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Imprisoned recruiter for extremist group voices regrets

Updated: 2014-08-28 07:05
By Cui Jia in Urumqi (China Daily)

Gulaman Abudula, 34, said she now is sorry now for leading many women in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region into an illegal religious extremist group because their families might be destroyed, just as hers was.

The mother of a young girl, Gulaman received a 13-year prison sentence for secession and began serving her time in 2008.

She was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, or the Party of Liberation, which aims to unite Muslims around the world in the creation of an Islamic state, or caliphate, ruled by Islamic law.

Growing up in southern Xinjiang's Hotan prefecture, Gulaman had wanted to be a teacher since childhood, but her ambition changed during high school when she learned about religious extremism, she said in a statement released by Xinjiang Women's Prison on Wednesday.

She said she felt at the time that there was no need for education anymore, and her parents had to force her to go to school, where she spent most of her time secretly reading radical books.

Soon after dropping out of college, Gulaman married a key member of an extremist group. Later, she made a vow to join the group and began to recruit other women.

She then noticed that the group not only talked about Islam but also planned how to achieve political goals. She realized that she was on a dangerous path after her husband was arrested and sentenced. Still, she carried on translating illegal publications from Arabic to the Uygur language and distributing them in Hotan.

At the beginning of her sentence, Gulaman said she felt no regret about joining the group. Instead, she was proud of what she did.

She said the prison has invited religious leaders to give lectures about real Islam, which has gradually made her realize the damage she has done to her family and other families. Gulaman said she lost more than she gained after participating in religious extremist activities.


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