China imposes Ramadan security crackdown
September 6, 2008, 2:43 am
Filed under: Culture, Religion | Tags: , , , ,

Some very disturbing news out of China: Chinese authorities in the Muslim dominated northwest of the country have moved to prevent ‘mass prayers and the distribution of religious material as part of a security crackdown for Ramadan.’ According to the AFP, the move is widely seen as a response to a a series of attacks on police by Muslim separatists in Xinjiang. While much of the recent talk centers around the issue of Tibetan independence, China’s Muslims, who also seek independence, often go unheard.  While many Chinese nationalist’s argue that different ethnic groups in China are all treated fairly and equally, this crackdown against Ramadan is a clear form of discrimination.

As the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began, local governments this week issued orders to clamp down on security in the region and stop its ethnic Muslim Uighur population from using the holy month to foment further unrest.

“Faced with recent violent and disruptive activities by religious extremists, separatists and terrorists, we must… step up ideological education of religious leaders and followers,” a notice posted on Xinjiang’s Zhaosu county website said.

The county government prohibited government officials, Communist Party members, teachers and students from observing Ramadan, while warning that “any person caught forcing another to observe Ramadan” would be punished.

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