Muharram Series Ep 8: The suffering of Uyghurs in China


The world's oppressed people always paid the price for their weakness, regardless of their faith and geography. So how does Islam motivate its followers to stand for the oppressed people? How did Prophet Muhammad prepare a community of believers always to be a witness to justice?

Dr. Erkin Sidik was born in the city of Aksu in East Turkestan (aka Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), located in the north-western part of China . After earning his BS degree in Electrical Engineering at Xinjiang University, he served a university lecturer, and a domestic and international visiting scholar in China and Japan until 1988. Dr. Sidik earned his Master's degree in Physics in May 1990 from California State University, Northridge, and his PhD degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis on nonlinear optics in 1995 from the University of California, Davis.

After engaging in research at UC Davis and Sandia National Laboratories (CA) as a post-doc for one and a half years on laser traps and nonlinear optical devices, he worked in 3 different high-tech companies in Silicon Valley of California in Research and Development as well as in engineering managerial roles in various fields of optics, especially on passive optical components. He joined NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, in January 2004. He is currently working as a Senior Optical Engineer on various space telescope projects, such as WFIRST for direct detection of habitable exo-planets.

He has authored and/or co-authored 108 publications, including journal papers, book chapters, and conference presentations, and has 3 patents. Dr. Sidik also wrote several hundred articles in Uyghur language on personal development, bilingual education, child education, leadership, religion, western educational systems, and work at NASA, and published those articles in Uyghur websites in East Turkestan until all the Uyghur websites were closed down in early 2017. With those articles as the main contents, Dr. Sidik prepared 15 books. He printed 7 of them and distributed them for free as a charity. He published the remaining 8 books in PDF form.

Starting from early 2018, Dr. Sidik gave lectures in the US and around the world on the current Uyghur tragedies and Chinese government’s genocide of the Uyghurs in both Uyghur language and English. He has traveled to many countries giving lectures, including Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Japan and Canada. In June 2019, Dr. Sidik founded Uyghur Projects Foundation (UPF), a non-profit organization registered in the US, with a group of Uyghur professionals to preserve the language, the culture and the Uyghur ethnic identity among the Uyghurs in diaspora. UPF has been very active and funded many projects. Since 2018, Dr. Sidik has also been serving as the Senior Advisor for World Uyghur Congress.

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