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Islam stands for peace: Imam

2009-08-02 13:56 BJT

Special Report: 7.5 Xinjiang Urumqi Riots |

BEIJING, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Muslims should bring peace to people and it should never be their practice to injure or kill people, said a mosque imam in Urumqi, recalling details of three men's attempts to incite violence during prayers in the mosque.

Three Uygur men, who disrupted prayers and attacked a security guard in the White Mosque in downtown Urumqi on July 13, were shot by a police patrol after they ignored a warning shot, said a recent report in the People's Daily.

The incident came days after a deadly riot in Urumqi, capital of China's far west Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which had left 197 dead and 1,600 injured.

Rioters' attempts to incite Muslim worshippers to violence in the name of religion failed, Abdushukur Rehmutura, imam of the White Mosque, told the newspaper.

During a 2:30 p.m. prayer at the mosque on Jiefang South Road, a Uygur man about 40 suddenly stood up among the worshippers and tried to grab the imam's microphone.

The man retreated to his place after the imam refused to give in.

The prayer continued despite the interruption. Islamic codes of practice say worshippers should not hold private conversations or disrupt prayers, said the imam.

Only minutes later the man stood again and shouted: "Let's fight." From his clothing, he took a green, flag-shaped banner and screamed "Holy war! Holy war! Go with us."

The imam said he firmly refused the man's petition and decided to end the prayer session.