The communist regime in China is waging another “Cultural Revolution” and this time, it has worldwide implications, said Nury Turkel, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Turkel is no stranger to the Cultural Revolution—he was born in a Chinese re-education camp where his mother was imprisoned at the height of the violent mass movement that started in 1966. The 10-year-long movement, which destroyed the cultural heritage and traditions of the country, resulted in millions of deaths.
“Whatever is happening to religious ethnic minorities in China—[it’s] no longer about their human rights, their religious freedom—this is about us as a free society,” said Turkel. “How to prevent this is becoming [a] new normal in the world, this will create much bigger problems for us to handle and down the road.”
War on FaithTurkel, an Uyghur American attorney, said the Chinese regime has been waging a war on faith; it’s the CCP’s ideologies that are driving its assaults on religions.
“They are engaging in human reengineering with this terminology that they’ve been widely using: thought transformation, in a way of saying that we’re cleansing somebody’s religious belief out of their mind, or that [of] their soul, and replacing it with communism, and Xi Jinping thought,” Turkel added.
China’s continued state-sanctioned practice of harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience is simply beyond words for Turkel.
“This is one of the instances that I cannot come up with a proper word to express how outrageous, how inhuman this is, that the Chinese government [is] using the organs of prisoners of conscience for profit,” Turkel said.
He recalled seeing a promotional video from a hospital in China’s capital Beijing, marketing its organ transplant service. The video contained people speaking in Arabic. He questioned where the hospital was getting its organs.
SurveillanceTurkel said the international community must realize that the CCP is “a threat to Western civilization.” As for policymakers around the world, they must understand the threat in order to have an effective foreign policy dealing with Beijing.
“If you don’t recognize the danger that the CCP is posing, to the stability of civil rights, human rights, [and] religious freedom around the world, you will not be able to formulate an effective foreign policy to tackle [the] CCP threat,” Turkel said.
More importantly, Turkel said, China is exporting its “draconian surveillance system” to the countries, and that should be concerning.
“Imagine that the Chinese way of surveilling its own population becomes [a] new normal. What does it mean for democracy? What does it mean for civil liberties? What does it mean for religious freedom around the world?” Turkel said.
Turkel compared the CCP to the Stasi, the infamous East German secret police.
“When you talk about [China’s] surveillance, this is East German Stasi with artificial intelligence [and] preemptive policing capabilities.
“If it’s not taken seriously, if it’s not stopped, this will become a much more serious problem for religious minorities around the world that many oppressive governments, authoritarian regimes, [and] dictatorships have already been using their own means and tools to suppress.”