The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), backed by dozens of other US and international organizations, is campaigning for a global boycott of the Hilton hotels over their plans to build a hotel on the former site Uyghur mosque demolished by the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang.
In this regard, CAIR is targeting Hilton Worldwide, the US company that manages and franchises Hilton’s portfolio of hotels and resorts, many of which are in the Muslim world.
Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of CAIR announcing the global boycott against Hilton outside the Capital Hilton in Washington. Hilton was given sufficient time to reconsider its decision and cancel the project. Negotiations between the two parties were carried out indirectly to no avail.
CAIR said the coalition had appealed to joining the global boycott of all Hilton hotels until the company cancelled its plans to build a hotel on the site of a demolished Uyghur mosque in China in 2018.
In a statement responding to the boycott call, a spokesperson for Hilton said that the company’s franchise model limits Hilton’s involvement in property development and management. However, they can confirm that in 2019 an independent Chinese ownership group purchased a vacant lot through a public auction, with plans for commercial development, including a hotel. And Hilton was not involved in site selection.
The bipartisan US congressional commission condemned Hilton for allowing its name to perpetuate and promote the cultural eradication and oppression of the millions of Uyghur Muslims living in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
Many global rights groups have long criticized China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim population.
Beijing has been accused of cultural genocide, mass detention, separating children from families, and desecration of religious and cultural sites. China denies all these accusations and says it is fighting terrorism and extremism.
Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute research shows that some 16,000 mosques and half of the region’s other holy sites were demolished or partially demolished by Chinese authorities between 2017 and 2020.