Arsenal star Mesut Ozil condemns Muslim silence over Uighurs

WION Web Team New Delhi Dec 14, 2019, 09.10 AM(IST)

Mesut Ozil Photograph:( Reuters )

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"Korans are being burnt... Mosques are being shut down ... Muslim schools are being banned ... Religious scholars are being killed one by one ... Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps," Ozil wrote in Turkish on his Twitter account. 

Arsenal's star Mesut Ozil, a German footballer of Turkish origin, on Friday expressed support for Uighurs in Xinjiang and criticised Muslim countries for their failure to speak up for them. 

"Korans are being burnt... Mosques are being shut down ... Muslim schools are being banned ... Religious scholars are being killed one by one ... Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps," Ozil wrote in Turkish on his Twitter account. 

"The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard," he wrote on a background of a blue field with a white crescent moon, the flag of what Uighur separatists call East Turkestan. 

Meanwhile, Arsenal have distanced themselves from comments made by Mesut Özil.

Arsenal, which has numerous commercial interests including a chain of restaurants, tried to limit the damage by releasing a statement on Weibo – a leading Chinese social media site – as well as other platforms stressing it is apolitical and does not associate itself with Özil’s views.

Around 10 million live in Xinjiang and there are claims that more than a million have been held in detention camps over recent years. Özil’s post had listed a range of the issues facing Uighurs in China, accusing other Muslims of staying silent on the subject.

In his tweet, Ozil said Western states and media had kept the Uighurs issue on their agenda and added: "what will be remembered years later would not be the torture by the tyrants but the silence of their Muslim brothers."