China: Muslim Fasting Discouraged

Several local governments in the western region of Xinjiang have ordered Muslim restaurants to stay open during the holy month of Ramadan and are telling civil servants and students to continue to eat and drink during daylight hours, when Muslims generally fast.

Ramadan began on July 20. A notice on the Web site of the health bureau of Urumqi, the regional capital, said local officials had discussed “increasing eating and drinking during Ramadan” and were urged “to increase the monitoring of collective eating with supplied food at work units.” The goal was to “guarantee the health of the masses,” the posting said.

Local governments have been putting in place such policies for several years. Southern Xinjiang and Urumqi have a large number of Uighurs, Muslims who often express discontent with ethnic Han, who dominate China

Source: Edward Wong, International Herald Tribune

Categories: Asia, China

2 replies

  1. To interfere in someones religious practice should not be encouraged anywhere in the world, as it is the violation of human rights.

  2. Quoting Al Jazeera:

    Chinese authorities in the northwestern province of Xinjiang have banned Muslim officials and students from fasting during the month of Ramadan, prompting an exiled rights group to warn of new violence.

    Guidance posted on numerous government websites called on Communist Party leaders to restrict Muslim religious activities during the holy month, including fasting and visiting mosques.

    Xinjiang is home to about nine million Uighurs, largely a Muslim ethnic minority, many of whom accuse China’s leaders of religious and political persecution.

    The region has been rocked by repeated outbreaks of ethnic violence, but China denies claims of repression and relies on tens of thousands of Uighur officials to help it govern the province.

    A statement from Zonglang township in Xinjiang’s Kashgar district said that “the county committee has issued comprehensive policies on maintaining social stability during the Ramadan period.

    “It is forbidden for Communist Party cadres, civil officials (including those who have retired) and students to participate in Ramadan religious activities.”

    The statement, posted on the Xinjiang government website, urged party leaders to bring “gifts” of food to local village leaders to ensure that they were eating during Ramadan.

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