TIANSHANNET   ›   News   ›   Xinjiang News

Stern Statement by Xinjiang Islamic Association on US Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Xinjiang Fallacies

  A few days ago, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement, smearing one more time that Xinjiang restricts freedoms in practising religious beliefs, in expression and travel; dispersing falsehoods that China has both committed “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” against Muslims, mostly Uygurs, and other ethnic minorities in the far western region of Xinjiang. His groundless attack and smear, totally against the fact, amounts to profanity against all Muslims in Xinjiang, hurts the feelings of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Therefore, Xinjiang Islamic Association is strongly indignant about and opposed to it.

  Muslims in Xinjiang enjoy full freedom of religious belief. There are a total of 103 Islamic associations at the regional, prefectural and county (district) levels across Xinjiang, which can cover and serve the religious personnel and Muslims within their corresponding areas. The performance of normal religious activities, such as the five daily prayers and prayers on other occasions, and celebration of religious festivals, at mosque or at home in line with the religious habits is totally a voluntary choice of Muslims themselves. During the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, whether to fast or not is totally a private thing allowing no interference. And governments at all levels work hard to make sure that markets are well supplied and venues for religious activities are safe. When Xinjiang was struck by the coronavirus, government sent medics to mosques to provide believers with medical service, such as regular testing, dispensing of masks and medicine, and temperature taking, which ensured their normal religious activities carrying out in a safe and comfortable environment. Across the region, not a single Muslim is subject to discrimination and unfair treatment for his or her Islamic belief.

  Muslims’ normal religious needs are effectively met. Muslims’ performance of pilgrimage (Hajj) is protected. Since 1996 the Xinjiang Islamic Association has arranged charter flights to take believers in Islam to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The Xinjiang government funds medical care and interpretation for pilgrims, and offers other services to ensure safe and orderly pilgrimages. Believers’ needs to access religious knowledge have been well protected. The Steering Committee of Xinjiang Islamic Association has translated and published religious classics and books including the Koran and Selections from Al-Sahih Muhammad Ibn-Ismail al-Bukhari, in the Uygur, Han Chinese, Kazak and Kirgiz languages. Since 2001 Xinjiang has sent more than 70 religious school students and clerical personnel to Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Pakistan's International Islamic University and other overseas colleges and universities for further study, with a view to improve their religious knowledge and teaching level and better serve Muslims’ religious activities.

  Xinjiang Islamic Association conducts rich international exchanges. In recent years, Xinjiang has engaged in active communication and exchanges with other religious organizations worldwide on the basis of mutual respect, equality and friendship, continuously establishing, developing and cementing friendly relationships with overseas religious circles. We invited prestigious religious figures from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and some other countries to be present at the “Seminar on Moderate Thoughts in Islam.” Delegations from international organizations, such as OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), the Arab League and the World Muslim League, and foreign religious organizations and groups from Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, UAE, Pakistan, Belgium have also been invited to Xinjiang for friendly visits. Xinjiang Islamic Association has also been invited to visit Indonesia and Malaysia to conduct academic exchanges with local Islamic organizations and to share each other country’s experience in opposing extremism. Clerical personnel and students from religious schools in Xinjiang have won prizes at many international Koran recitation contests, demonstrating the sound cultural and academic foundation of Xinjiang's religious circles.

  The inheritance of Islam in Xinjiang is guaranteed. Xinjiang Islamic Association administers the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and other newly-built branch institutes respectively located in Ili, Changji, Urumqi, Turpan, Aksu, Kirgiz Kizilsu, Kashgar, Hotan, which enroll a number of undergraduates, three-year college students and junior college students every year for religious personnel in reserve. The curricula that the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and its eight branches offer cover laws and regulations, religious knowledge, ideological and political education. Religious causes include Arabic, Koran recitation, annotated Koran interpretation, Hadith, Islamic doctrine and rules, etc., which are taught by graduates from China Islamic Institute, Egypt's Al-Azhar University and Libya’s Islamic University. China Islamic Institute, Xinjiang Islamic Institute and its eight branches have so far produced over 4,000 graduates covering MA, BA degrees and those on three-year college and junior college programs, providing talents for the healthy inheritance and development of Islam in Xinjiang.

  Muslims in Xinjiang are leading happy lives. the overall situation in Xinjiang has seen remarkable changes. Xinjiang now enjoys steady and sound economic growth, constant improvement of people’s livelihood and steady progress in all undertakings. The sense of fulfillment, happiness and security has been on the rise across Xinjiang. Firstly, the overall situation in Xinjiang is stable. Frequent terrorist and violent activities have been the thing of past. No single case of violent terrorism has been occurred in Xinjiang for the past four years. The number of criminal cases, public security cases, cases of endangering public security and public safety incidents has fallen significantly. Social security has increasingly improved; 99.7% residents are covered by the basic medical insurance. Annual free physical checkups have been made available to all residents in Xinjiang since 2016; Standardization rate of townships and villages has reached 100%. 3.0649 million people were lifted out of poverty under the current poverty line and poverty alleviation has achieved decisive victory. People of all ethnicities including Muslims in Xinjiang share the bountiful benefits of economic development, social stability and livelihoods improvement. The Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in March 2019 adopted a resolution commending Xinjiang’s efforts in providing care to its Muslims.

  The saying we often refer to in China goes: “Whether the shoes fit or not, only the wearer knows.” Likewise, whether Xinjiang’s religious policies and situation are good or not, Muslims in the region are in the position to judge and we Islamic circles have the first-hand experience. Numerous facts has proven the so-called “genocide” allegations are totally naked lies. Ignoring the facts, calling white black, and spreading rumors time and again, Pompeo has been desperate to sow discords in our ethnic relationship, disrupt the hard-won stability, obstruct Xinjiang’s economic and social development, and mislead international opinion. His ugly face and sinister motives are obvious to all and his despicable plots and underhand tricks are bound to fail. A line in The Koran says “you will know whom humiliating punishment will fall upon, and know who lies.” We re-warn Pompeo in earnest: put away your hypocritical mask, stop making groundless vilification and smearing, and blaspheming religion. Your so-called “statement” is nothing but a piece of waste paper.