East Turkestan: UAA and WUC condemn Al Qaeda statement
The Uyghur American Association (UAA) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) are extremely disturbed by reports that the North African wing of Al Qaeda has threatened to attack Chinese workers in Africa in revenge for the deaths of Uyghurs in East Turkestan. UAA and WUC are absolutely opposed to all forms of violence, and condemn the reported statement of Al Qaeda.
“I abhor violence,” said Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer. “I do not believe violence is a solution to any problem. Global terrorists should not take advantage of the Uyghur people’s legitimate aspirations and the current tragedy in East Turkestan to commit acts of terrorism targeting Chinese diplomatic missions or civilians.”
Terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda do not represent the peaceful aspirations of the Uyghur people. UAA and WUC, together with Uyghurs in East Turkestan and throughout the world, seek to peacefully advocate for Uyghurs’ basic human rights, including freedom of belief, freedom of expression, and equal access to employment and healthcare. UAA and WUC seek the right of self-determination for Uyghurs.
Uyghurs practice a moderate form of Sufi Islam and lead predominantly secular lives. Much like Tibetans, Uyghurs in East Turkestan have struggled for cultural survival in the face of a government-supported influx of Chinese migrants, as well as harsh repression of political dissent and any expression of their distinct identity, however lawful or peaceful.