China bans Muslims from fasting during Holy Ramadan

Provinces of China

Provinces of China Officials in China’s turbulent north-western region of Xinjiang are tightening restrictions on Muslim practices including mass prayers during Ramadan, according to government notices.

Government employees and Communist party members are banned from fasting, wearing veils or growing beards, said circulars posted on several official websites. Other measures – which appear to vary area to area – include forcing restaurants to maintain their usual opening hours instead of shifting them in light of dawn-to-dusk fasting.

Religious controls are usually stricter during Ramadan but experts say this year’s are noticeably stronger and believe it is the first time they have been published rather than passed on orally.

A notice on the Zhaosu county website said that ideological education had to be stepped up in the face of “violent and disruptive activities by religious extremists, separatists and terrorists”.

Last month saw the worst violence for a decade with a string of fatal attacks including an assault on police in Kashgar that left 16 officers dead and 16 wounded. No one has claimed responsibility but officials have blamed Uighur separatists.

Two of the towns that posted notices, Xinhe and Shaya, are near Kuqa, where 11 people died in suicide bombings and police shootings a few days later.

Around half the population of the vast region of Xinjiang is composed of Muslim Uighurs. Many resent the religious and cultural restrictions placed upon them and some seek an independent East Turkestan.

A note on the Shaya government website said propaganda and inspections should be stepped up during the period. “Fasting and participation in religious activities by party members and students is forbidden,” it said.

The note called for stronger security at mosques, saying that officials should “prohibit playing recordings, videos or using loudspeakers to force people to take part in fasting. Work units or individuals are not allowed to hand out religious propaganda in public areas.”

Additional Reading

Religious History of Fasting: How it Establishes the Truth of the Holy Quran

Statements by President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the occasion of Ramadan

Ramadan 2014: message from David Cameron

Categories: Anti-Islam Attitude, Asia, China, Fasting, Ramadan

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9 replies

  1. We would hope that Chinese officials would applaud Ramadan, like President Obama, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and David Cameron have done, rather than ban fasting.

    We need to develop pluralistic societies in every country, by cherishing separation of Mosque-Church and State.

    To see our collection on the theme, please click here.

  2. They have got to be kidding! They themselves are providing reasons that the extremists can now use to anger people against the government.

    In their attempt to curb religion, they are acting like extremists themselves…their religion just happens to be Communism.

  3. If the Chinese think they have found a remedy to curb terrorism in their western province, they are mistaken. Chinese are interfering in the purely religious matters of Muslim. Chinese government will gain nothing by banning the harmless act of fasting. It will create more problems for the government.
    Every Muslim is not a terrorist.

  4. Though the ban is imposed in a specific region not in whole China, it will only fuel the fire of separatist movement. Religion is very sensitive issue for Muslims. I hope Communist Government will take the matter sensibly and in a global perspective and lift the ban ASAP.

  5. Let China learn from the history of persecution encountered by early Muslims. It will only strengthen Islam and Muslims in China.

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