Muslims in China’s Xinjiang told to ignore Ramadan customs

By Reuters Staff
July 4, 2014
(An Imam calls on Muslim Uighurs for their afternoon prayer with a home-made iron loudspeaker on the roof of the Kuqa Mosque, the second biggest mosque in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, August 20, 2012. Picture taken August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer )

(An Imam calls  Muslim Uighurs to prayer with a home-made iron loudspeaker on the roof of the Kuqa Mosque, the second biggest mosque in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer )

Officials in China’s restive western region of Xinjiang have told Muslims to ignore religious customs during the holy month of Ramadan, an indication of what rights groups say is discrimination targeting the Uighur minority group.

The fasting month follows a series of attacks around China, centred on Xinjiang, that Beijing has blamed on Islamists they say are seeking to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

State media reports of official notices have emerged in recent days, demanding that party members, civil servants, students and teachers not to observe Ramadan.

Officials in the region have compelled some Muslim restaurant owners to remain open for the month which began last Saturday. Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan, during which many abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

Officials at state-run Xinjiang Broadcasting Network in northwest Xinjiang’s Ili prefecture were reminded this week that observing Ramadan was a violation of Communist Party discipline and that Saturday’s anniversary was “a sensitive time for social stability work”.

“All party members and workers from the Ili branch office must not fast … must not participate in religious activities, and must carry out work guiding and educating relatives,” a notice on the cable television station’s website said.

Read the full story by Michael Martina here.

Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/