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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: July 14, 2009 NO. 28 JULY 16, 2009
Public Reactions
All walks of life denounces the Urumqi riot

BUSINESS AS USUAL: A resident buys vegetables from a vendor in her community on July 8 in Urumqi. Order had been mostly restored by that morning (SHA LATI) 

"As head of the Islamic Association of China, I express my severe condemnation and great indignation over this incident. From an Islamic point of view, the crimes [of rioters] are very serious and unforgivable. In a time featuring stability and unification, China is engaged in developing and improving people's livelihoods. The fact of the matter is that these mobs undermined social stability, ethnic unity and social order."

Chen Guangyuan, President of the Islamic Association of China

"The riot is against the Koran's teachings as Islam advocates peace, stability, harmony and mutual understanding between different ethnic groups. Therefore, this is not a religion-based collision. The rioters are not typical Uygurs as our people are kind-hearted and hospitable by nature. The government has offered Uygur people preferential policies to educate our children, to study our own language and cultural heritage and to develop economically. The law also protects our religious beliefs; we have over 20,000 mosques across the autonomous region."

Abudu Rekep, Deputy Director of the Xinjiang Islamic Institute

"This country's ethnic groups are like members of a big family. Only when society is stable and when different ethnic groups live together peacefully can the economy develop faster. This is how we will be able to enjoy progress in our living standards. I have been telling congregants in my mosque to be law-abiding citizens, cherish harmony between different ethnic groups and obtain wealth through hard work. As far as I know, no congregant in my mosque participated in the riot."

Abudukelim Aizezi, an imam of Yan'an Xincun Muslim mosque in Urumqi

"I have never seen a brutal scene like this, with countless bloody bodies lying on the road. The mobs were barbaric. They tried to attack my car while it was moving. Their sticks narrowly missed my front window."

Wang Jiangpei, a taxi driver who witnessed the riot

"In China, the human rights of different ethnic minority groups, including the right to receive education, have been well respected and protected. The beatings, lootings and killings have caused unrest, a scenario that people of all ethnic groups are reluctant to accept. These rioters cannot represent the Uygur people."

Abuduwahapu Abudureheman, an imam of Bahuliang Muslim mosque in Urumqi

"Anti-China forces abroad fomented the riot to irritate the Han ethnic group, sow hatred and stir up conflict between people of different ethnic groups. The masterminds are the common enemies of all Chinese people."

Fang Ning, a scholar at the Institute of Political Science of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

"The driver was pulled out of the bus and beaten harshly by the rioters. About a dozen passengers and I were forced to get off the bus as the mobs began smashing windows. I was hit on the head and back by several people in the mob. I passed out and woke up to find myself at the hospital late at night. They were so cruel that you can't call them human. I have not yet married and I see no future with my broken spine."

Zhang Bo, a hospitalized victim

Terrorism in Xinjiang

—In January 2007, police destroyed a terrorist training camp in the Pamir plateau, killing 18 terrorists and capturing 17. The police also seized 22 hand grenades and more than 1,500 half-finished grenades, and some homemade explosives. One officer was killed and another injured in the raid.

—Chinese police smashed a terrorist gang on January 27, 2008 in Urumqi, the regional capital, killing two and arresting 15 others. Five police officers were injured during the raid when three homemade grenades were thrown at them.

—On March 7, 2008, a 19-year-old ethnic Uygur woman, attempted to hijack a China Southern Airlines flight that left Urumqi for Beijing. The attempt was foiled.

—Two terrorists, armed with guns, explosives, knives and axes, drove a heavy truck into a squad of more than 70 police in a regular morning exercise in Kashgar on August 4, 2008. Seventeen people were killed and 15 injured in the attack four days before the Beijing Olympics.

—On August 10, 2008, serial explosions occurred in the early hours in some supermarkets, hotels and government buildings in Kuqa County, killing a security guard and injuring two police officers. Eight terrorists were shot dead by police while two others killed themselves in suicide bombings.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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