China Says There Is No Ban on Muslims to Fast in Xinjiang

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: As Ramadan starts Communist Party Led Government of China has come under hard criticism through difference segments of media groups form across the world despite Beijing’s clear stance that they have not banned or restricted any religious group or minority to practice its religion according to their faith. The Ramadan is a Holy month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims across the globe observe as fasting, which abandoned their followers to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset.

Criticism is going on despite a week ago authorities in troubled province Xinjiang of China clearly said there was no ban on Muslims to fast in Xinjiang and there would be no interference in the Muslim fasting in the month of Ramadan, despite criticism from rights groups.

“During the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, whether to close or open halal restaurants is completely determined by the owners themselves without interference,” a government report on religious freedom in Xinjiang said. “No citizen suffers discrimination or unfair treatment for believing in, or not believing in, any religion,” the report said, adding that “religious feelings and needs are fully respected”, Reported in International media.

According to the Chinese media’s reports, there are certain elements in media who do this malicious propaganda against China to serve their own vested interests. West paints the negative picture and blamed the Chinese government, curbing the religious rights of the Chinese Muslims. Despite Chinese government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring religious freedom to the Muslims, allowing them to observe fasting as per their religious belief including in Xinjiang.

The recent criticism enhanced when Associated France Press (AFP) reported on Sunday a day before starting Ramadan that China has marked the start of Ramazan by restricting civil servants, students and children in a mainly Muslim region from fasting, government websites said as the holy month began on Monday.

“Party members, cadres, civil servants, students and minors must not fast for Ramazan and must not take part in religious activities,” a notice posted on Thursday on the government website of central Xinjiang’s Korla city said.

No doubt there is conflict between Authorities in Xinjiang and The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)  a Muslim separatist group founded by Uighurs Militant of the Turkic-speaking ethnic majority in northwest China’s Xinjiang province. Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a declared terrorists group in china along with United States whose Treasury Department has also included ETIM into Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in 2002.

Commenting on the news Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, the main Uighur exile group, said in an email that the United States has a responsibility to pressure China to respect Uighurs’ religious beliefs during bilateral talks in Beijing starting on Monday, reported by Reuters.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” can be reached # arifqoreshi@gmail.com

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