With Muslims around the world observing the holy month of Ramadan, Chinese authorities have again launched a crackdown on fasting and religious practices by Islamic minorities.
- Fasting and other displays of religious affiliation are viewed as “signs of extremism”
- Chinese authorities have long viewed organised religion as a threat to party loyalty
- Mass surveillance and detentions have intensified over the past three years in Xinjiang
The restrictions are particularly enforced in the Muslim-majority Western province of Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities frequently stay at the homes of Muslim families to suppress religious activities, according to the Human Rights Watch and activists.
During Ramadan, Muslims fact from dawn to dusk as a religious duty and refrain from smoking and other vices.
Amnesty International said in a report released late last week Chinese authorities view Ramadan fasting — along with other displays of religious affiliation including beards, headscarves, regular prayers and avoidance of alcohol — as a “sign of extremism”.