly Turkic-speaking ethnic minority—live in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province, and Chinese government policies targeting Uyghur communities in the name of combating “religious extremism” have drawn condemnation from foreign governments and human rights organizations around the world.

This two-day workshop brings together China specialists and Uyghur community members to discuss the broader history of Muslim communities in China, the everyday experiences of Uyghurs in Xinjiang today, and the global significance of this ongoing human rights crisis. A Friday keynote presentation features the voices of Uyghur activists whose family members have been disappeared into these camps, while a Saturday morning workshop provides broader context and concrete teaching strategies for integrating a discussion of the ongoing Uyghur crisis into middle and high school geography, history, and civics classes.