The Chinese government’s ongoing persecution of Muslims is one of the worst and most urgent human rights abuses in the world — a years-deep crisis that many describe as a 'cultural genocide.'1
In detention camps throughout the region known as "Xinjiang"2, over a million Muslims — a long-repressed minority in China—have been forced to abandon their faith, their language, and live under constant surveillance. Terrible as that is, it’s just the start of what Uyghur Muslims have endured—there are even reports of Uyghur women being coerced into marrying men from the Han Chinese ethnic majority.
A deeply distressing new report from a think-tank studying the repression of Muslims in China has found that some 80,000 Uyghur Muslims have been forcibly relocated to factories, as slave labor for Apple’s supply chain.3
This can't stand—we're sounding the alarm.
This can't stand—we're sounding the alarm on Apple to stop profiting from the enslavement of one of the most oppressed minorities in the world, we can draw international condemnation for China's violent Islamophobia—putting us one step closer to ending this nightmare for many Muslim families once and for all.
We need to act fast.
Sign our letter to Apple and CEO Tim Cook right now: “As U.S. Muslims, allies, and advocates for justice we demand that Apple immediately stop using enslaved Uyghur Muslim labor, and condemn the Chinese government’s attacks on Uyghur Muslims."
So far, Apple’s response to this reporting has been less than heroic.
First, there was no comment forthcoming. Then they told the following to the Washington Post:
"Apple is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We have not seen this report but we work closely with all our suppliers to ensure our high standards are upheld."4
Making a shallow statement about dignity and respect while exploiting forced labor, amidst a global crisis of Islamophobia?
Not good enough. Not even in the same galaxy as "good enough."
Apple often tries to portray itself as the “ethical” tech giant. They pride themselves on their rhetoric around privacy, and on doing better than the incredibly low bar provided by Google and Facebook.5
No. You don’t get to do what Apple’s doing right now and call yourself an 'ethical' business.
Not if we have anything to say about it.
1. "Why Don’t We Care About China’s Uighur Muslims?", The Intercept, 29 Dec 2019
2. We've learned from our friends at 18Million Rising that:" 'Xinjiang' is the Chinese name for this region, which has been colonized by the Han Chinese but is home to many indigenous Muslim ethnic groups, including Uighur/Uyghur, Sarikoli/Tashkurgani, Wakhi, Salar, Santa/Dongxiang, Bonan, Kachee, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek peoples. An alternative name which some indigenous activists have reclaimed is Dzungarstan-Altishahr, or the Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin Region (DTBR), which acknowledges the region’s history."
3."Apple benefits from forced Uighur labor at its iPhone supplier factories in China, according to an explosive new report," Business Insider, 02 Mar 2020
4. "China compels Uighurs to work in shoe factory that supplies Nike," The Washington Post, 29 Feb 2020
5. "Apple’s Empty Grandstanding About Privacy," The Atlantic, 31 Jan 2019