URUMQI, Aug. 2 -- Prominent figures from various religions in Xinjiang, from Islam to Christianity to Buddhism, have denounced the murder of a prestigious imam as an act against humanity and urged their followers to safeguard ethnic solidarity and social stability.
Jume Tahir, imam of China's largest mosque, the Id Kah Mosque in the city of Kashgar, was killed at 6:58 a.m. on Wednesday after hosting a morning ritual in a case that grieved and shocked the Muslims nationwide.
Ebeydulla Mohammad, imam of a mosque in Kashgar, said they were distressed and angered by the death of Jume Tahir, who has devoted his life to safeguarding national and ethnic unity and opposing separatism and religious extremism.
He made the remarks while attending a seminar in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Friday along with 105 other religious figures to condemn the murder.
Ebeydulla Mohammad called for all Chinese muslims to carry on the will of Jume Tahir.
Before his death, 74-year-old Jume Tahir had consistently condemned terrorist attacks committed by religious extremists. Police later said the three suspects, two shot dead and another captured, were influenced by religious extremism.
Fan Chenguang, vice head of the Urumqi Christian Council, praised Jume Tahir for having heartily practiced the Islamic doctrines.
"All religions promote benevolence, love, unity and amity," he said, adding that the terrorists' brutality only made them the enemy of all humanity, and the Christians will side with the government and shoulder responsibilities of maintaining religious harmony and social stability.
Abbot Yi Xuan of the Nanshan Faming Temple in Urumqi County agreed. He called for Buddhists to aid the government's efforts to promote peace and prosperity in Xinjiang.