Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Xinjiang Muslim Deputy Performs Religious Services as Usual in Beijing
Imam Memtimin Mamut from northwestChina's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, who is currently in Beijing for the upcoming first session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), still performs religious service five times a day.
Imam Memtimin Mamut from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, who is currently in Beijing for the upcoming first session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), still performs religious service five times a day.
Imam Memtimin Mamut in his early 70s of the Hetkar Mosque, the largest one in Kashi prefecture of the autonomous region, who had made two pilgrimages to Mecca, came to attend the NPC session for the first time.
"I care most for things in my hometown, especially the problem of educating kids for the next generation," said the newly-elected NPC deputy, who donned a typical Uighur white hat and a long gown of camel color worn by Uighur people.
In Kashi prefecture, Mamut noted, an outlying underdeveloped region in westernmost Xinjiang, some teenage school dropouts roamed about in streets, sometimes committed crimes and even a few involved themselves in separatism activities,
He appealed for enhanced efforts to crackdown on kidnapping of children, and called for seeking more investment in vocational schools in the region.
More than 1,000 Muslims come to practice religious services in the Hetkar Mosque five times a day. In Corban, Id-al-fitr and other major Islamic festivals, the number of Muslims attending theritual services reached more than 70,000 at times.
The Kashi prefecture, which shares a 970-km-long border line with Tajikstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, has a population of over three million, 94 percent of whom are Uighurs
According to him, there are around 10,000 mosques in Kashi prefecture and more than 23,000 mosques in the whole autonomous region.
During his sermon of Alcoran, he often dissuade persuades people from being involved in separatism activities. "The Alcoran urges us that we should unite. We cannot get things done unless we are united," said the Imam.