Who The Uyghurs Are And Why We Should Care

Gary Baumgarten
4 min readMar 9, 2021

I have to admit that before I first interviewed Salih Hudayar, I really didn’t know who the Uyghurs were. Nor for that matter, could I pronounce Uyghurs (most Americans come close by saying “We-gurs”).

Nor was I well informed about East Turkistan.

But as I researched the issue and began talking with Hudayar on a fairly regular basis, an image of atrocities began to emerge.

I always wondered how the world remained so silent for so long during t he Holocaust (six million Jews perished), the Killing Fields of Cambodia (more than 1 million people died) and the Rwanda genocide (more than half-a-million people died). We Jews have a phrase surrounding the Holocaust: “Never Again!” But many of us believe that cry is not just about those who were exterminated during the Holocaust. But for any future instances of religious or ethnic cleansings.

A new report is out today, once again detailing genocide against the Uyghur people. Prompting me to revisit the issue. The report by the NewLines Institute for Strategy and Policy accuses China of breaching the 1948 Genocide Convention.

It accuses the Chinese government of having the ‘’intent to destroy” its Uyghur minority population.

This is not the first time, of course, that China has been accused of this. A…