Beijing punishes Muslims who observe Ramadan

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SHAFAQNA – Muslims in China fasting during the holy month of Ramadan are being fined and sent to classes to ‘educate’ them in religious extremism.

The government in Xinjiang have also enforced a rule demanding that all restaurants in the region remain open.

The Chinese government claims it is trying to curb terrorism and extremism which it blames on Islamist militants.

According to Radio Free Asia, authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have punished around 100 people for breaking restrictions on the observance of Ramadan.

Any state employees that are found fasting are handed fines of around 500 yuan (£57.68) or sent to education classes aimed to ‘stamp out religious extremism’ and educate on Chinese values.

According to the report, many of those punished were members of the local government.

A ban on government officials fasting was introduced in 2014 under the guise of protecting people’s health and ensuring that the government continues on with the theme of a religious less state.

Authorities in China reportedly issued a notice adopting measures during the holy month of Ramadan which is observed from May 26 to June 24 this year. These measures include ensuring that restaurants remain open during Ramadan.

The notice says the measures aim to create national unity especially in minority groups.

In recent years there have been crackdowns by the Chinese government in the region in a bid to curb terrorism which it blames on Islamist militants.

Xinjiang is home to 10.37 million Uygurs who practice the Muslim faith. It is a four and a half hour flight from Beijing.

Many Muslims in the country say they feel victimised by the government who have tightened control on the region.

While previous rules also banned long beards for men and head coverings for women.

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