PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) has responded coldly to the Chinese government’s offer to host critics of its policies in Xinjiang to a tour of the province.
The invitation was made following several gatherings outside the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur, which saw officials refusing to accept memorandums protesting widely reported human rights violations targeting Muslims in Xinjiang.
“Abim reiterates that China should stop playing with political propaganda since any efforts to cover up the persecution towards the Uighur ethnic group is pointless as a series of atrocities committed by them have been consistently uncovered over time,” the organisation said.
China has been accused of forcing the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang to live in concentration camps, which Beijing refers to as “training camps” to rehabilitate “militants”.
Abim president Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz said Beijing must come clean on draconian laws in Xinjiang, including the prohibition on Muslims from wearing the hijab, keeping a beard and consuming halal food.
“These oppressive provisions of law have given the authorities the space to abuse the fundamental rights of Uighur communities by interpreting any religious practice as equivalent to the definition or as a symbol of extremism and radicalism,” he added.
Faisal urged China to allow access to the United Nations to observe the situation in Xinjiang.
He said Abim was open to having a “positive engagement” with the Chinese government on the issue.
“In fact, the stuffed panda and flowers brought by Abim during the protest the other day symbolised our peaceful intention to achieve those commitments.”