Sunday, 6 July 2014

Muslim Countries Should Speak Up for Uighur Muslims - Fasting Banned in China

Muslim countries really need to use their political influence in persuading China to lift the restrictions on Uighur Muslims. Saudi Arabia and other gulf Muslim countries have economic power while Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tajikistan are geographically closer to China. These countries should do more to speak up for the rights of Muslims in China.

Chinese Uighurs defy Ramadan ban

The government's attempt to clamp down on religious expression has backfired among Uyghurs.

Kashgar, China - Chinese authorities have imposed restrictions on Uighur Muslims during the month of Ramadan, banning government employees and school children from fasting, in what rights groups say has become an annual attempt at systematically erasing the region's Islamic identity. 
Chinese authorities have justified the ban on fasting by saying it is meant to protect the health of students, and restrictions on religious practices by government officials are meant to ensure the state does not support any particular faith.

Yet in Kashgar, in Xinjiang province, China's westernmost city, close to the border with Tajikstan and Kyrgyztan, Uighur Muslims say the restrictions have backfired. Not only have locals become more observant of Islamic practices, but many have found ways to flaunt Chinese laws restricting everything from who may attend the mosque, to which copies of the Quran are read.

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