KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur sought to defend itself following renewed protests by Muslims against Beijing’s reported inhumane treatment of China’s Uighur Muslims.
Claiming that reports of the persecution against Muslims in the nation “distorted reports flooded in social media”, a spokesman for the embassy urged Malaysians, especially Muslims, to come and visit the Xinjiang region.
“I sincerely welcome all Malaysian friends, especially Muslim friends, to visit Xinjiang and to discover a beautiful, peaceful and prosperous real Xinjiang with your own eyes.
“I feel regret and indignant about the distorted reports and gratuitous accusations flooded in social media,” spokesman Tang Tang was quoted as saying by English daily The Star.
Earlier today, hundreds of individuals from various Muslim groups gathered at Jalan Ampang to protest against China’s alleged abuse of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.
Two separate protests — one led by the progressive Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) and the other by hardline pro-caliphate group Hizbut Tahrir Malaysia — stood side by side on a slip road off Jalan Ampang to voice their anger at the so-called re-education and normalisation of their Muslim brothers and sisters in China.
However, none of the embassy’s representative acknowledged the protest or received the memorandum delivered by the protesters, leading to Abim accusing the embassy of cowardice and having “something to hide”.
Tang claimed today that the issues plaguing the minorities were merely “internal affairs”, even as the country received condemnation worldwide.
“These are not human rights, ethnicity or religion issues, but issues of anti-terrorism, anti-separatism and de-radicalisation.
“Chinese government safeguards the freedom of religious belief of all citizens according to the law, including Uighur minority,” he reportedly insisted.
China has faced international condemnation for rounding up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in internment camps in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
Beijing initially denied the existence of the Xinjiang camps, but now says they are “vocational training centres” necessary to combat terrorism.