BEIJING – Citing China’s ban on fasting the holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim dominant Xinjiang district, the World Uyghur Congress has accused Beijing of launching an “unnamed war against Muslims and Islam.”
“Unfortunately the world is still keeping silent,” the Vice President of the Congress Seyit Tumturk told Anadolu Agency.
Tumturk condemned government restrictions on Ramadan in the far-western Xinjiang district where Muslim party members, civil servants, students and teachers are banned from fasting during the holy month.
He added that the Muslim-dominant area is the “only Muslim region in the world where people are prohibited to practice Ramadan fasting”.
According to the government’s reports, halal restaurants in Jinghe County, near the Kazakh border, were encouraged by food safety officials to stay open during day hours in Ramadan.
Halal restaurants that will keep its doors open in Ramadan will be rewarded by fewer visits from food safety inspectors, the website stated.
Tougher religious restrictions have been introduced in Maralbexi county, where party officials are forced to give verbal as well as written assurances “guaranteeing they have no faith, will not attend religious activities and will lead the way in not fasting over Ramadan,” state media reported.
Chinese authorities imposes restrictions on Uighur Muslim in the northwestern region of Xinjiang every Ramadan.
Earlier this week, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemned China’s ban on fasting during Ramadan in the Muslim dominant Xinjiang district, urging the Asian country to respect Muslim faith.
“It was the same last year,” Tumturk claimed.
“Around 3000 Uighur were massacred on the first day of Ramadan fast when they took to the streets protesting the prohibition.”
The Uighur activist accused China of defying the world with its “massacre” and “psychological pressure” of the people of “East Turkistan.”
“China has been carrying out a systematic assimilation policy for 66 years, when it invaded East Turkistan,” Tumturk said, adding that Beijing had been oppressing Uighur for decades, preventing them practicing their religion and culture, “while the world stayed silent.”
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Earlier in December, China banned the wearing of Islamic veiled robes in public in Urumqi, the capital of the province of Xinjiang.
The law in the predominantly Muslim region came as Beijing intensified its so-called campaign against “religious extremism” that it blames for recent violence.
Earlier in 2014, Xinjiang banned the practicing of religion in government buildings, as well as wearing clothes or logos associated with religious extremism.
In May 2015, Muslim shops and restaurants in a Chinese village in northwestern Xinjiang have been ordered to sell cigarettes and alcohol or face closure.