Counter-terror effort a must

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/14 23:33:40

‘Riots should never be allowed to happen in Xinjiang again’


The Chinese government has strengthened anti-extremism efforts in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which is necessary to help maintain stability and safeguard its residents' interests, Chinese experts said on Tuesday.

"The freedom and dignity, economic and social rights, civil and political rights and other rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are fully guaranteed by law and in practice," said Hu Lianhe, a member of the Chinese delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

Hu made the remarks in response to accusations that Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang have been "imprisoned in political reeducation camps."

Hu noted that Xinjiang is firmly committed to fighting terrorism, extremism and separatism based on the law, and opposes linking counter-terrorism, anti-extremism and anti-secession to any specific ethnic group or religion.

Chinese experts and local residents in Xinjiang reached by the Global Times on Tuesday said that it is necessary to take anti-extremism and counter-terrorism measures in Xinjiang to safeguard the stability.

"Extremism started expanding in Xinjiang in the 1990s amid the rise of fundamentalism globally. Terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and other places in China are closely related to religious extremism," Zhu Yongbiao, assistant director of Lanzhou University's Institute of Central Asia Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

On July 5, 2009, a riot in taking place Urumqi, the regional capital, killed 197, injured more than 1,700 and caused extensive property damage. The Xinjiang regional government announced that Rebiya Kadeer, head of the World Uyghur Congress, led the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism to plot the riot, the Xinhua News Agency reported in 2009.

Zhu said that "the Chinese government's anti-extremism measures are like those of many other countries, which are adopting different ways to prevent the spread of extremism, especially among younger people. For example, some communities in Europe would interfere with the younger people's contacts with terrorist groups. Western media should not make biased accusations against China."

Many Western countries also implement their own measures to prevent extremism and radicalization. For instance, France's Senate approved a law banning the use of full-face veils in public in September 2010, and the US imposed a "travel ban" against nationals from some Middle East countries.

Education in the region

Xiong Xuanguo, former head of the Xinjiang Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, said in 2015 that "religious extremism uses a religion and distorts its doctrines. Religious extremists plot violent activities and try to separate the Xinjiang region from China," ifeng.com reported in May 2015. 

A Beijing-based expert on ethnic policies who requested anonymity told the Global Times that "proper anti-extremism measures, which are lawful, could help prevent situations from getting worse. We want to make sure riots never happen in Xinjiang again."

The Xinjiang regional government and the committee of the Communist Party of China in Xinjiang issued a series of documents on counter-terrorism, including a document released in May 2013, which explained the difference between ethnic traditions, regular religious activities and religious extremism, ifeng.com reported.

The Standing Committee of the Xinjiang People's Congress for the first time passed Regulations on Religious Affairs in Xinjiang in November 2014, which included provisions on preventing religious extremism, a Xinjiang government release said.

Xinjiang also strengthened anti-extremism education among residents, officials, teachers and religious groups, experts said.

Ifeng.com cited an anonymous professor from the Party school in Xinjiang in an interview in 2015 as saying that 1.28 million officials, over 400,000 teachers and 28,000 religious people are crucial for Xinjiang to implement policies to crack down on the three evil forces. 

The Xinjiang regional government officials met with teachers in June 2015, urging them to better implement anti-extremism policies and to guide students to obey laws and keep away from extremism.

The largest Islamic training institute in Xinjiang is also committed to show religious staff the correct political stance and excellent moral traits to uphold social stability and ethnic unity, Elijan Anayit, head of the CPC committee of the Islamic Institute in Xinjiang, told the Global Times earlier in July.

The institute attaches great importance to political and anti-extremist education. Students in the institute need to take courses on Putonghua and religious doctrines, which stress peace and solidarity, and show that extremism distorts Islamic doctrines and is anti-human and anti-society, Elijan said. 



Posted in: POLITICS,SOCIETY

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