Mesut Ozil, football star, condemns Muslim silence over China’s treatment of Uighurs…


Exposed: China’s ruthlessness in its policy on ethnic minorities…


State television scrapped a live broadcast of Arsenal’s game with Manchester City and now NetEase, which publishes the PES franchise in China, has confirmed that it will remove Ozil from its three existing games including its most popular edition, PES 2020 Mobile.

In a statement on Weibo, NetEase said: “The German player Ozil posted an extreme statement about China on social media. The speech hurt the feelings of Chinese fans and violated the sports spirit of love and peace. We do not understand, accept or forgive this!”

Ozil’s comments have ignited much debate, with Arsenal quick to distance themselves from the midfielder’s criticisms of a country which is one of the biggest growth markets in football.

Having recently played in China, the former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said Ozil should not have spoken out to denounce human rights in the country.

Toure said that discussing the mass detention on Uighurs and others is “complicated” because he and Ozil are both Muslim, but took a different approach to the Arsenal midfielder over whether athletes should use their platforms to discuss political issues.

“Footballers have to stay with football and politicians to politics because you cannot be involved with this kind of things because it’s going to attract a lot of problems and a lot of things,” Toure said in an interview with The Associated Press. “As a Muslim it is complicated and it is his choice. He’s been doing his comments but I think he was wrong to say that.”

One politician who did weigh in to support Ozil was US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“China’s Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor (Ozil) and Arsenal’s games all season long, but the truth will prevail,” Pompeo wrote on his U.S. government Twitter account on Tuesday. “The CCP can’t hide its gross #HumanRightsviolations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world.”

Toure, a former Ivory Coast international, has just completed five months playing at Chinese second-tier club Qingdao Huanghai. Toure’s comments on Ozil echo the stance of Arsenal, which said it “adheres to the principle of not being involved in politics.”

“I always love football,” Toure said during a trip to Qatar with FIFA for the Club World Cup, “and that’s why sometimes I don’t want to be political.”








Malay Mail @malaymail

Arsenal’s Ozil condemns Muslim silence over Uighurs


ISTANBUL, Dec 14 ― Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, a German footballer of Turkish origin, yesterday 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 accoun

“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.

China has faced growing international condemnation for setting up a vast network of camps in Xinjiang aimed at homogenising the Uighur population to reflect China’s majority Han culture.

Rights groups and experts say more than one million Uighurs and people of other mostly Muslim ethnic minorities have been rounded up in the camps in the tightly-controlled region.

After initially denying the camps, China describes them as vocational schools aimed at dampening the allure of Islamist extremism and violence.

Turkey, which takes its name from Turkic people who migrated from central Asia, is home to an Uighur community and has regularly raised concerns about the situation in Xinjiang.

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.”

The 31-year-old footballer, sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, raising questions about his loyalty to Germany on the eve of their 2018 World Cup campaign.

Ozil later quit the national squad, accusing German football officials of racism. Erdogan was Ozil’s best man when the footballer was married in Istanbul this year. ― AFP






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