Islamic scholars from 14 countries visit the Xinjiang region, praise efforts on countering terrorism and extremism.
In May 2014, the Chinese government launched the “Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang or XUAR) against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims. However, they picked up all Uyghur Chinese Muslims and allegedly kept them in a concentration camp-like setting called ‘re-education centers.” Their living situations were horrific, and they were subject to torture. Read more about it at the end.
Presently, a delegation consisting of more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia and Bosnia and Herzegovina begins their Xinjiang visit on Sunday.
A delegation consisting of more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina begins their Xinjiang visit on Sunday.
Visiting the exhibition on the fight against terrorism and extremism, talking with religious groups, and interacting with local residents at the bazaar… a group of Islamic figures and scholars are paying a visit to Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to get a clear and better understanding of the region in contrast to the reports from USA about the torture in these camps.
Led by Ali Rashid Abudula Ali Alnuaimi, chairman of the World Muslim Communities Council, the delegation consists of more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, who began their Xinjiang visit on Sunday.
Ma Xingrui, Party chief of the Xinjiang region, welcomed the delegation – the first foreign delegation to the region in 2023 – at a meeting in Urumqi on Monday, acknowledging their support for China’s stance on Xinjiang-related issues, as the US and some Western countries continuously spread rumors, throwing mud at China and attempting to sow discord between China and Islamic countries.
However, righteous people in the Islamic world have never bent to the pressure from some Western countries, nor have they been fooled by lies about the Xinjiang region, Ma said. Instead of following a few Western countries in using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere with China’s internal affairs, these people have affirmed the development of the Xinjiang region, and say they have “exposed the political practices of the US and some Western countries”, and defended international fairness and justice, he said.
During the Monday meeting, Ali spoke highly of the region’s measures on countering terrorism and extremism, and also of the people who have contributed to the stability and development of the region.
The scholar also noted that some anti-China forces have attacked China, mainly on topics related to the Xinjiang and Xizang regions and the island of Taiwan, which are related to China’s national security. In Chinese culture, there is no concept of targeting Muslims or the Islamic civilization, Ali said, adding that it is their responsibility to tell the world about China’s prosperity and development.
Ali also noted that the whole world needs China, and its stability and prosperity are also important to the world.
In addition to meeting with the Xinjiang Party chief, the delegation also visited an exhibition on the fight against terrorism and extremism on Sunday to learn more about how the region previously suffered from terrorism.
The exhibition introduces the history of the Xinjiang region, which is an inseparable part of China. It also showed how the three forces of separatism, extremism, and terrorism plagued the region from 1990 to 2016, resulting in thousands of terror attacks and leaving tragic memories for local residents. Brief introductions on 52 terror attacks with photos of scenes from the attacks and victims from different ethnic groups and religious groups, were displayed.
The violence and brutality shocked the delegation. Fahad Ahmed, a reporter from the UAE, told the Global Times that the pictures and videos of the terror attacks were like “horror movies” and it is hard to imagine people could do such brutal things to others. Such acts of violence have nothing to do with religion, he said.
Saudi Arabia’s former Minister of Education Abdullah Saleh Al Obaid said they felt grieved to see the terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang region
Osama Elsayed Mahmoud Mohamed Saad, the Egyptian president’s advisor for religious affairs, said that the exhibition exposed the crimes of terrorists and also showed the efforts made by the Chinese government and Chinese people to counter-terrorism.
Terrorists violate human dignity and cause a pandemic among the people, said the Egyptian religious figure, calling on the international community to understand the nature of terrorism and jointly resist such atrocities.
“I think that what we saw today reflected what actually happened on the ground… anyone coming to visit the region should come and see this because this is part of its history. It’s not only China – the whole world has suffered from terrorism and extremism,” said Ali.
He noted that all the terrorist attacks that happened in the region should be documented and the new generation should learn about it.
However, for a long time, the US and some Western countries have applied double standards on terror attacks that took place in China’s Xinjiang region and described the Chinese government’s counterterrorism measures as “oppressing ethnic minorities.”
“We shouldn’t play political games when countering terrorism and extremism… This is why we think it’s the responsibility of wise people everywhere to understand that the threat of terrorism and extremism is not a threat to one single nation or a single region. It’s a threat to the world. All of us should come together and fight terrorism and extremism,” said Ali.
