ANKARA: A Chinese ban on Ramadan fasting for uighur Muslims in the Muslim-majority northwest district of Xinjiang has sparked protests from Saudis and expatriates who demanded a boycott of Chinese products.
“It’s the highest degree of injustice. People should be allowed to practice their religion,” Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, told Arab News.
“This shows their anti-Islam attitude as they consider those who practice Islam as terrorists. If this is allowed to continue, they will ban Muslims from Hajj and Umrah.”
Every year, Chinese authorities have repeatedly imposed restrictions on Uighur Muslim in the northwestern region of Xinjiang every Ramadan.
Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, falls this year between Sunday, June 29, and July 28.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.
Under the restrictions, all Muslim state employees were forced not to observe the fasting month of Ramadan.
Badahdah said the Chinese government has been imposing anti-Islam policies for the past several years, adding that the UN and Security Council have failed to protect Muslims.
“China is a closed country and we have started knowing about its oppressive policies against Muslims through social media,” he said.
“We Muslims have to unite and return to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. That is the only solution for our problems,” he told Arab News.
Badahdah said the Chinese action was a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that protects freedom of religion and opinion, adding that tyrants and tyrannical regimes in the world would disappear one day.
“They have to learn lessons from history,” he said.
Rejecting the Chinese restrictions on their fellow Muslims, Saudis urged a Muslim unity to take political and economic actions against China for its oppressive policy.
“So Muslims all over the world should unite against such unjust and inhuman practices to put an end to them,” Badahdah, the assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, said.
“We are a big force with a population of 1.5 billion and should defeat the enemy’s machinations to divide us. We have to become real Muslims to receive the help of Allah.”
Others urged Saudi Arabia and other OIC countries to support Muslim minorities in China and elsewhere.
“Our government took strong action against the Netherlands when a rightwing politician in the country abused Islam and the Saudi flag. We should take similar action against China if they do not review their anti-Muslim stance,” Fuad Tawfik, a Saudi engineer, told Arab News.
The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), meanwhile, said it has contacted the Chinese government to discuss the issue.
“We are waiting for a reply from China,” an informed source told Arab News.
Tawfik decried the worsening condition of Muslims all over the world.
“They are even tested by some Muslim governments. This is very unfortunate. At the same time, it gives us the glad tidings that the support of the Almighty is very near for Muslims to overcome this period of troubles and tribulations. But we should exercise patience,” he said.
Blogger Hashmet Hussain urged a Muslim boycott for Chinese products.
“Banning the basic right of following the religion of Islam is a kind of terrorism,” he said.
Another blogger said: “For their own benefit China should immediately withdraw their decision and apologize to Muslims.”— (onislam.net)