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Muslims need to be more cautious about Western propaganda on Xinjiang

By Md Enamul Hassan (People's Daily Online)    14:00, February 24, 2020

It is now abundantly clear that the United States (US) is suffering from some sort of pending-replacement anxiety about China, and is waging an all-out war on all fronts to bring down the world's second largest economy. The widespread propaganda campaigns against China are an important tool in that war, and many Western media outlets are joined at the hip in running these campaigns. For a long time, they have mounted massive propaganda blitzes but failed to bring their falsehoods to life. They have never been tired of keeping their campaigns running. From time to time, they change topics and targets of their propaganda, but have never stopped in their efforts to smear China.

Though the Western propaganda machine never misses out even a single issue surrounding China and sometimes makes issues out of nothing, Xinjiang seems to have always been a hot and easy target for them, as they stop at nothing to publish fake and fabricated news of so-called 'Muslim oppression' in Xinjiang. This fake news sometimes even leaves Muslims in the western region of China puzzled. In their continuing propaganda blitz, many Western media have recently published more fake stories of 'Muslim oppression' in Xinjiang. This time, they have resorted to 'phoney leaked files' to make their story. The Chinese government has categorically denied the authenticity of these files.

The Western propagandists never tell the world that Xinjiang-related issues are not about ethnicity, religion or human rights, but about fighting separatism, violence, and terrorism. Thanks to the counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts taken by the Xinjiang government, there hasn't been a single violent terrorist attack over the past three years. The government is supported by the 25 million people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang and has been commended by Muslim countries and the wider international community. This is definitely China's major contribution to the global counter-terrorism cause.

The main and driving force of such tremendous successes in eradicating terrorism in Xinjiang is the introduction of vocational education and training centers. The local authorities in Xinjiang set up the centers to help people who have been deceived by or have even joined terrorist forces and committed minor offenses to get rid of extremist ideologies. As a result, the people of Xinjiang are enjoying lasting political stability, ethnic solidarity, and religious and social harmony. But Western propagandists are unfortunately finding nothing good in the Chinese initiatives to combat terrorism, and sparing no efforts to label the camps as so-called 'concentration camps'.

Some Western media also try to hide the truth that the Chinese government protects freedom of religious belief for all Chinese citizens, including ethnic minority groups like the Uyghur community in Xinjiang. There are nearly 200 million followers of various religions in China. Twenty million of them are Muslims. There are 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, one for every 530 Muslims. Although there are 10 Muslim ethnic groups that have historically enjoyed complete religious freedom and practiced their religious rituals all over China, including Xinjiang, those media are intentionally targeting only Xinjiang for their smear campaigns.

Xinjiang is an easy target for Western propaganda because of the region’s Muslim population. Through spreading fake stories of 'Muslim oppression' in Xinjiang, they want to make the Muslims around the world stand against China in order to hold back its constant rise. The propagandists have been playing with the sacred religious sentiments of Muslims, turning them against China in order to politically isolate the East Asian nation and hamstring its economic growth.

To go into further detail, China has huge business and strategic partnerships with Muslim countries, and is the largest trading partner of many Muslim nations. China imports the lion’s share of its energy from some Middle Eastern Muslim states in order to keep production in its export-oriented economy running. Many Muslim countries are also located in geographically strategic places that are important for the smooth movement of Chinese goods around the world. Furthermore, around two billion Muslims around the world form a huge market for Chinese goods. That’s why the Western propaganda machine has targeted Xinjiang to make the world's Muslims upset with China, as they know very well that any strain between Muslims and China will leave the Chinese economy highly vulnerable.

So, Muslims have to understand the reality of Xinjiang. They mustn't believe the Western propaganda on so-called 'Muslim oppression' in Xinjiang. They have to be more cautious so that nobody can play with their religious sentiments to serve their vested interests. Muslims must realise that the rise of China can save the Muslim world from more bloodshed, destruction and war. 

The writer is a former diplomatic correspondent of the Daily Sun, a leading national English broadsheet daily in Bangladesh. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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