Al-Azhar Condemns China’s Ramadan Restriction
CAIRO: The leading Muslim seat of learning, Al-Azhar, condemned China Friday
for imposing restriction on fasting in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region
during the holy month of Ramadan.
China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in Xinjiang from
fasting during Ramadan which began on Thursday, and ordered restaurants to
"Al-Azhar, condemn the Chinese authorities' ban on Muslims from fasting and
practicing their religious rituals during Ramadan in some parts of the western
Xinjiang region,'' said a statement from the Cairo-based Al-Azhar.
Al-Azhar rejects all forms of oppression practiced against Uighur Muslims in
China that affect their religious rights and personal freedoms,'' said the
prestigious institution, demanding that the international community, the
United Nations and human rights groups end these violations.
Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, but China's ruling Communist
Party is officially atheist and for years has restricted the practice in
Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
China says it faces a terrorist threat in Xinjiang, with officials blaming
''religious extremism'' for growing violence.
Uighur rights groups say China's restrictions on Islam in Xinjiang have added
to ethnic tensions there, where clashes have killed hundreds in recent years.