By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, June 8: The Chinese Government has forbidden Uyghur Muslims from fasting during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer.
Renewing what has become its annual policy, Chinese Government barred ten million Muslim communities in Xinjiang from practicing Roza, the dawn-to-dusk fast observed for the entire holy month of Ramadan which began from Monday.
A notice on a government website in the central Xinjiang city of Korla reads: “Party members, cadres, civil servants, students and minors must not fast for Ramadan and must not take part in religious activities.”
Dilxat Raxit from the exiled group, World Uyghur Congress, has condemned the restrictions and said, “China thinks that the Islamic faith of Uyghurs threatens the rule of the Beijing leadership,” reports Khaleej Times (an online news coverage from UAE).
Scores of Muslims in Lucknow took to the streets on Tuesday and burned effigies of Chinese President Xi Jinping and raised slogans while protesting against the Chinese government’s ban on fasting during Ramadan in Muslim majority Xinjiang province.
“If China doesn’t remove the restrictions within one – two days, we will burn all Chinese items imported to India. I am sure our traders will support us and not sell any Chinese products here,” a protestor was quoted as saying in reports of www.business-standard.com, June 7, 2016.
China has around 20 million Muslims spread throughout the country, only a portion of which are Uyghur. The ban on Roza came less than a week after the Chinese administration said there was no religious discrimination in Xinjiang and there would be no interference in Muslims observing Roza.