Full Text: Freedom of Religious Belief in Xinjiang
Updated: 2016-06-02 16:46
V. International Religious Exchanges
While adhering to the independence and self-management principle, Xinjiang engages in active communication and exchanges with other religious organizations worldwide on the basis of mutual respect, equality and friendship. Governments at all levels in Xinjiang and the Xinjiang people are open-minded and welcome all foreign religious organizations and individuals that respect China's sovereignty and the principle of independence and self-management of China's religious affairs.
Carry out religious academic and cultural exchanges. Representatives from Xinjiang religious circles have participated in many international academic meetings and seminars, and clerical personnel and students from religious schools in Xinjiang have won prizes at many international Koran recitation contests, demonstrating the sound cultural and academic foundation of Xinjiang's religious circles.
Send people to study abroad. Since 2001 Xinjiang has sent more than 70 religious school students and clerical personnel to Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Pakistan's International Islamic University and other overseas colleges and universities for further study, with a view to improving their religious knowledge and teaching level. The government has visited the students and personnel many times, and established scholarships for them.
Promote "welcoming in" and "going global." Religious personnel and overseas Chinese from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries have been invited to Xinjiang and the inland areas of China. Foreign religious organizations and groups have also been invited to Xinjiang for friendly visits. The government in Xinjiang has organized the "China Xinjiang Culture Exchange Group" for exchanges with countries in the Middle East, Oceania, and Europe. Xinjiang religious delegations have visited Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Denmark and other countries many times, and participated in the "China Islamic Culture Expo & Art Show" held by the Islamic Association of China in Indonesia, Turkey and other countries, introducing to the international community, especially the Islamic world, Xinjiang's economic and social development, freedom of religious belief and other facts, and enhancing friendship and mutual understanding.
VI. Preventing and Combating Religious Extremism
Religious extremists, in the name of religion, spread radical and extremist views, and take extremist means to try to establish a theocracy. Religious extremism is not religion, but tries to make use of religion. It is by nature anti-human, anti-society, anti-civilization and anti-religion, and is an important ideological foundation for violent and terrorist activities. Since the Cold War religious extremism has become increasingly rampant in the international arena, frequently committing acts of terror and violence, for instance, the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the November 13 terrorist attacks in France, and the March 22 terrorist attacks in Belgium. Those attacks have severely undermined world peace and regional security, and become a malignant tumor in contemporary international society.
Affected by international religious extremism, religious extremism has grown and spread in Xinjiang in recent years. Religious extremism betrays and distorts religious doctrines, deludes and deceives the public, particularly young people, with their fallacies, and changes some people into extremists and terrorists completely under its control. Religious extremist forces have designed and carried out a series of severe violent and terrorist attacks in China, including a knife attack at a train station in Kunming on March 1, 2014, the May 22 bombing of a market in Urumqi in 2014, multiple attacks in Shanshan on June 26, 2013, attacks on July 28 in Shache in 2014, and the September 18 terrorist attacks in Baicheng in 2015, injuring or killing religious personnel and believers and other innocent people. Facts show that religious extremism has become a real danger that undermines national unity and ethnic solidarity, sabotages religious and social harmony, impairs social stability and peace in Xinjiang, and endangers the life and property of people of all ethnic groups.
Religious extremism is the common enemy of all humanity. It is the undeniable obligation of all countries and all peoples, including religious believers, to fight against religious extremism. Xinjiang has adopted a policy of "de-extremization" to prevent and combat religious extremism, which is a just act to safeguard the fundamental interests of the country and the people, as well as an important part of the battle of the world community against religious extremism.
Establish proper faith and conduct honest deeds. Xinjiang encourages religious organizations and believers to promote patriotism, peace, unity, moderation, tolerance and benevolence through their sermons and preaching, spread the Chinese cultural concepts of advising people to perform good deeds, teaching people morality and being merciful, and lead religious believers in maintaining proper faith and honest deeds, and resisting religious extremism.
Crack down on terrorism and extremism in accordance with the law. Xinjiang cracks down on the propaganda of terrorism and extremism and the incitement of terrorist and extremist activities in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, such as the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and the Counterterrorism Law of the People's Republic of China.
Uphold the role of modern civilization. Modern civilization leads the cultural development and prosperity of all ethnic groups, and active, healthy and enriched cultural activities meet the people's growing intellectual and cultural needs. Xinjiang takes active measures to make religions to adapt to socialist society, and prevents the use of religion in interfering in the administrative, judicial, educational and other social affairs.
Improve the people's well-being. Xinjiang facilitates its economic and social development, implements livelihood projects, promotes common progress and prosperity, improves the living standard, health care, education, employment and other social aspects of all ethnic groups, prevents the breeding of extremist thoughts, and consolidates the social foundation for resisting religious extremism.
Strengthen international cooperation. Xinjiang conducts activities for better understanding and promotion of the traditional friendship between China and other countries, promotes cooperation with related countries, and fights East Turkistan terrorist forces. It learns from the world community's experience in the prevention of the proliferation of religious extremism, "de-extremization" and the combat against cyber terrorism. It also actively participates in multilateral anti-terrorist cooperative mechanisms, conducts dialogues between different cultures and restricts the scope of religious extremism.
The "de-extremization" adopted by Xinjiang has effectively contained the spread of religious extremism, and made a great contribution to international "de-extremization," prevention of and combat against terrorism, and world peace and development.
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