China bans Ramadan fast in Xinjiang region

xinjiang

Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region working as civil servants, students and teachers have been banned from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan on Wednesday. The move has sparked condemnation from an exile group.

Xinjiang is a mainly Muslim region, home to the Uighur minority. For years China’s ruling Communist party has restricted fasting in the region, which has seen sees regular and often deadly clashes between Uighurs and state security forces. Beijing has blamed recent deadly attacks elsewhere in China on militants seeking independence for the resource-rich region.

According to Agence France-Presse, the state-run Bozhou Radio and TV university said on its website that it would “enforce the ban on party members, teachers, and young people from taking part in Ramadan activities.”

“We remind everyone that they are not permitted to observe a Ramadan fast,” it added.

A weather bureau in Qaraqash county in western Xinjiang said on its website that “in accordance with instructions from higher authorities”, it “calls on all current and retired staff not to fast during Ramadan”.

[Source]

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