of Xinjiang from fasting during Ramzan. The government says the move is
motivated by health concerns, but others said Friday that it’s a risky campaign
to secularise the Muslim minority that will likely backfire.
have posted notices on their websites banning or discouraging Communist Party
members, civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during the
religious holiday. Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink from
dawn to dusk during the 30-day period.
Global Times newspaper Friday as saying authorities encourage people to “eat
properly for study and work’’ but don’t force anyone to eat during Ramzan.
group. Long-simmering resentment among Uighurs over rule by China’s Han
majority and an influx of migrants has sporadically erupted into deadly
participation in Ramzan are not new, but this year’s campaign is more intense.
previous years and in some cases Communist Party leaders are delivering food to
village elders to try to get them to break their fast, according to Dru
Gladney, a professor of anthropology at Pomona College in California and an
expert on China’s Muslim minorities.
Uighurs and my feeling is it will backfire,’’ said Gladney. “It makes the
Uighurs even more angry at the party.’’
advocating armed rebellion. A smaller fringe has been radicalised by militant
calls for jihad and trained in camps across the border in Afghanistan and
stepped up a campaign against illegal religious schools.