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China steps up efforts to curb Islamic fundamentalism

China steps up efforts to curb Islamic fundamentalism

Author: Anil K Joseph
Publication: The Newspaper Today
Date: April 24, 2001

China has established a formal organisation to curb the rise of religious fundamentalism and ensure orderly growth of Islam in the Communist state. Under this, the China Islamic Affairs Steering Committee (CIASC) was established here on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported. "The newly established organisation vows to oppose religious extremist activities by making use of Islam," it said.

Analysts noted that several countries, including India, have repeatedly urged China to tackle fundamentalism and religious extremism perpetrated by countries like Pakistan and the ruling Taliban militia in Afghanistan.

"The CIASC vows to oppose religious extremist activities by making use of Islam"

The CIASC is a special committee under the administration of the Islamic Association of China (IAC). Its members are respected experts and scholars in Islamic affairs and relevant religious knowledge, the report said. "This committe will accurately interpret Islamic tenets in accordance with traditional Islamic doctrines within the legal framework of China," it said. "The organisation is also responsible for drafting sermon pamphlets, regulating sermon content, better educating administrators on Islamic affairs, and furthering the adaption of Islam to China's socialist society," Xinhua added.

Meanwhile, in another important step on Monday, China has openly recognised the threat posed by religious fundamentalism in a joint statement issued during the ongoing state visit by Belarus President Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko. "The two sides hold that various terrorist, separatist, extremist and other trans-national criminal activities pose a serious threat to the security of sovereign states and the peace and stability all over the world," the joint statement, released after official talks between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Lukashenko says.

"The two sides reiterate their determination to take concrete and effective actions to fight such criminal activities through bilateral and multilateral cooperation," the statement said. (PTI)

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