The Belt and Road Initiative and Sino-Colonialism: Global Implications & the Uyghur Genocide

On April 19, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and Campaign for Uyghurs hosted a virtual conversation surrounding the release of Abdulhakim Idris’s new book, “Menace,” which describes the global implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in the Islamic world.

As the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive tactics, particularly in defense of human rights atrocities, continue to come into the spotlight on the world stage, what can be done to address the level of malign influence on the Islamic World, and what implications does the Uyghur genocide have for Muslim countries? Join us for this event spotlighting the release of Abdulhakim Idris’s new book, “Menace: China’s Colonization of the Islamic World and Uyghur Genocide.” We will hear from Idris as well as other dynamic speakers who will help to put these issues into context of what should be done to address this global threat.

About the Speakers

Nihad Awad is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. He has been frequently interviewed on national and international media such as CNN, BBC World Service, PBS, C-SPAN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Voice of America and Al-Jazeerah. CAIR news releases are disseminated to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide on a daily basis. Mr. Awad served on Vice President Al Gore’s Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security and has also personally met with former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright andColin L. Powell to discuss the needs of the American Muslim community. Numerous law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies, including Nike and DKNY, have benefited from CAIR educational seminars on Islamic traditions and culture. In addition to resolving employment discrimination issues involving American Muslims, Mr. Awad has also conducted over 100 public relations and media training seminars nationwide. For the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Awad was a key figure in the American Muslim Political Coordinating Committee (AMPCC), an umbrella organization of the largest American Muslim organizations, which helped to create the first Muslim voting bloc for a presidential election. Mr. Awad is a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State’s “International Visitors Program”, which welcomes foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics who are currently visiting the President of the United States. A few days after September 11, 2001, Mr. Awad was one of the few American Muslim leaders invited by the White House to join President Bush in a press conference at the Islamic Center of Washington, the oldest mosque in Washington DC. Mr. Awad has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress, most recently at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on matters involving Muslims in America. He has also spoken at prestigious educational institutions, including Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. He was also a featured speaker at the 2002 Reuters Forum on global cooperation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In addition, he actively works with local and national interfaith leaders and organizations in the interest of promoting positive relations among people of diverse faith communities. Mr. Awad is also featured in Silent No More by former United States Representative Paul Findley (R-IL), a book chronicling the history of the American Muslim community.

Ambassador Andrew Bremberg is the President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Previously Ambassador Bremberg served as the Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. Ambassador Bremberg has a long history of public service. Prior to his work at the UN, he served as Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council for the Executive Office of the President.  He previously served as Policy Advisor and Counsel on Nominations for the Office of Senate Majority Leader.  He also worked for the non-profit MITRE Corporation as a senior health policy-analyst and department manager, and for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Abdulhakim Idris was born in Hotan city in East Turkestan and he was educated in Islamic religious studies and Arabic language at the underground Islamic schools (Madrisa) in Hotan before he left his hometown in 1986 to study Islam in Egypt at Al-Az’har University. After he sudied in Cairo, he settled in Munich, Germany in 1991 as one of the first Uyghurs to seek asylum in Europe. Mr. Idris is the current Inspector General of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC). Mr. Idris is one of the founding members of the East Turkistan Union in Europe in 1991 in Germany which is the first established Uyghur organizations in Europe. Mr. Idris also co-founded the World Uyghur Youth Congress (WUYC) in 1996 and the East Turkistan National Congress in 1999 as well as the one of the founders of the World Uyghur Congress in 2004. He previously served as Treasury, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee, Director of the Refugee Center for the World Uyghur Congress. He was the Treasury and Chairman of the Executive Committee for the World Uyghur Youth Congress and also served as one of the Board Directors for the Uyghur American Association in Washington DC as well.
Mr. Idris has consistently advocated for the rights of the Uyghur people and been a prominent human rights advocate in Uyghur Diaspora. He also actively initiated and translated in Turkish, Arabic and German languages for news reporters, projects, Islamic religious papers, books, magazines and publishing houses to raise awareness on Communist China’s brutal human rights abuses against the Uyghur people. He moved to the United States in 2009 and currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons.

Dolkun Isa was a student-leader of the pro-democracy demonstrations at Xinjiang University in 1988. He was recognized for his efforts in raising awareness of the human rights situation facing the Uyghur people and for calling for greater democracy and freedom in China by receiving the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Dissident Human Rights Award on March 30, 2016. He founded the Students’ Science and Culture Union at the university in 1987 and worked on programs to eliminate illiteracy and to promote science and to lead other students in East Turkestan. He was expelled from the university in September 1988, after four months of house arrest and a six hour-long dialogue with government officials about the students’ demands. He completed his physics degree via independent study and went on to receive an M.A. in politics and sociology from Gazi University in Turkey and a degree in computer science in Germany. After enduring persecution from the Chinese government, Isa fled China in 1994, and sought asylum in Europe and became a citizen of Germany in 2006. In November 1996, he played an important role in establishing the World Uyghur Youth Congress in Germany and served as Executive Chairman and President. In April 2004, he also played an important role in the establishment of the World Uyghur Congress through the merger of the East Turkestan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress and was elected General Secretary. He has since been presenting Uyghur human rights issues to the UN Human Rights Council, European Parliament, European governments, and international human rights organizations. Isa is the current President of the World Uyghur Congress. Isa has consistently advocated for the rights of the Uyghur people and has raised the issue in the UN, the institutions of the European Union and in individual states. He has worked to mobilize the Uyghur diaspora community to collectively advocate for their rights and the rights of the Uyghur population in the Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. In 2017, he was elected as the Vice-President of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), of which the World Uyghur Congress is a member. In this capacity, he works with other marginalized or unrepresented peoples to collectively strive for democracy, freedom, and respect for basic human rights.

Julie Millsap is the Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy for Campaign for UyghursMillsap joined Campaign for Uyghurs after moving back to the United States from China. She began her involvement advocating for Uyghurs after witnessing the atrocities during her time living overseas. Her background is in Political Science and Education Management. She currently lives in Texas with her family.

Event Recording