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“A Uyghur: I can still hear the Azan”; Poem by JusticeForAll founder Abdul Malik Mujahid

A Uyghur: I can still hear the Azan

In the voice of Ayesha Uyghur
By Abdul Malik Mujahid

Two days ago
Kareem came in my dream
Calling Azan
I have not seen him for a while
7 months and 23 days to be exact
Kareem is my only child

Half of our city is taken away
We are Uyghur Muslims
in the past, we could hear azan everywhere
Now our city is silent
Almost all our masjids are gone

Those standing have no imams
No one enters them anyway

Biometrics everywhere
They scan everyone
Everyone who enters
Everyone who passes by

Cameras everywhere
None go near a masjid

In case one is spotted
In case one tears up
In case one is recorded

In case
In case
Fear rules
Fear is real

The old masjid near us
Just a few doors from us,
built 600 years ago
Now, in ruins

When the Chinese invaded first,
70 years ago,
My mom tells me
they demolished it first

Its old minaret used to reach the sky
It’s all gone, just the base is left

Ten years ago
Raheem and Kareem
Father and son
Built a little room in the ruins
Our new little masjid

Raheem would call the Azan

Once again
We could hear
from our home
A melodic call
Allahu Akbar
GOD is Greater

One evening after sunset
Raheem did not come back
Just like my father who disappeared

Taken away by the Chinese
He was an Imam

My father called Azan
They forced him to stop fasting in Ramadan
They don’t let anyone fast, but he resisted

They took him away
We never saw him again
It was Ramadan before this Ramadan
15 months ago

Raheem stepped up
My husband, my love
He called Azan

They grabbed him
As I watched in the bazaar
In broad daylight

Everyone saw
They dragged him into a van
The dreaded van
The death van with the blowing siren
Nine months, six days ago

He is gone
Gone forever
My heart followed him
My body is left behind

My son Kareem stepped up
He called Azan

In the ruins of the old
The Masjid Rahman

I begged him not to do that
I lost my father, lost my husband
Kareem never disobeyed
But this time was different

He showered
Put on his father’s cap
Left home to call Azan
He never made it
No one heard his Azan
He did not come back

It has been
7 months
23 days

In the past
They destroyed our masjids
This time
They took away our people

Our little masjid
In the ruins of the old
Is still there

No one now calls Azan
But I hear it all the time
In my heart
In my soul

I hear Azan
In the howl of dogs
From empty streets

They know my pain
The pain of my sisters
The pain of my neighbors

Early morning, every day
At Fajr time—
Reason unknown
Dogs howl

They cry together
As though they miss Azan

Maybe they want everyone
To get up and pray

We know GOD says
Animals worship HIM too

I hear Azan
As women weep late in the night

Here and there
Our men gone
And Chinese men
Forced in our homes

Instead of Raheem
Instead of Kareem
Without hoja to stop them

When stars are silent
I hear my sisters, my six sisters
They cry

Their men are taken to the Chinese camps
Their children are taken to the Chinese orphanages

I hear Azan
As they cry

Where is Raheem?
Where is Kareem?
Where is hoja?
Where is everyone?

Ya Allah
Ya Raheem
Ya Kareem
Ya Maula
Ya Rahman
Ya Raheem

My Lord
Ya Rahman Ya Raheem
I will get up
I will go to our little masjid
Early morning at dawn
Will stand there at the top
At the broken minaret
Alone with You
And with full force
I will call Azan
I will
Insha Allah
Allahu Akbar

May be they will take me
May be I will meet my father
My husband, Raheem
My son, the only son, Kareem

Either here in this world
I will meet them
in a concentration camp
Or there, over there
Far away
With You
in Jannah
In heavens

There, we will all call
Allahu Akbar

Please pray for Uyghur people.
© 2018 Abdul Malik Mujahid

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