Chinese Muslims say they are facing growing discrimination within their country, after officials banned students and civil servants in the western region of Xinjiang from observing fasting rituals during the month of Ramadan.
While Muslim residents in the capital Beijing have been able to follow the tradition of abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours without government interference, fellow-worshippers in Xinjiang say they are feeling unprecedented pressure to ignore one of the five pillars of their faith.
The restive region of Xinjiang is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur community, one of China’s 56 recognised minority ethnic groups.
The government has said it is cracking down on Islamist separatists they claim are behind a series of attacks centred on Xinjiang, but human rights activists counter that Beijing’s policies restricting religious freedom are at the source of the unrest.
To watch FRANCE 24’s full video report on Muslims struggling to practice Ramadan in China, click on the player above.
Date created : 2014-07-10