Indonesian Muslim group upholds Xinjiang condition

By Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi

Source:Global Times

Published: 2019/8/23 18:20:45

Muslims from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region embark on their journey from Urumqi to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj on July 23. Photo: Courtesy of the Xinjiang pilgrimage group

China’s Xinjiang issue is a separatist one, rather than religious, Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

“China’s religion policy is more democratic than other Muslim countries, even our country, Indonesia,” Siradj told the Global Times. “You can see this from Article 36 in China’s Constitution and the white paper of China’s policies and practices on protecting freedom of religious belief.”

Hoping to inform more Indonesian people about Islam in China as well as the real situation in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which has been twisted by some Western countries, NU released a book titled Indonesian Muslims’ China Studies last month, which details what the organization members have seen and experienced in China.

This is the first book in the world that systematically introduces the development and real situation of Islam in China, Siradj said. He hopes the book will change “the negative perceptions of a small group of Indonesian Muslims.”

NU, which enjoys more than 90 years of history, has about 40 million members. Former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid once was chairman of NU.

According to Siradj, 23 members from NU wrote this book together which includes their personal experiences and research. He noted that the idea of penning this book came naturally as they wanted to share the truth they have seen.

The organization’s members have frequently paid visits to China over the past few years, particularly to places that boast a rich Islamic culture and heritage. They also met with Chinese Islamic scholars to share their experiences during the trips. “We found they are treated by the [Chinese] government very well,” he said.

He noted that, after visiting China, he found the Western narrative that “Islam is suppressed in China” could not hold water. “Our finding is Islam is growing in China. They live in peace with other Chinese people and they receive support from the government, such as building mosques, schools and offices.”

He added that it’s easy for Muslims in China to practice their religion.

During their stay in China, they once joined the Friday prayers in an old mosque with a capacity of 20,000 people. As too many people participated in the prayers that day, some even went outside to pray, according to Siradj.

Western media have said that the government of Indonesia, the country that hosts the largest Muslim population in the world, remains silent on the issue of China’s Xinjiang policies. Siradj believes the opinions of the NU can represent the majority of Indonesian Muslims. Siradj has said in previous media reports that Xinjiang is very good and safe, and there is no need for the Indonesian government to interfere.

Source: Global Times “Indonesian Muslim group upholds Xinjiang condition”

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


2 Comments on “Indonesian Muslim group upholds Xinjiang condition”

  1. johnleecan says:

    Before Indonesia can just say they want to interfere, they should know China can also reciprocate if they foolishly think they are like America. China can also ask Chinese Muslims if they want, they can acquire Indonesian citizenship and forever renounce their Chinese citizenship. I tell you, all Chinese Muslims I have talked to won’t and are not only happy but very happy in China. Indonesians can take in those extremists and jihadis which might more of having the same lazy attitudes of some Indonesians.


  2. Steve says:

    “China’s religion policy is far more democratic than other Muslim countries, even our country, Indonesia ”

    True and its good of Siradj to be outspoken. Siradj can also take a leaf out of China’s Xinjiang to promote religious harmony in Indonesia.


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