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Xinjiang Muslim clerics condemn Western vicious motives to cause discord between the gov't and the people
By:Global Times

Members of the Muslim clergy in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region refuted on Tuesday the lies and rumors that have been spread by Western media about the demolition of mosques, the restriction of religious activities or the detention of Muslim devotees.

The clerics also shared the view that Western lies and rumors about Xinjiang have the purpose of putting a wedge between the government and the people, between Muslims and non-believers. They expressed that the vicious motivation has been revealed and they will oppose any forces that want to disturb the happy lives of the local population.

Some Western media have been using satellite images to prove their claims that Xinjiang is tearing down mosques. However, Abuduwaili Abulimiti, the hajib of Aletun Mosque, in the town of Shache, Kashi Prefecture, denied what is being told about the situation in Xinjiang and explained that there is a renovation and expansion plan for some mosques to make the buildings safe and suitable for religious activities.

Some mosques were moved to a new location to better serve needs of devotees and comply with the urbanization regulation and city planning, Abuduwaili said.

The Aletun Mosque was built 480 years ago and can accommodate up to 300 worshipers. The government has allocated money to renovate and preserve the building.

Asilihan Nazha’erhan has been the imam in a mosque in Hongdun town, in the city of Altay, for 25 years. Asilihan told media that about 100 worshipers come to the mosque every day, 200 or so on Fridays and more come during festivals. Local couples come to the mosque to have the nikkah (marriage) ceremony after getting the government marriage certificate.

Regular religious activities are protected, and Muslim customs are fully respected, Asilihan said.

Since some Western media keep lambasting that worshipers that are not registered with the government are held in custody, local clerics clarified that those who were detained are not Muslims, but criminals who spread extremism and engage in separatist and violent terrorist activities in the name of Islam.

These extremists wantonly distorted the teachings and rules of Islam, denied all secular ideas and achievements of modern civilization, advocated to go to heaven through jihad and martyrdom, and persecuted "heretics" and "traitors," said Lutipula Abudureyimu, imam of Tuofuqia Mosque in Yiliqi township, Hotan city.

Lutipula noted many highly respected Islamic figures, such as Aronghan Aji, Maulvi Younus sidik, Juma Tayi'er, were brutally killed by extremists. They not only brought about disaster to Xinjiang residents of all ethnic groups, but also damaged the image of Muslims and Islam.

China is a country under the rule of law. Illegal deeds will be cracked down and holding the banner of religious activities will not make them exceptions, Lutipula said, hailing that the region has been free of terrorist attacks for more than four years and all residents feel safe.

The Muslim clergy also denied claims that religious freedoms are repressed in Xinjiang and fasting has been prohibited.

Maimaitiyiming Maimaitirouzi, the hajib of the New Akeya Mosque of Kezile' agen village, in Bayinkuluti township, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture, said the conditions of places for religious activities have been continuously improved in recent years.

The devotees in his village carry out normal religious activities in mosques and in their own homes according to their own wishes, without any interference or restriction, Maimaitiyiming said. 

There is a good environment for Muslims in Xinjiang to learn about the religion, said Maimaitiyiming. He added that every Friday and at festivals such as Corban Festival and Eid al-Fitr, he gives lectures to Muslims, explaining Islamic scriptures and teaching Islamic knowledge.

"Truth cannot turn into lies and vice versa," Maimaitiyiming said, criticizing some overseas media that are "just busy with slandering and spreading rumors and stirring up enmity all day long. We can see clearly their plot to disrupt Xinjiang," he noted.

Taxitiemu'er Kade'er, who has been serving for 12 years as the imam of Peace Mosque, in Shayibake district, in Xinjiang's capital city Urumqi, refuted the rumors spread by some Western media about the prohibition of Muslim fasting.

In Xinjiang, fasting and Eid-al-Fitr are normal religious activities of Muslims of all ethnic groups, which are carried out in full accordance with their tradition, protected by law and without interference, Taxitiemu'er said at the press conference.

"My mother and my wife fast every year during Ramadan, and my wife prepares fasting meals for us every day," he said.

Taxitiemu’er recalled that during Ramadan in 2020, the government specially arranged medical staff to provide medical services and COVID-19 epidemic prevention materials for the mosque when Muslims held religious activities.

Some Western media saying that Xinjiang prohibits Muslims' fasting is "sheer slander and smear," Taxitiemu'er said. "The evil act of stirring up enmity is extraordinarily despicable," he said.

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