Uyghur Muslims banned from Tarawih prayers

Local governments banned Muslim men to grow beards and women to cover their faces which are part of the their faith.

Uyghur Muslims banned from Tarawih prayers

World Bulletin / News Desk

Uyghur Muslims face new bans over their religious practices. They can't perform Tarawih prayers, special nightly prayers performed during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, and Muslim man can't keep their beards and women can't cover. Because autorities banned Islamic practice.

These practices that Muslims believe they are Allah's (Muslim's God) wills and orders, are part of Muslims faith.

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.

Phelim Kyne, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the postings on the government websites appeared to be the first time that such hardline religious control measures had been openly and publicly disclosed, reported Express India.

"We have heard of these types of measures on beards and veils, that Uighur party members and citizens who join the government are expected to distance themselves from overt cultural and religious expressions," Kyne 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.

Kyne edded that "But by putting them in black and white on government websites, they are showing that they have become much more concerned with the situation and are deepening the crackdown."

The crackdown also was extended to the Muslim religious practices of men growing beards and women covering their faces with veils.

The county government also stepped up patrols around mosques and urged top officials to remain vigilant around the clock for any incidents that could result in social instability.

"The handing out of religious propaganda in public places by any work unit or individual is banned," the Shaya government said.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uighur Congress, said that the measures would only increase tensions among Xinjiang's Muslim population.

"To publicly restrict Uighurs from observing the Ramadan fast is a serious act trampling on the religious faithful," the German-based Raxit said in a statement.

"At the same time this is only going to intensify the conflict in East Turkistan."

Xinjiang is a vast desert region bordering Central Asia that is home to 8.3 million Uighurs that have suffered decades of political and religious repression under Chinese rule.

The Uighurs established two short-lived East Turkestan republics in Xinjiang in the 1930s and 1940s, when Chinese central government seized in civil war times and Japanese invasion.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Eylül 2008, 17:43