Head of World Muslim Communities Refutes Western Propaganda on Xinjiang
Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, the chairman of World Muslim Communities Council, based in the United Arab Emirates, led a delegation of over 30 Islamic figures and scholars to see for themselves the reality of life for Muslims and Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region from Jan. 8-13. On the last day of their visit, Al Nuaimi gave an enthusiastic interview to China’s Global Times.
This was not Al Nuaimi’s first visit, but when he visited Xinjiang in 2019, he was part of a small delegation from only the U.A.E., so this time he was accompanied by Muslims from 13 other countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. He told Global Times he could see how much development was taking place.“Things are improving. It is very important for the Muslim world and the world to understand that the people here are Chinese and they are part of China. And the government is taking good care of them. You wish that the citizens in Europe and other countries would have the same care and the same services,” he commented.
In his view, humanity faces common challenges, and therefore should work together. “And everyone should understand that the world needs a secure, stable and developing China”, given how much China has done to promote growth throughout the world, especially in underdeveloped countries.
What most impressed Al Nuaimi about the visit, was the harmony among people of different ethnic groups and the coexistence of different values, which is seen in the streets, he said. Other members of the delegation were surprised to find out that China’s constitution includes freedom of religion, so “they started to understand the importance of the integration of Muslims in China within the whole system, within the nation. This is in the best interests of Muslims, to be integrated with the community … to share the responsibility as a citizen of the nation and play their role in the development of China.”
That is a very different view from what one hears from most politicians in Europe, where China is accused of oppressing Muslims, and even of outright genocide. What has been most criticized in the West are the de-radicalization efforts in the region. But Al Nuaimi points to the positive results, for example that there have been no more terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang region since 2016. “That is a great achievement and that proves what has been done here actually led to the right result and the right outcome.” He also praised the technical colleges in the region—which the Western media label “camps”—as model educational institutions.
As for those critics of China, Al Nuaimi advises the Chinese to ignore them. “If you listen to this criticism, you will be misguided”, and end up spending resources on answering the criticism, instead of on developing your country and your citizens.