China might be changing, but not enough to allow fasting during Ramadan

Chinese diktats have banned government employees and minors from fasting. It has also ordered restaurants in its troubled Xinjiang province to remain open during Ramadan

China might be changing, but not enough to allow fasting during Ramadan

China might have changed lot after Mao Zedong...

Embracing market economy has scripted a 'success' story hitherto unknown to any' socialist' world.

But when it comes to religious practices, the Chinese communist party is uncompromising, or that is what one tend to believe by the diktat issued during the Ramadan fasting.

This time also, the start of Ramadan was marked by the customary ban on civil servants, students and children from observing the dawn-to-dusk fasting.

The restrictions have led to heightened tensions in the restive Xinjiang province, which is home to the  mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

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

The government has  also ordered restaurants to stay open during the day time.

"During the Ramadan month, food and drink businesses must not close," it added.

But some eatery owners said they would try to work around the dictates.

Several local government departments in Xinjiang posted notices on their websites in the last week ordering restrictions on fasting during Ramzan .

Dilxat Raxit of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), an exile group, condemned the restrictions and said that "China thinks that the Islamic faith of Uighurs threatens the rule of the Beijing leadership".

Despite all this restrictions, China claims that religious freedom in Xinjiang cannot be matched by any other period in history

"During the month of Ramadan, Muslim restaurants can decide whether they want to do business. There will be no interference," the government claimed.

The rights groups however claims that the China is using all available methods to systematically annihilate all minority ethnic communities by forcing up on them the atheist doctrines.
At least 17 people have been detained in the restive Xinjiang province for encouraging Uighur Muslims to observe fast, the overseas rights group claimed.

12 were detained from Aksu prefecture, five were picked up from Kashgar, WUC  was quoted as saying by Radio Free Asia.

Uighurs are Turkic speaking Muslims, culturally and ethnically more connected to central Asian countries than China. Uighurs have been demanding a separate state to preserve their cultural and ethnic identity.

Hundreds have died in ethnic clashes in Xinjiang in the past few years. China often uses forces and other methods to subjugate their religious identity.

According to rights groups says the restrictions imposed by the government since 2014 on Ramazan days are a part of this.