TIANSHANNET   ›   News   ›   Xinjiang News

Pompeo’s Boat of Lies Will Not Go Far

Abdureqip Tumniyaz,President of Xinjiang Islamic Association and Xinjiang Islamic Institute

The Xinjiang-related “press statement” issued by Mike Pompeo on January 19 falsely claimed that Xinjiang restricts “freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement”, groundlessly “determined” that there is “genocide” in Xinjiang. It is another wild accusation and wanton smear on the freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang. It distorts the facts and attempts to drive a wedge among our ethnic relations. Such malicious slander without any bottom line makes the world see Pompeo’s ugly face and evil intentions once again.

As the president of Xinjiang Islamic Association and Xinjiang Islamic Institute, as well as a Uygur religious personnel, I feel obliged to stand up to it, to use the facts to expose Pompeo’s “lies of the century”, and to tell Pompeo the truth in Xinjiang with my own experience.

Pompeo’s slander that Xinjiang restricts ethnic minorities’ right to religious belief is sheer madness. In Xinjiang, the Muslims’ right to freedom of religious belief is protected according to law, and so are our normal religious activities. The Muslims can pray, fast or celebrate religious festivals either in a mosque or their own homes according to customary religious practices, totally depending on their own will. These are not interfered by any organization or individual. The religious clerics provide services to religious practices such as naming a child, funeral pray, burial and holding Nazer (memorial activities). The face of these facts, how ridiculous Pompeo’s lies are! May I ask Mr. Pompeo, does your so-called deprivation of ethnic minorities’ right to religious belief mean something like your Muslim Ban?

Pompeo’s claim that Xinjiang prosecutes Muslims is all slander. As the president of Xinjiang Islamic Association, I would tell you with responsibility that our association opened the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, which set up eight branches respectively in Ili, Changji, Urumqi, Turpan, and Asku, Kizilsu, Kashgar and Hotan Prefectures in 2017. Up to now, more than 4,000 students have graduated from Xinjiang Islamic Institute. As the president and a teacher of religious subjects of the institute, I lead my students to pray in our praying hall on time every day, teach them religious knowledge and cultivate them into qualified imams. Many of my students now work as clerics in mosques across the region. Mr. Pompeo, you may ignore the facts, but even a thousand lies cannot cover the truth, and your lies will collapse by themselves.

Pompeo’s claim that Xinjiang demolished mosques by force is a bare-faced lie. In fact, the number of mosques in the region can fully meet the Muslims’ need for religious activities. Along with the acceleration of urbanization and implementation of the rural revitalization strategy in recent years, some local governments, responding to the local Muslim people’s appeal and application, properly solved the problem of dangerous and dilapidated houses of mosques through new construction, relocation or expansion according to their urban and rural development plans. Thanks to these efforts, the houses of the mosques are now safer with better layout, their public service conditions are greatly improved and the religious believers are very satisfied with it. Meanwhile, in order to meet the Muslims’ need for learning religious knowledge, the religious affairs steering committee under Xinjiang Islamic Association successively translated and published Islamic classics books in Mandarin, Uygur, Kazak and Kirgiz languages. We also hold Koran recitation competitions every year.

In 2019, on behalf of Xinjiang Islamic Association, I was invited to visit Indonesia and Malaysia, where I exchanged academic views with the local Islamic personages and shared different countries’ successful deradicalization experiences. Over the past two years, I received nearly 1,000 visiting foreign dignitaries, experts, think tank members and religious figures from 91 countries and regions at Xinjiang Islamic Institute, and gave them a detailed introduction to the real situation of freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang. They all expressed that “Seeing is believing. The great school conditions and education level of Xinjiang Islamic Institute really astonished us.” A single vine cannot stop the camel’s advance. Pompeo’s statement seems to be serious, but is in fact full of lies, which completely exposed his low conduct as a pathological liar.

The boat of lies will not go far, and facts speak louder than words. With concerted efforts of people of all ethnic groups, Xinjiang is witnessing overall social stability, improved development, ethnic unity and progress, religious harmony, and its people working and living in contentment. As a Uygur religious personnel that has experienced these changes, I hereby warn Pompeo again: stop all your rumor-mongering and malicious attacks! No slander can block Xinjiang people of all ethnic groups from uniting and progressing together. No rumor can undermine Xinjiang’s overall stability and solidarity!