Why did religious extremism become a rootless grass in Xinjiang, China?
(Essential questions) Why did religious extremism become a rootless grass in Xinjiang, China?
China News Service, Beijing, March 1st. Title: Why did religious extremism become a rootless grass in Xinjiang, China?
——Interview with Professor Wang Zhen of the Central Institute of Socialism
“Islam is not the natural belief of the Uyghur people, nor is it the only religion of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.” Wang Zhen, a professor at the Central Institute of Socialism, recently accepted the China News Service “In the interview, he pointed out that Xinjiang has been in a pattern of coexistence of multiple religions for a long time in history, and it has evolved to this day.
Wang Zhen said that religious extremism endangers human life and property safety in the name of religion and is the common enemy of the people of the world. The Chinese government’s “de-radicalization” work in Xinjiang is an important measure to ensure the dignity of the lives and property safety of local people of all ethnic groups, and to enjoy true freedom of religious belief.
The coexistence of multiple education has always been The basic characteristics of Xinjiang’s religious structure
Wang Zhen said that before the 4th century BC, some primitive religions were popular in Xinjiang, and Shamanism was more typical. Buddhism was introduced to Xinjiang in about the 1st century BC, and it entered its prosperous period from the 4th to the 10th century. The scene described in “Journey to the West” originated from the scene when Xuanzang passed through the Western Regions when Xuanzang passed through the Western Regions, which to a certain extent reflects the flourishing spread of Buddhism in Xinjiang at that time. Around the same period, Zoroastrianism also spread throughout Xinjiang. Taoism was introduced to Xinjiang around the 5th century and was mainly popular in Turpan, Hami and other places. Taoism was once revived in most parts of Xinjiang in the Qing Dynasty. The Yili Bagua City, which has been preserved to this day, is the best example. Around the 6th century, Manichaeism and Nestorianism were introduced into Xinjiang one after another. From the 10th century to the 14th century, Nestorianism flourished along with the beliefs of Uighurs and other ethnic groups. In the 16th to 17th centuries, Tibetan Buddhism gradually emerged in northern Xinjiang.
“Islam was introduced into Xinjiang at the end of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century.” Wang Zhen said that at that time, the Karakhan dynasty accepted Islam, and in the middle of the 10th century, it offered to some places that believed in Buddhism. Regimes such as the Kingdom of Khotan waged more than 40 years of religious wars, and later defeated Khotan at the beginning of the 11th century, and forced Islam into this region, ending Buddhism’s more than a thousand years of history as the main religion in Xinjiang. With the continuous spread of Islam, in the 16th century, Xinjiang formed a pattern with Islam as the main religion and the coexistence of multiple religions, which continues to this day. “The religious pattern in Xinjiang has always been dominated by the unification of China, with one or two religions as the main and multiple religions coexisting. The difference is only the fluctuations of different religions in this pattern.” Wang Zhen emphasized.
Freedom of religious belief does not mean freedom of arbitrary religious activities
Recently, some Western politicians and media have alleged that Xinjiang is carrying out “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities and restricting Xinjiang Freedom of religious belief.
Wang Zhen pointed out that from 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang rose from 10.17 million to 12.72 million, an increase of nearly 2.55 million, an increase of more than 25%, which was the 14% increase in Xinjiang’s population 2 The Uyghur population’s growth rate is 12.5 times that of the Han population.
Wang Zhen said frankly that she was reluctant to use the names and expressions of “race” and “minority” in her heart, but just used it in accordance with the common customs. Because in China’s thousands of years of history and culture, “race” and “minority majority” have been used cautiously to divide people. Although there are differences between Yi and Xia, as some Western scholars have seen, it is mainly based on culture, not on blood, Even geographically, and more importantly, China has had the concept and pursuit of “One Family in Yixia” and “One Family in the World” for thousands of years.
Speaking of some Western media hyping the Chinese government to restrict freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang, Wang Zhen emphasized that if these criticisms are sincere, it may be due to misunderstandings arising from their different historical experiences; “Freedom of belief” has become a rhetoric of Western politicians with ulterior motives, which can only be human sorrow.
“To clarify the truth, just Become our responsibility.” Wang Zhen said, it should be noted that the term “freedom of religious belief” is not the first in China, but comes from the West. In Chinese tradition, there are very few sayings that religious beliefs are free or unfree. If it must be discussed in this way, Chinese traditional freedom includes two aspects: one is the freedom of the inner spirit, and the other is the freedom of external action.