To learn more about the development of Islam in the region, the delegation also went to the regional Islamic Association, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, and some mosques in Urumqi on Sunday.
Bai Shengfu, vice chairman of China’s Islamic Association, noted that the institute’s new compound covers an area of 50,000 square meters with an investment of 279 million yuan ($41.1 million). It includes teaching buildings, a library, a gym, playgrounds, canteens and dormitories, and a prayer hall.
The delegation took a tour of different parts of the institute and prayed with local students.
Mestaoui Mohamed Slaheddine, advisor to the Tunisian Prime Minister, and also secretary general of the Supreme Islamic Council, said he was impressed when he saw the institute’s new and unique compound and was amazed by the elegant design of the prayer hall. “I believe that Muslims can feel the peace the moment they step in here.”
During a symposium of the delegation with teaching staff and students in the Islamic Institute, Abdureqip Tomurniyaz, president of the institute, outlined the education of Islamic clergies in the region and said that Muslims’ freedom of religion has been fully protected, and no one in the region has been treated unfairly due to their beliefs.
Human rights bodies believe China has detained more than three million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps”, and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms and many have been killed. 3 million Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps, but most countries silent
Muslim scholars from 14 different countries are visiting the Xinjiang region in China – certainly the Muslim delegation will see evidence of what the Chinese gov is fighting in Xinjiang & it’s poverty in Xinjiang which was eliminated in 2020, 3.17 million jobs created. #China #Xinjiang
Three million Uyghurs in re-education camps
Human rights bodies believe China has detained more than three million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps”, and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms and many have been killed.
China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Uyghur population and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang. China has also been accused of targeting Muslim religious figures and banning religious practices in the region, as well as destroying mosques and tombs.
A series of police files obtained by the BBC in 2022 has revealed details of China’s use of these camps and described the routine use of armed officers and the existence of a shoot-to-kill policy for those trying to escape.
The US is among several countries to have previously charged China of committing genocide in Xinjiang. The leading human rights groups Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have published reports accusing China of crimes against humanity.
China denies all allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The Chinese government – speaking after details of the Xinjiang Police Files were published – said the peace and prosperity brought to Xinjiang as a result of its anti-terrorism measures were the best response to “all sorts of lies”.
The declarations track reports that, as well as interning Uyghurs in camps, China has been forcibly mass sterilizing Uyghur women to suppress the population, separating children from their families, and attempting to break the cultural traditions of the group.
Analysis of data contained in the latest police documents, called the Xinjiang Police Files, showed that almost 23,000 residents – or more than 12% of the adult population of one county – were in a camp or prison in the years 2017 and 2018. If applied to Xinjiang as a whole, the figures would mean the detention of more than 1.2 million Uyghur and other Turkic minority adults.
The UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the files contained “shocking details of China’s human rights violations”.
Who are the Uyghurs?
There are about 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslim, living in Xinjiang, which is officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
The Uyghurs speak their own language, which is similar to Turkish, and see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations. They make up less than half of the Xinjiang population.
Recent decades have seen a multitude of migrations of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) into Xinjiang, allegedly orchestrated by the state to dilute the minority population there.
Uyghur activists say they fear that the group’s culture is under threat of erasure.
Where is Xinjiang?
Xinjiang lies in the northwest of China and is the country’s largest region. Like Tibet, it is autonomous, meaning – in theory – it has some powers of self-governance. But in practice, both regions are subjected to major restrictions by the central government. and is mostly a desert region and produces about a fifth of the world’s cotton.
Human rights groups have voiced concerns that much of that cotton export is picked by forced labor, and in 2021 some Western brands removed Xinjiang cotton from their supply chains, leading to a backlash against the brands from Chinese celebrities and netizens.
In December 2020, research seen by the BBC showed that up to half a million people were being forced to pick cotton in Xinjiang. There is evidence that new factories have been built within the grounds of the re-education camps.
The region is also rich in oil and natural gas and because of its proximity to Central Asia and Europe is seen by Beijing as an important trade link.
In the early 20th Century, the Uyghurs briefly declared independence for the region but it was brought under the complete control of China’s new Communist government in 1949.
An Uyghur Muslim Reveals The Horror Of Prison Camp She Escaped In China, was she telling all lies, or is this a US-led smear campaign? Let the inner conscience inside you tell the truth.
A Uyghur Muslim Reveals the Horror of Prison Camp She Escaped in China