A number of government departments in China’s Xinjiang province have banned Muslim staff from observing the fast during the month of Ramadan in yet another attack on the rights of the country’s religious minorities.
Activists have accused Beijing of exaggerating the threat from the country’s Muslim Uighur separatists to justify a crackdown on the religious and cultural freedoms of the majority of the region’s citizens.
The State-administered Bozhou Radio and TV University said on its website that the fasting ban applied to party members, teachers and young people: “We remind everyone that they are not permitted to observe a Ramadan fast,” it said.
The weather bureau of Xinjiang is reported to have said on its website that the ban was “in accordance with instructions from higher authorities.”
Other government agencies imposing a ban include a commercial affairs department and a government hospital which got Muslim staff to sign a written pledge that they would not fast and State-run newspapers have been running editorials warning about the health dangers of fasting.
Many of the country’s ethnic Uighurs say that the suppression of their cultural and religious freedoms is fuelling the unrest in the region and attacks elsewhere in China.
If China wishes to calm the current situation in Xinjiang, it is going about it in entirely the wrong way.
- China claims “terrorism” threats in apparent bid to get tougher on ethnic minorities (chinadailymail.com)
- China points to suicide blast in Urumqi attack (chinadailymail.com)
- Triple explosions in China’s Xinjiang kill three (chinadailymail.com)
- From his Pakistan hideout, Uighur leader vows revenge on China (chinadailymail.com)
- China bans Xinjiang officials from observing Ramadan fast (inform.kz)
- China Punishes Muslims for Fasting during Holy Month of Ramadan (ibtimes.co.in)
- Ramadan fasting banned for officials, young people in Xinjiang (lifeisshorteatpork.com)
- China bans civil servants in restive Xinjiang from observing Ramadan fast (irishtimes.com)
- China bans Ramadan fasting in Xinjiang (alrasub.com)
- China restricts Ramadan fasting (bbc.co.uk)