?Arsenal have released a statement in an attempt to distance themselves from recent comments made by Mesut Özil surrounding the persecution of the Uighurs – a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority – in China.
The club have looked to limit any fallout with their business in China by releasing a statement on a leading social media site in the country, with Arsenal distancing themselves by stressing that they purposely don’t get involved in politics.
Via The Guardian, a club statement read: “Regarding the comments made by Mesut Özil on social media, Arsenal must make a clear statement. The content published is Özil’s personal opinion.
“As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”
Özil’s statement was in relation to the Uighurs, where documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists state that over one million people from China’s Muslim minorities have been held in detention camps in recent years.
The former Germany international is among the most high-profile people to speak about the campaign of religious and ethnic persecution by China.
“East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion,” Özil’s statement read.
“They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men.
“But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?”
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