Joe Biden’s comments on Uyghurs invite criticism

The criticism came after Biden downplayed the persecution of Uyghur Muslims as part of China’s “different norms”.

Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden received criticism for his comments on China in which he downplayed the persecution of Uyghur Muslims as part of China’s “different norms”.

The criticism came, in particular, from the American Muslim community, which actively supported him for the presidency during the US elections.

Biden made the comments during a CNN town hall meeting last Tuesday in which he was asked by the host Anderson Cooper about his recent phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He stated, “I’m not gonna speak out against what he (Xi Jin Ping) is doing in Hong Kong, or what he’s doing with Uyghurs in West China or what he’s doing in Taiwan.” There are “culturally different norms” in every country, he further added, inviting a tsunami of criticism on social media.

American Muslim community took to Twitter to express their outrage. “I never expected anyone to run to their aid, but I also never expected an open and most absurd justification for what’s happening to the Uyghurs,” tweeted Dr Shadee Elmasry.

Another American Muslim Aydin Anwar tweeted reacting to Biden’s statement, “Biden just said he’s not going to speak against what China is doing in Hong Kong, East Turkistan and Taiwan because he ‘gets it’”. 

Jack Pobobiec tweeted “Uyghur women are getting gang-raped in CCP gulags and Joe Biden calls it a “cultural norm,” Salih Hudayar and exiled Uyghur activist said “@POTUS should know that NOTHING can be justified for GENOCIDE! Hitler attempted to create a “Greater German Reich” through aggression, invasion of neighbouring countries, and the Holocaust of millions of Jews and others. Xi is doing the same thing today and must be stopped.” 

Uyghur American association tweeted, “So, a leader (#XiJinping) tries to “unify” a newly acquired territory populated by different people by carrying out genocide, should we “understand” it due to differences of culture? What kind of culture condones genocide? What about universal values on human rights?”

In the same event broadcasted on CNN, Joe Biden also acknowledge that “Well, there will be repercussions for China and he knows that” referring to Xi Jinping. Biden also stated “China is trying very hard to become a world leader and to get that moniker and be able to do that, they have to gain the confidence of other countries.”

He ended by saying, “As long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it is going to be hard for them to do that.”

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