By Xinjiang Islamic Association
We learned that the U.S. Congress just passed the so-called “2019 Uighur Human Rights Policy Act”, which wrongly accused the Chinese government of violating the human rights of Uighurs and attempted to exert more pressure on China on Xinjiang-related issues. As an organization representative of more than 10 million Muslims in Xinjiang, including Uyghurs, the Xinjiang Islamic Association is resolutely opposed to bill, which disregards facts, distorts the human rights situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, make groundless accusations, and will only cause strong indignation of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. We have questions for members of the U.S. Congress: Do you know anything about Xinjiang? Have you ever been to Xinjiang? What right do you have to criticize our human rights? We, the Xinjiang Islamic Association, feel obliged to tell you the truth about Xinjiang, about the living conditions of Muslims, and about the human rights of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
The Muslims’ needs for normal religious activities have been fully met. Xinjiang boasts over 20,000 mosques, 29,000 Islamic staff and 103 Islamic associations at all levels across the region.
Islam has been well inherited and developed. There are 10 Islamic schools in Xinjiang, which include Xinjiang Islamic Institute and its 8 branch schools in Kashgar, Hotan and Ili, and Xinjiang Islamic School. They have 1100 students now and recruit new students for undergraduate, junior college and secondary level Islamic studies each year. They have trained a number of reserve Islamic staff.
Religious knowledge is becoming more and more accessible. Religious classics such as the Koran and the Essence of Buhari Hadith have been translated into and published in Chinese, Uyghur, Kazakh and Kirgiz.
The hajj from Xinjiang has be well arranged and supported. Since 1996, charter flights have been arranged every year for the hajj, and the government has provided financial assistance to the medical and translation services for the pilgrims, as well as the accompanying service to ensure the safety and order of the hajj. So far, more than 50,000 Muslims from Xinjiang have performed the hajj.
The facts speak for themselves that there is no ethnic, religious or human rights issues in Xinjiang. Freedom of religious belief, including those of Muslims, has been fully respected and ensured here. The normal religious needs of Muslims have been effectively fulfilled.
There were some years when extremism was rampant and terrorist attacks happened repeatedly Xinjiang, causing many innocent deaths, including Uyghurs. Arong Aji, Juma Tayier and other respected Islamic imams were brutally killed or intimidated. With the great outcry from the masses of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang against violent terrorist crimes, Xinjiang took measures in accordance with the law to crack down on terrorist violence crimes on the one hand, and attached great importance to addressing the issue at its source on the other hand. In accordance with the laws Xinjiang established vocational education and training centers to help and train people with slight crime or illegal behavior, so that they will not fall victims to terrorism and extremism. The above measures have ensured the maximum protection of our citizens’ fundamental human rights from infringement. The centers protect trainees’ freedom and dignity from violation. Trainees can go home, ask for leave when necessary, and have freedom of correspondence. The centers fully respect and safeguard the customs of trainees of different ethnic groups, and provide a wide variety of nutritious halal food free of charge. The vast majority of the graduates from the centers have found jobs, so their quality of life has been improved. The Koran says, “God will forgive those who repent and renew after unrighteousness.” The establishment of vocational education and training centers to save those infected by extremism, help them get rid of its influence and get back to normal life is the greatest act of charity. On the other hand, the crimes committed by religious extremists of disrupting social order, disregarding law and life, and brutally hurting innocent people are the most appalling trampling on the Islamic spirit of peace and betrayal of the pursuit of peace of Muslims. As the greatest threat to Islam, they shall be held in contempt by all Muslims and condemned by the God.
The bill just passed by the U.S. Congress constitutes vicious smear against Xinjiang’s lawful anti-terrorist combat and de-radicalization. Its accusations are either far-fetched or simply fabrications. The U.S. didn’t care when extremists incited hatred, stirred up ethnic conflicts, disrupted religious harmony and carried out terrorist violent attacks. Now peace and harmony has been restored for the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but you guys came out in hypocrisy to criticize Xinjiang’s human rights record. Xinjiang has enjoyed prosperity, stability, ethnic unity and religious harmony for three years, which is the most powerful rebuke to the smear campaign against it. The Koran says that “do not hide what you see, for whoever do it is guilty at heart”. Some Americans do not lack the means to find truth, but lack the heart and courage to admit it. We, the Xinjiang Islamic Association, are solemnly advising you to stop confounding black with white under the banner of human rights and religion, and in disregard of facts. We, not anyone else, have the best say about Uighur human rights in Xinjiang.