The rapid development of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region proves that the region is moving in the right direction, said Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, chairman of the World Muslim Communities Council, during a recent visit to Xinjiang.
From 1990 to the end of 2016, separatists, religious extremists, and terrorists have plotted and carried out thousands of violent terrorist cases and incidents in the Xinjiang region, resulting in the killing of many innocent people.
Al Nuaimi, who also visited Xinjiang in 2019, has a deep memory of the region's history of fighting terrorism and extremism.
He said that terrorist forces do not respect the laws of any country, do not recognize human and civil rights, and kill innocent people as they have done in some other countries.
China is right to do everything it needs to do to protect its national interests and people, the chairman added.
Citizens of a country, regardless of their religious beliefs and ethnicity, should all develop the right concept of national identity, advocate peaceful coexistence, respect the country's constitution and laws, they also have the responsibility to protect their country from terrorism and extremism, Al Nuaimi said.
It is not only the responsibility of the government but also the responsibility of everyone, he said. Muslims in China also need to be loyal to the country, contribute to social development, live in harmony with others, and take pride in being Chinese, he said.
Al Nuaimi said there has not been a single violent terrorist activity in Xinjiang in the past few years, and the region has eradicated absolute poverty, which are great achievements that have brought tangible benefits to the local people.
In January, Al Nuaimi led a delegation of world-renowned Islamic religious figures and scholars to visit Xinjiang again, going into the local bazaars to observe the lives of the people.
Compared with 2019, Xinjiang's social development has reached a new level, and relations among various ethnic groups have become more harmonious, he noted, adding that Xinjiang is going forward in the right direction.
For some time now, the U.S. and the West have been trying to smear China's policy on Xinjiang under the guise of "human rights," while trying to sow discord between China and the Islamic world.
Al Nuaimi said there have never been bad intentions against Muslims or Islamic civilization in the Chinese cultural tradition. He emphasized that Chinese and Islamic civilizations have a long history of relationship, characterized by friendly cooperation and close ties.
The world needs a secure, stable, and prosperous China, and even more so for the vast majority of developing countries, he noted.
He stressed that he led the delegation to Xinjiang again to promote the Islamic world's understanding of the region.
Al Nuaimi called for putting aside political manipulation and ideological differences and respecting each other's differences. "We have to have the courage to speak loudly what we believe," he said.