SHURA registers its shock and concern on the recent riot in the Xinjiang Province of West China involving an ethnic clash between the Han Chinese and the Uighur community killing more than 150 people.
The Uighur who are majority Muslims has been the indigenous community of the East Turkestan province and they have for a long while being mistreated by the Beijing regime since China’s occupation of the once independent state in 1949.
The recent clash is a result of the failure of the Chinese authorities to recognise the rights of the Uighur community , by bringing in the Han Chinese to the Xinjiang province creating an uneasy and strain relationship between the communities.
SHURA deplores the inability of the security forces to maintain peace and order and allow the situation to descend into violence of a bloody scale .
As quoted in an article by an historian , Michaiel Dillon “The violence in Xinjiang has not occurred completely out of the blue. Despite economic development, life for some Uighurs is said to be harder .Its root cause is ethnic tension between the Turkic Muslim Uighurs and the Han Chinese. It can be traced back for decades, and even to the conquest of what is now called Xinjiang by the Manchu Qing dynasty in the 18th Century. “
The Uighur Muslim has been under oppression for many years by the Communist regime who has denied the Muslim community to freely exercise their religious practises.
The recent clash was in fact a time bomb waiting to explode when the Uighur community has been cornered to survive under the bias treatment given to the Han Chinese who were brought into the province.
We demand that China grants the Uighur their liberty to practice the Islamic teachings and to treat them with fairness and with equal social and economic opportunities as given to the immigrants of Han Chinese.
The Chinese regime must take note that The Uighur people has been suffering through unjust treatment by the authorities. They have experienced harsher treatment based on religious restriction as compared with other religions.
In the 1940s there was an independent Eastern Turkestan Republic in part of Xinjiang, and many Uighurs feel that this is their birthright.
Instead, they became part of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and Xinjiang was declared one of China’s autonomous regions, in deference to the fact that the majority of the population at the time was Uighur.
This autonomy is not genuine, and – although Xinjiang today has a Uighur governor – the person who wields real power is the regional secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party, Wang Lequan, who is a Han Chinese.
SHURA calls on the Chinese to exercise social and economic justice for the Uighur Muslim community and to refrain from curtailing their religious rights to practice Islam.
Abdul Ghani Samsuddin