This month’s issue of Smithsonian magazine highlights the systematic demolition of the city of Kashgar in East Turkestan, also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Kashgar is a 1,000 year old city that is home to the Uyghur people. Uyghurs are ethnically and culturally a Turkic people who practice a moderate form of Sufi Islam. Heavy-handed repression by the Chinese government has created a dire human rights situation in East Turkestan that includes arbitrary detention, torture, and execution; severe discrimination in the areas of healthcare and employment; religious repression; forced abortion; the removal of Uyghur as a language in schools; and the forcible transfer of young Uyghur women and men to eastern China at the same as government policies bring millions of Chinese migrants to East Turkestan. The systematic demolition of Kashgar is considered yet another sinister attempt “to deprive the Uyghur of their main symbol of cultural identity.” Read this speech by Rebiya Kadeer to learn what “the Mother of the Uyghur Nation” had to say after deadly demonstrations killed hundreds of Uyghur in July 2009.