She believes that what China calls freedom, first of all, is to seek self, liberate oneself, and let one’s heart be free. For example, Zhuangzi is a quiet corner, but he is able to excel, wander thousands of times, and be independent from the world; for example, Confucius said that “the wise are not confused, the benevolent are not worried, and the brave are not afraid” to free himself from ignorance, anxiety, fear and other emotions. Get free. Correspondingly, freedom is bound to be restricted in action. As Zhang Zai said: “If there is an elephant, there is a right, and if you are right, you must act against it; if you have an opponent, you must be reconciled.”
Wang Zhen continued that the greatest freedom is “whatever you want.” But the Chinese tradition still has “not overstepping rules” behind it. “Freedom can only be achieved by observing the rules. This’rule’ is the national laws and regulations at the social and public level.” As for why Western countries have produced “freedom of religious belief”, Wang Zhen believes that this is mainly It is aimed at preventing the “unfree religious belief” from harming others and self. Therefore, when discussing this topic, we should first distinguish what is true freedom of religious belief. The true essence is that individuals are free to choose their religious beliefs. Everyone can either believe in this religion or believe in that religion, or believe in this before. It is completely free to believe in that religion after religion, or not to believe in now, or not to believe in now.
“But at the same time, you don’t want to believe as you want, because if everyone does this, the world will be messed up.” Wang Zhen emphasized that different religions have different religious activities and canons. Doctrine, so freedom of religious belief does not mean freedom of arbitrary religious activities. As the British philosopher John Locke said: “Freedom means freedom from being restricted and raped by others. Where there is no law, there can be no such freedom.” Freedom of religious belief means that a person chooses or does not choose his religion. When not being forced by others.
Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, people can only believe in one religion, and seldom can choose to believe in a different religion; in other places, people can only believe in religion, and rarely can choose not to believe in religion. ; There are still some places where people can choose to believe in or not to believe in religion, but they cannot be equally protected by the law. Wang Zhen said, “We respect the traditions of different countries and nations, and believe that they are working hard for a better and free life.”
“But in China, we understand and maintain the true freedom of religious belief It is manifested in three aspects. One is that everyone can freely choose to believe in different religions; the other is that everyone can freely choose to believe in or not to believe in religion; and the third is that regardless of whether a person chooses to believe in or not to believe in religion, he is equal and has Dignity is strongly protected by the law.” Wang Zhen said: “In Xinjiang, only after 1949, when the law truly guarantees that the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang can freely choose their religion or not, can the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang truly and thoroughly Gained freedom of religious belief.”
< p>Why can people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy true freedom of religious belief?
“People can promote the Tao, not the Tao.” Wang Zhen quoted Confucius’s famous saying that good ideas need to be practiced. The true freedom of religious belief can be realized because of the commitment and the ability to make religious beliefs. The person whose freedom is realized. She believes that after the founding of New China, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang can enjoy true and complete freedom of religious belief mainly due to three factors: first, the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China; second, the joint efforts of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and the whole country; third, The efforts and friendly help of people of insight in the international community and those who pursue peace and progress.
Wang Zhen emphasized that, on the one hand, the Communist Party of China first liberated itself from the shackles of traditional Chinese society, liberated itself, and became the vanguard of the Chinese nation, for the true and complete freedom, human rights and religious beliefs. Struggling for freedom, and leading the various ethnic groups in China to realize it, from subjugation and species extinction to salvation, the establishment of a new China, the realization of the “opening of the world” in Chinese history, and the realization of the freedom and liberation of the people in Xinjiang.
On the other hand, the CCP led the Chinese nation to liberate from the shackles of the old society, old ideas, and old spiritual outlook, and established a new socialist China, injecting more peace, stability, prosperity, and progress into the world. A powerful force. Wang Zhen said: “We are convinced that Marx was born in the soil of Western civilization. The people of Britain and Germany have voted and recognized Marx as the world’s first thousand-year-old man.” It is under the guidance of Marxism that the Communist Party of China and the people of all ethnic groups in China, The separation of religion and politics has been realized, and the freedom of religious belief has been defended politically and legally.
Wang Zhen believes that based on these two points, the whole of China, including Xinjiang, has not only been liberated from the shackles of traditional “theocracy” and “religion established by Shinto”, but also from religion as a tool of the ruling class. He was liberated from oppression and moved to a new world of greater freedom and broadness. More importantly, the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have not only inherited the excellent Chinese traditions, but can also stand in the forefront of the world, so they can interpret the true and complete freedom of religious belief.
How does the new China guarantee each Freedom of religious belief for ethnic people?
“The first thing to be clear is that to guarantee the freedom of religious belief of religious believers, the freedom of non-believers to not believe in religion must be guaranteed, and the law must equally guarantee the dual freedom of religious belief and non-belief, rather than special preferential treatment. Different beliefs.” Wang Zhen pointed out that the freedom of religious belief guaranteed by Chinese law is comprehensive and thorough, and there is no special or discrimination based on belief in religion, belief in different religions, or non-belief in religion.
