Islamic college thanked for sheltering civilians in Urumqi riot
Staff at the Xinjiang Islamic College have received a letter of thanks for providing shelter for passers-by who escaped the Urumqi riot on July 5, reported Xinhua.
Memet and other security guards at the only religious school of higher education in China's far northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region saved 15 people from mobs on July 5.
Among the 15 are six Hans, four Uygurs, four Hazaks and one Tajik.
Memet said Wei Yutong, 4, and Xu Dabo, 23, were so horrified that they could not speak when being saved. "They just couldn't go back home across the road from the college," said Memet.
The staff closed the doors of the college to protect the 15 people despite shouting and verbal abuse from the mobs.
The 15 people were offered food and spent a frightful but safe night in the college.
The letter of thanks on red paper from the relatives of the rescued reads: "My heartful thanks to you for timely coming to the rescue of my nieces Xu Dabo, 23 and Wei Yutong, four, and helping them escape the terror attacks when the mobs were smashing stores and beating passengers-by on the Yan'an Road around 9:30 p.m.on July 5."
"The Koran tells us that non-Muslims should be equally treated," said Ehe, a teacher at the college. He called the mobs on the night a week ago "evil people" and pointed out, "They are not Muslims at all."
"They hit people and smashed things they saw," said Mutalifu, deputy head of the college's general office. "They are against humans".
Security guards at a mosque evacuated people when the riots broke out and locked the doors of an underground shopping mall to protect those who failed to escape.
Yibulayin found two women and a teenage girl of Han nationality shivering in horror while hiding in a lavatory.
"I told them that the temple was the safest place. But when I offered them food, they didn't eat but cried because of anxiety," Yibulayin said.
After violence eased, another security guard, Kadir, escorted the three to a nearby public security office 10 minutes walk away.
"They were so horrified that they didn't dare to leave the temple," said Kadir. "But I placed my arms around them to protect them during the 10-minute walk."
The Urumqi violence has left at least 184 people dead and 1,680 others injured as of Sunday, according to the government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.