Uyghurs Defy Ramadan Ban

Uyghurs Defy Ramadan Ban

Umar Farooq at Al Jazeera reports that the Chinese government’s efforts to ban observances of Ramadan among ethnic Uyghurs in have backfired:

Chinese authorities have justified the ban on fasting by saying it is meant to protect the of students, and restrictions on religious practices by government are meant to ensure the state does not support any particular faith.

Yet in Kashgar, in Xinjiang province, China’s westernmost city, close to the with Tajikstan and Kyrgyztan, Uighur say the restrictions have backfired. Not only have locals become more observant of Islamic practices, but many have found ways to flaunt Chinese laws restricting everything from who may attend the mosque, to which copies of the Quran are read.

[…] Other restrictions – like the ban on fasting for schoolchildren – are more difficult to get around. Chinese authorities require that school teachers, who are barred from fasting themselves, also discourage students.

“It depends on the teachers,” said Mehmet, a high-school student in Kashgar. “[Some] bring , bread, candy, put it in front of you, and you have to eat.” [Source]

Read more about discrimination against Uyghurs amid violence in Xinjiang via CDT.

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