As Ramadan begins, China's Muslims face fasting ban, monitoring

Muslims in China are facing fasting ban while their cultural and religious traditions are increasingly coming under attack, according to a media report.

Published: 24th March 2023 07:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2023 07:32 PM   |  A+A-

China Protest, Uyghur, Xi Jinping

Protesters step on pictures of  Xi Jinping during a protest against China's brutal crackdown on Uyghurs, in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 30, 2022. (File Photo | AP)


WASHINGTON: As Muslims around the world prepare to begin the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims in China are facing fasting ban while their cultural and religious traditions are increasingly coming under attack, according to a media report.

Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang are being ordered not to allow their children to fast, with the latter being quizzed by the authorities as to whether their parents are fasting, local officials and rights groups said, Radio Free Asia reported.

"During Ramadan, the authorities are requiring 1,811 villages [in Xinjiang] to implement a round-the-clock monitoring system, including spot home inspections of Uyghur families," World Uyghur Congress spokesperson Dilshat Rishit said, RFA reported.

During Ramadan, Muslims are called to fast during daylight hours.

China's 11.4 million Hui Muslims -- close-knit ethnic Chinese communities who have maintained their Muslim faith over centuries -- are in danger of being erased entirely under the Communist Party's draconian religious rules, rights groups have warned in a new report.

They have been identified by Beijing as "a threat to be resolved through forcible assimilation", said a report from a coalition of rights groups, including the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), RFA reported.

This is in stark contrast to the relative freedom they enjoyed before President Xi Jinping launched a renewed attack on religious worship, forcing Christians, Muslims and Buddhists alike to submit to party control and censorship of their religious lives under his "sinicisation", the report said.

"Hui community members were able to openly participate in mosque communities, Arabic schools, and for private worship, albeit under restrictions facilitated by party liaisons. Hui entrepreneurs were encouraged to develop business and tourism connections with the wider Muslim world as part of the Belt and Road Initiative," it said, RFA reported.

China has also targeted Muslim communities with its "ethnic unity" campaign under which officials impose Han Chinese "relatives" on ethnic minority Uyghur families, who then put pressure on them to observe non-Muslim traditions, including drinking alcohol and eating pork.

"Unity" policies have taken place in Xinjiang against the backdrop of the mass incarceration of at least 1.8 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minority Muslims in "re-education" camps, and their involvement in forced labour, as well as amid reports of systemic rape, sexual abuse, and forced sterilization of Uyghur women in the camps, RFA reported.


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