She said that with the changes of the times, many young people in Xinjiang, like young people in other countries and regions in the world, have undergone some new changes that are different from traditional ones. The protection of the freedom of non-believers is also the protection of the freedom of some religious people that may change now and in the future. Of course, whether they will change is up to them, but the country and society have the responsibility to ensure that they have the freedom, diversity, and possibility at different stages of life. Demand. In addition, some relatives, friends, and neighbors of religious believers may believe in different religions, or may not believe in religions. Guaranteeing the freedom of non-belief in religion means protecting the freedom and rights of those around them and creating more comfortable freedom for religious believers. Life and work environment. “This is the true meaning of everyone being equal before the law, and only in this way can true freedom of religious belief be realized.”
Wang Zhen said that Chinese people with lofty ideals are never self-righteous, but based on the people’s right. For yes, take the people’s heart as the heart, this is an excellent tradition passed down by Chinese civilization for thousands of years. From more than 3,000 years ago Shangtang set himself on fire for the people to pray for rain, to more than 2,000 years ago Mencius proposed that “people are the most precious, the emperor is the light, and the society is second”, to Fan Zhongyan’s “worries and worries before the world” more than a thousand years ago. , The happiness of the post-world is happy”, it is all like this. As the inheritor, practitioner, and advocate of the excellent Chinese culture, the CCP emphasizes the purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly. She said: “It is true that the Chinese Communist Party does not believe in religion, but it is people-centered. When there are people who need religious beliefs, it can sincerely respect and defend the people’s right to freely choose their religious beliefs. This is the CCP’s conscious choice. , Is also natural selection.”
Another important guarantee for the freedom of religious belief of all ethnic groups in China comes from the consciousness of the people. Wang Zhen believes that to have freedom of religious belief as a citizen, one must have the ability to consciously discriminate between religion and freedom. On the one hand, if you cannot correctly understand the religion of your choice and the religions around you, you will not be able to identify the various claims made in the name of that religion, leading to the belief that religion can pursue truth and virtue, but the actual result is Quite the opposite; on the other hand, if you cannot correctly understand and recognize what true freedom is, and fail to recognize that freedom actually comes from the common norms of different groups, different religions and cultures, and comes from discipline and restrictions, you may think you are in Pursuing freedom and rights, the actual result just crushed it and lost it.
In addition, citizens must also have the ability to consciously abide by laws and disciplines. Wang Zhen pointed out that if you fail to abide by discipline and law, even with the external protection of the law, it will cause trouble if you cannot transform it into internal consciousness. The law is a social norm and a requirement for everyone in society, while religion is a requirement of believers on themselves, not a compulsion on others. Otherwise, everyone and every group must impose the rules set for themselves on others, and the world will surely become a jungle of the weak and the strong, and the people themselves will ultimately suffer.
The essence of religious extremism It is anti-humanity, anti-society, anti-civilization
Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially after the end of the Cold War, under the influence of international religious extremism, religious extremism has spread in Xinjiang. In this regard, Wang Zhen said that the Chinese government’s crackdown and governance in accordance with laws and regulations is not only responsible for the rights of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also a contribution to the world and all mankind.
“No matter what kind of extremism, the first thing that hurts is ourselves, and then the others. Therefore, we feel compassion for those who practice extremism, but we are angry at them and hurt the innocent.” Wang Zhen pointed out, The extreme manifestation of extremism is the breeding of harmful ideas and concepts to promote the occurrence of violent and terrorist activities. From the terrorist attacks on September 11 in the United States, 11.13 in France, and 3.22 in Belgium, to a series of serious violent terrorist incidents in Kunming, China, and 5.22 in Urumqi. It shows that religious extremism essentially violates human conscience, undermines social morality, and tramples on the bottom line of civilization. “We need the ability to promote good, but also the ability to stop evil.”
“Religious extremism is the common enemy of the people of the world.” Wang Zhen believes that to prevent and combat religious extremism, we should first strengthen ourselves Start with the ability to resist, develop the economy and protect people’s livelihood, so that people can live with more dignity and receive better education, thereby enhancing their ability to discern extremism.
Secondly, laws must be used to protect national security, especially the safety of people’s lives and property, in accordance with the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Anti-Terrorism Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Regulations on Religious Affairs, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to extremism The “Regulations on Internationalization” and other relevant laws and regulations shall resolutely crack down and deter those who promote terrorism, extremism, or incitement to commit terrorist or extremist activities.
Third, strengthen international cooperation and mutual assistance. Resisting religious extremism is the common and basic interest of people of all countries. In this process, China should continue to strengthen cooperation with countries with experience and needs, such as the Middle East countries, France, the United Kingdom and some Southeast Asian countries.