China / Society

Letter from young Uygurs calls for unity

By Gao Bo and Cui Jia in Urumqi (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-05 07:24

A letter written by 11 young Uygurs calling for their fellows to stand up against terrorism and religious extremism won massive public support after it was posted on social media.

The letter said terrorist attacks, including the recent one in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, did not benefit Uygurs, but made people prone to be on guard against the ethnic group and isolate Xinjiang.

It urges young people to stay away from religious extremism, which aims to build up forces against the government and create social chaos through terrorist attacks in the hope of causing a split in the country.

Kurbanjan Waili, 28, a teacher at Xinjiang Engineering College, did not expect the letter to receive so much feedback when he spent five hours writing it after the attack.

Hurxidan Erken, 24, a postgraduate student at Xinjiang University who was among 10 others who contributed to the letter, said, "The letter is what we want to say and have to say. I suggested writing 'we won't stay silent anymore, and the more the enemies want to destroy unity, the more we must keep united'".

Sedierding Shawuti, 39, from Shaya county in southern Xinjiang, and another attacker stabbed people at the Urumqi South Railway Station exit and set off explosives on Wednesday, leaving three dead and 79 injured. A police investigation showed the attackers were influenced by religious extremism.

The blast spurred worldwide condemnation, including from the United States, South Africa, Belarus, Singapore, Qatar, Cambodia and Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf condemned the attack and expressed condolences and sympathy to the victims, their families and all those affected by the tragedy.

Contact the writers at and

Read the full text of the letter:

Uygur students: 'We will stay silent no more!'

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