Authorities in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang region have detained 17 people for encouraging the region’s mostly Muslim Uyghurs to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, overseas rights groups said on Monday.
Policy directives ordering ethnic Uyghur shopkeepers in China’s Xinjiang region to stock alcohol and cigarettes are failing in their intended effect, with consumers refusing to buy the products and openly mocking the government’s apparent bid to undermine local Islamic custom, sources say.
The Silk Road trading centre of Kashgar has been Muslim for centuries, but despite hordes of people thronging the main bazaar, Gulnur’s headscarf shop had barely any customers.
The Chinese authorities have been doing all they can to discourage Muslim Uighurs from fasting since Ramadan began. Free slices of watermelon were handed out in the middle of the day at Urumqi’s University of Medicine in Xinjiang, a region with a huge Muslim Uighur population.
A local government in the predominately Muslim southern part of China’s Xinjiang region has hosted a “beer competition” ahead of Ramadan, which an exiled ethnic group has called blatant incitement to the Islamic faith. The beer festival took place last week just before the start of the important religious holiday
By Hena Zuberi – With the news of China forcing imams to dance in public and to make oaths to keep children away from religion in what is known as Xinjiang, where government officials warned that Muslims “During Ramadan do not engage in fasting, vigils or other religious activities,” effectively
Adding to Uighur Muslims’ concerns, some parts of the far western Xinjiang district have banned Muslim party members, civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, reviving every year’s religious restrictions.
Harsh policies enacted by a newly appointed Communist Party secretary to a Uyghur-populated county in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region are causing great hardship to county residents, while filling a local prison with those found to be in violation of the laws, sources say.
A group of five Muslim ethnic Uyghur men who sport “crescent moon-shaped” beards are on trial in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region for “religious extremism” after they were found to have secretly attended unsanctioned Islamic sermons, according to a Uyghur member of the ruling Communist Party.
Authorities in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region have ordered shop owners and restaurateurs in a mainly Muslim Uyghur village to sell alcohol and cigarettes or face closure of their establishments, despite a public backlash against the products discouraged by followers of Islam, an official source said.