Chinese curbs on Ramadan fasting spark protests

Chinese curbs on Ramadan fasting spark protests
Sun Jul 6, 2014 09:25:05

Saudi nationals and expatriates have slammed the Chinese government’s ban on Muslims in the Xinjiang region from fasting in Ramadan and praying at mosques, as a violation of human rights.

They urged Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries to take political and economic action against China for its oppressive policy. They also called for a boycott of Chinese products, Arab News reported on Sunday.

The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), meanwhile, said it has contacted the Chinese government to discuss the issue.

“We are waiting for a reply from China,” an informed source told Arab News.

According to press reports, the Chinese authorities across the country’s northwest region of Xinjiang have banned Muslim students and civil servants from taking part in all “religious activities” during Ramadan.

In a region where around 45 percent of the population is Muslim, a series of notices issued by schools and government departments have “strictly forbidden” anyone from taking part in fasting, and some have even been banned from performing their daily prayers at mosques.

Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, said the Chinese government has been imposing anti-Islam policies for the past several years.

“China is a closed country and we have started knowing about its oppressive policies against Muslims through social media.”

He said the UN and the Security Council have failed to protect Muslims.

“We Muslims have to unite and return to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. That is the only solution for our problems,” he told Arab News.

He said tyrants and tyrannical regimes in the world would disappear one day. “They have to learn lessons from history.”

Badahdah said the Chinese action was a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that protects freedom of religion and opinion.

NTJ/HH

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