(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/18/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Badger Sportswear’s decision to suspend production of its clothing in Chinese concentration camps where Uyghur Muslims are held against their will and forced to work in factories.
According to a report by the Associated Press, at least 10 times this year, a factory inside a concentration camp in Hotan, China, sent shipping containers filled with clothing to Badger Sportswear, a North Carolina-based athletic apparel company.
Individuals in the camps have no choice but to work at the factories and some are not paid for their labor.
“The forced labor of hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims being detained against their will is a form of modern-day slavery,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “We welcome Badger Sportswear’s decision to suspend this business contract that directly contradicts American values and morality and urge any other firms engaged in this reprehensible practice to similarly end the use of slave labor.”
The company’s clothing is used by sports teams and universities across the country, including Texas A&M, University of Pennsylvania, Appalachian State University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Evansville, and Bates College.
More than 1 million Uyghur Muslims are currently being held in “reeducation” centers by the Chinese government where they are forced to listen to lectures, learn Mandarin, sing songs praising the Chinese Communist Party, and are coerced into abandoning their faith. Some accounts tell of inmates being forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, forbidden activities in Islam. Some are tortured.
The Chinese ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has stated that the crackdown on the Uyghurs is to “turn them into normal persons.”
On September 10, CAIR called for international action in defense of religious freedom following a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailing the “mass, systematic campaign of human rights violations against Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang in northwestern China.”
In 2015 and 2017, CAIR sent letters directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping responding to reports of Muslims being denied the freedom to fast during Ramadan and the confiscation of Qurans and other religious items, respectively.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.