President Joe Biden expressed “solidarity” Thursday with China’s embattled Uyghur minority in a message to Muslims around the world as they celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.
“Together with our partners, the United States stands in solidarity with Muslims who continue to face oppression, including Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China, Rohingya in Burma, and other Muslim communities facing persecution around the world,” Biden said in a statement.
“During this sacred time of reflection, the United States also reaffirms our support to Muslim communities suffering hardships and devastation,” Biden said, referring to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, and flood victims in Pakistan.
“Today especially, we remember the universal human right to practice, pray, and preach our faiths peacefully and openly.”
Biden’s highlighting of the Uyghurs — who the US government says are being subjected to genocide by the Chinese communist authorities — came at a time of strong tension between Washington and Beijing.
According to rights groups, Uyghurs are subjected to mass incarceration in forced labor camps and banned from expressing their culture. Beijing says the ethnic minority is not being repressed and that any security measures in their northwestern region of Xinjiang are a response to a terrorism threat.