Help Muslims in Xinjiang, China, observe Ramadan
Write to the organisation representing Muslim countries and demand it speaks up for Muslims being denied the right to practice their religion in Xinjiang.
Until she left China, journalist Gulchehra Hoja, a minority ethnic Uyghur, had never been able to practice her religion freely. Now, she is living in the USA and even though she cannot return Xinjiang because of her journalism, she prays that her family and all Uyghur peoples can choose to freely observe Ramadan.
Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim people in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) are facing discrimination and severe restrictions on the right to practice their religion.
Up to one million people are reportedly being arbitrarily detained in “transformation-through-education" facilities in Xinjiang, with the aim to replace religious beliefs and aspects of cultural identity with political loyalty for the state.
Last year the broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that during Ramadan, the authorities forced restaurants to stay open and restricted access to mosques. Numerous counties in Xinjiang have posted notices on their websites in recent years, stating that students and Communist Party members were not permitted to fast in Ramadan in line with their religious beliefs.
Since March 2017, the Xinjiang authorities have banned the wearing of burkas and having an “abnormal” beard.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organisation made up of 57 Muslim-majority countries. Its Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) aims to protect and promote human rights in the Muslim World. They should urge the Chinese authorities to respect and ensure the rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang to freedom of religion and stop the persecution and prosecution of them for solely peacefully exercising their human rights.