• Tue
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Updated: 5:42pm

Beijing bans Xinjiang officials and schools from participating in Ramadan

Authorities bar students, teachers and civil servants in Uygur-populated region – following similar restrictions in recent years

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 2:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 3:03pm

Beijing has banned civil servants, students and teachers in the mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting, government websites said.

This has prompted condemnation from an exile group today.

The ruling Communist party is officially atheist, and for years has restricted fasting in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uygur minority.

Xinjiang sees regular and often deadly clashes between Uygurs and state security forces, and Beijing has blamed recent deadly attacks elsewhere in the country on militants seeking independence for the resource-rich region.

Rights groups blame tensions on religious and cultural restrictions placed on Uygurs and other Muslim minorities in the vast area, which abuts Central Asia.

Several government departments posted notices on their websites in recent days banning fasting during Ramadan, which began this weekend. During the holy month, the faithful fast from dawn to dusk and strive to be more pious.

The commercial affairs bureau of Turfan city said on its website on Monday that "civil servants and students cannot take part in fasting and other religious activities".

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".

A state office which manages the Tarim River basin posted pictures of its staff wearing traditional Uyghur "doppa" caps tucking into a group meal on Saturday.

"Although the meal coincided with the Muslim festival of Ramadan, the cadres who took part expressed a positive attitude and will lead the non-fasting," it said.

Beijing has in the past said that restrictions on fasting are meant to ensure the health of government employees.

Dilxadi Rexiti, a spokesman for the exiled World Uygur Congress, cited local sources as saying that authorities encouraged Uygurs to eat free meals on Monday, and inspected homes to check if the fast was being observed.

"China taking these kind of coercive measures, restricting the faith of Uygurs, will create more conflict," he said.

"We call on China to ensure religious freedom for Uygurs and stop political repression of Ramadan."


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The human is the enemy to what that he doesn't know about.He stays away it. The ramadan fast was banned to keep the officials and students health by govt. officials allegedly. I am a muslim and i wanna to talk about why muslim fasts in ramadan during the day-light till break fast at evening. First of all it's simple we fast because we believe. But if officials are sensitive to healths of people I just can explain how fasting is so healthy with a logical and scientific thought. The organs of human body work for 365 days and 6 hours non stop. And body needs to rest. The fasting in ramadan for a month supplies it amazingly. But of course fasting in ramadan was banned not for health but political reasons. My opinion is that if you increase the pressure on people, they would want to react to protect himself. And you will have enemies more than you had before. So you introduce the muslims as terrorists to the world and you can have the right to involve them using force and justice easily.
What are they gonna do now force them to eat Char Siu and Hong Shao Rou? :p
Well the CCP did ban religion in the past...nothing new here.
To the CCP religion is evil...
When misused in the the hands of evil,violent men/women,it becomes a weapon of destruction and death as feared by the CCP/Govt. When applied by people of good and loving hearts, it becomes a guiding light to happiness and joy.
communist versus muslims, which one you choose?
Most western countries like the UK, the US, Canada and all of the EU choose muslims over commie Chinese or Chinese Hong Kong Brits.
What is commie? You in the 21st Century yet?
Look at the source AFP is quoting, World Uyghur Congress is a US government propaganda outlet (WUC is funded thru congressionally mandated NED grants) and the Ramadan ban claim is essentially false.

Goto Baidu, China's Google-style search engine and look for "斋月 2014 site:gov.cn" (Ramadan 2014 site:gov.cn), you'll see not only is Ramadan not banned, there are great many local and national governmental websites in China publishing the 2014 fasting schedule.

The notices are simply a reminder to not proselytize in school, and not to withhold food from children at lunch during Ramadan, and it's been twisted and exploited politically to fabricate a false image of China.
Please fact check.
Bobby are u a communist?
Hong Kong people dont use Baidu they use google and yahoo :p
That's right, crush a culture's core practices to discourage their hatred for you. Nice. This move will not make any Wee-ju feel that their existence is being methodically destroyed. No, not at all. Now, apply that towards such ignorant views towards HK and see what is looming. Tie-1 is watching. Sort of imagine if Christmas will be banned and everyone must work on Christmas day, even if it is on weekends.




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