Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

28 Jun, 2014

Xinjiang Uygur writers pen open letter to combat terrorism

URUMQI, (Xinhua)  June 26 — More than 200 Uygur writers, poets and translators in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have published an open letter to denounce terrorism.

The publication, entitled “Our responsibility and mission is to never keep silent — a letter to fellow Uygurs,” says, “We cannot keep silent anymore at a moment when the black storm launched by a few terrorists vainly attempts to destroy our civilization.

“In the face of a series of violent terrorist crimes, how can we have no indignation or abhorrence?

“Our conscience never allows us to be silent. We must stand up and shout loudly, ‘stop!'”

The letter, which was posted recently but does not carry a date of publication, came after a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Xinjiang’s capital city Urumqi, Kunming city in southwest China, and Beijing.

“We have undergone too much and each violent terrorist attack is like a bomb exploding in our hearts,” the letter says, accusing the perpetrators of the attacks of being “a small bunch of lunatic mobsters without human nature. They do not stand for any ethnic group or religion.”

“Our whole ethnic group and each Uygur has been abducted by them and suffered humiliation and defamation at their hands,” it adds.

The writers call on Uygurs to think more rationally and urges writers and poets in particular to shoulder responsibility as “safeguarding social stability and national unity is our holy mission.”

The letter urges civil servants to come out boldly at dangerous moments in the interests of the masses, intellectuals to articulate sound thoughts and students to acquire knowledge to get rid of ignorance.

It asks believers to “go to mosques under the sunshine instead of illegal teaching sites hidden in underground dens,” women to teach their children with wisdom, and religious staff to give believers clarity on real Islamic tenets.

“We would not like to see ‘Uygur,’ a title boasting rich meaning, turn into the pronoun of terrorism, nor do we want to fall victim to blindness and ignorance and be taken into the evil abyss,” according to the letter.

It calls on Uygurs to eradicate crime and unite with other ethnic groups to “brace for a beautiful future of the great motherland.”