In Iran, top clerics deplore China's anti-Muslim violence

Iran Materials 13 July 2009 23:47 (UTC +04:00)
In Iran, top clerics deplore China's anti-Muslim violence

Two more grand ayatollahs in Iran have called on the Tehran government to take measures to compel China to stop the murder of Muslims in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, Press TV reported.

In separate pronouncements on Monday, Grand Ayatollahs Yousef Saanei and Hossein Nouri-Hamedani deplored the attacks against China's Muslim minority.

"Instead of solving the problems of the Muslims, who make a significant portion of the population of that land, the despotic rulers of China have sought -- by various means -- to suppress the popular protests," said Saanei in his statement.

"All the while, with the cutting of telecommunications, suppressing the news of atrocities and attributing the protests to foreign powers -- all manifestly false and deceptive ploys -- [the Chinese authorities] have dared to violate the rights and limits of defenseless people, and they seek to silence any international and popular protests from other countries by attributing the protests to foreign agents."

Noting the ever-expanding of commercial ties between China and Muslim countries, the outspoken cleric questioned why China, "despite these murders and arrests, which have offended the Muslims, penetrates the [Muslim's] economic and commercial affairs?"

Saanei also called on the government to condemn these crimes and use all legal means to put a stop to them.

Another senior cleric, Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani, deplored the violence, and compared it with the murder of a Muslim woman in a German court, the case of which has been taken up by the Iranian government and media.

"Unfortunately, these days, a greater and more horrific crime than what occurred in Germany ... has taken place in China," he said. "It is expected of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran not to remain silent on this issue, adopt a suitable and necessary stance."

According to Chinese government figures, 184 people have been killed and about 1,700 injured. Two more Muslims were killed on Monday evening in the capital of Xinjiang, Urumqi.