The News Lens
By: Yuan-ling Liang
Despite ‘guarantees’ in a recent white paper that religious freedoms will be respected, Chinese
authorities are cracking down on Uighurs during Ramadan.
The Chinese government is preventing Uighurs in Xinjiang from practicing religion regardless of the white paper issued ahead of Ramadan, which promised to guarantee their freedom of belief.
To restrict religious activities, the Chinese government has been tightening its policy in Xinjiang, where 60% of people are Muslim and started fasting earlier this month. Besides the detention of residents of the region who encourage religious practices, Muslims have also been forced to eat during Ramadan, a traditional period of fasting for them.
Approximately 20 million people practice Islam across China; half of them live in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
On June 2, before the beginning of Ramadan, Chinese officials issued a white paper praising religious freedoms and promised to cause “no stress” on Muslims’ religious practices.
“All citizens’ freedom of belief and religious activities are guaranteed,” the paper said, adding that “No citizens should be discriminated for believing in a certain religion or be forced not to believe in one.”
The paper not only allowed all restaurants to decide their opening hours during Ramadan, but also barred anyone from intervening in the matter. [FULL STORY]