China / Society

Say no to religious extremism with courage

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-04 17:18

BEIJING - A joint letter written by 11 Uygur youths from nine Chinese universities calling for fellow Uygurs to no longer remain silent on religious extremism has won applause and support from the public following a terrorist attack that claimed three lives and injured 79 others on Wednesday.

Two suspects, who stabbed people with knives and set off explosives at the exit of Urumqi south railway station, have long been involved in religious extremism, according to a police investigation.

The letter called for Uygur people, a major ethnic group of northwest China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region with a Muslim belief, to unite and stand up against extremism and lend a hand to youths who may fall prey to it.

It needs courage for the students to stand up at a time when religious extremism is spreading in Xinjiang where more and more women are wearing black robes instead of original colorful ethnic dressings in the region's south.

Terrorists are using people's fear of revenge to promote religious extremism and they are gaining ground.

In south Xinjiang, where the majority of the population are ethnic Uygurs, singing and dancing that Uygurs are adept at and famous for are even deemed as non-Islam and threatened to be banned by some extremists.

Those harnessing religious extremism mean to build up their forces against the government, and to create social chaos through terrorist attacks, in the hope of causing a split in the country.

Terrorist attacks fueled by religious extremism have crossed the border of Xinjiang, hitting China's iconic Tian'anmen Square in Beijing last October and a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming in March.

In order to incite fanaticism and control believers, religious extremists have blatantly distorted teachings, making up heresy such as "jihadist martyrs go to heaven" and "killing a pagan is worth over ten years of piety".

The bloody terrorist attacks across the country were not for the wellbeing of the Uygurs at all, but make people in the rest of China prone to be on guard against the ethnic group and help isolate Xinjiang from the rest of the country.

It is not uncommon that hotels outside Xinjiang are reluctant to receive Uygurs and even people from the region. They also need to go through extra security checks at some airports.

If the trend can not be contained, the brilliant Uygur culture will eventually become extinct and the Uygur people will endure endless sufferings.

As long as the Uygur community see the vicious attempts of the extremists and resist their doctrines and influence, Xinjiang will continue on its right path of development.

The strength of 11 students might be minimal compared to the 10 million Uygur population, but it is an awakening signal.

They are sending a warning to those who attempt to create disturbances in the name of the Uygur ethnic group. Law and justice will never let any terrorists pass.

What the terrorists and extremists fear most is the unity of the Uygur people and the Chinese people. The more the enemies want to destroy unity, the more we must keep united.

People of all Chinese ethnicities must unite and say no to religious extremism until the day of their failure comes.

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