The recent death of prominent Uighur writer Nurmuhammad Tohti, who was being held at an internment camp in China's Xinjiang region, has been met thus far with an unacceptable deafening silence by the international human rights community - the UN Human Rights Council in particular.
Beijing's ongoing assault on the Uighur community and attempts to suppress and ultimately eradicate the Islamic faith from its territory serve as one of the primary human rights tragedies taking place today.
While Washington and other capitals worldwide have rightly denounced these abuses, efforts to inform and educate the international community of this tragedy must be sustained. Similar to how President Reagan advocated for dissidents and Soviet Jews, US administrations need to do the same for Uighurs.
These resentments have radicalised individuals and attracted the ire of hardened terrorist outfits in the broader Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, complicating the US-led War on Terror
The broad scope of the abuse is alarming. The extensive system of internment camps that China has constructed for its Uighur population - believed by some analysts to be the largest network of detention centres in existence today - detains an estimated two million Uighurs, or just over 11 per cent of China's Uighur population, according to reports.
A few of the long list of abuses being perpetrated against the Uighurs include the bulldozing of mosques, forced quartering of government monitors in Uighur homes, marking of Uighur dwellings with QR codes to monitor families' activities and arbitrary detainment of Uighurs to re-education camps which declare Muslim practices as sinful.
Some of the more common techniques used against the Uighur detainees have involved "patriotic training"; indoctrination; de-extremification; brainwashing; and the forced consumption of pork and alcohol - all conducted under the threat of violence.
It bears stating that China's stated objective in its draconian campaign against the Uighurs - curbing Islamic extremism - has failed. Thus far, the campaign has begun complicating efforts in the fight against terror by driving young men to the ranks of Isis fighters.
In their efforts to justify the camps, officials often cite the string of Uighur attacks against Han Chinese in 2013-2014 in which more than 100 were killed and the continuing danger posed by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Muslim separatist group founded by militant Uighurs that the US and Britain have listed as a terrorist organisation.
Chinese officials have explained the tough approach towards the Uighurs is necessary given measures used by the West have failed to stem Islamic terror in Europe, such as the attacks in France and Belgium. Separately, they assert that the camps are "free vocational training centres" which provide education in a human way.
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Uighur resentment of Beijing, however, did not begin with the new system of re-education camps. In recent decades - reminiscent of what was done in Tibet 10-12 years earlier - state planning has resettled Han Chinese in what was previously Uighur-majority land in Xinjiang, pushing Uighurs out of employment opportunities and select residential properties. This has resulted in Uighur demonstrations and in some cases, violence.
While China seeks to degrade and control the Uighurs by forcibly relocating their populations within China, the camps are part of a larger campaign to pacify Xinjiang. Bordering eight countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Mongolia), Xinjiang's strategic value has risen in recent years with the advent of President Xi's "Belt and Road" initiative that seeks to create a China-centred trading network by connecting Asia, Africa and Europe through state-backed infrastructure projects.
Yet, the result of Beijing's heavy-handed policy has been a rise in the already existing grievances against Beijing in China's Uighur community and among Muslim countries and Islamist organisations. In some cases, these resentments have radicalised individuals and attracted the ire of hardened terrorist outfits in the broader Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, complicating the US-led War on Terror.
There are also accounts of Uighurs targeting their ire at Beijing by joining Isis and other jihadi organisations. A February, 2017 Isis video featuring Uighur militants in Iraq is one such example. The footage highlights an Uighur soldier pledging allegiance to Isis while threatening to flood China with "rivers of blood", and heavily armed Uighur children are shown training and murdering an "informant".
For the sake of human rights and equal treatment of peoples under international law, China must reform its repressive Uighur policy. Advocates on this issue - the White House, the UN Human Rights Council and human rights NGOs - must speak out and bring added focus to these crimes taking place on Chinese soil. It's time to stop the violation of the Uighur community's dignity and reverse the dangerous trend of Islamic fundamentalism that Beijing's abusive programmes are beginning to foster.
• Ted Gover is director of the Tribal Administration Program at Claremont Graduate University