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News and Views No Ramadan for Uighur Muslims


URUMQI – Amid fresh arrests, restrictions on fasting and prayers at mosques, Uighur Muslims are suffering under the latest episode of Chinese government crackdown on their ethnic minority in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

“If any religious figure discusses Ramadan during the course of religious activities, or encourages people to take part, then they will lose their license to practice,” Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the Munich-based World Uighur Congress, told Eurasia Review on Friday, August 5.

“The more serious cases will result in arrests for incitement to engage in illegal religious activity,” he said.

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A day before the start of the holy fasting month for China’s Muslims, at least 11 people were killed in a series of attacks in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

Chinese authorities blamed the attacks to the ethnic minority, after which the Chinese police shot dead two Muslims last Sunday.

The attacks came less than two weeks after 18 people were killed in an attack in the restive Xinjiang region. Following the unrest, more than 100 uighurs were detained by Chinese authorities. Most of those detained as suspects were committed Muslims who attended mosque and whose wives wore veils, residents say.

Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, was the scene of deadly violence in July 2009 when the mainly Muslim Uighur minority vented resentment over Chinese restrictions in the region.

In the following days, mobs of angry Han took to the streets looking for revenge in the worst ethnic violence that China had seen in decades.

The unrest left nearly 200 dead and 1,700 injured, according to government figures. But Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority, say the toll was much higher and mainly from their community.

China’s authorities have convicted about 200 people, mostly Uighurs, over the riots and sentenced 26 of them to death.

No Fasting

Beijing slapped severe restrictions on Chinese Muslims as the holy fasting month of Ramadan started.

As for Muslim members of the government throughout Xinjiang, the government forced them to sign “letters of responsibility” promising to avoid fasting, evening prayers, or other religious activities.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. muslim

    August 5, 2011 at 6:43 PM


  2. taiwo

    August 6, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    This is evil.May Allah free our Uighur brothers and sisters from their/our oppressors.Muslims from wealthy regions should find ways of helping them,like adopting Uighur orphans,marrying or supporting their widows,sending relief materials to them,etc.These may not be very easy bcos of chinese govt restrictions,but we must try whatever we can.Allahumma unsur muslimeena fii kulli makan.

  3. Abdulraoof

    August 6, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    Shame on you chines govt, fasting of a person keeps all the evil things away,
    the govt is thinking in other way, they are illetrate and this illetracy will lead them to get breakup into small pieces like russia.

    May Allah get pleased with the sacrifices of this Poor muslim community.

  4. Umm Sulaim

    August 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    I have always been concerned about my Uighur brothers and sisters.

    Perhaps they could perform their obligations to Allah privately if possible.

    Hasbuna Allah wa ni’ma-l-Wakil wa Nasir.

  5. Imaanbillah

    August 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    May Allah reward our brothers and sisters for standing strong amidst an oppressive government.
    This oppression needs to be publicized further to expose the bigotry of the Chinese government.

  6. lonsaa

    August 6, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    The muslim nations should boycott China!

  7. Ishaque

    August 8, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Liars! The Uighur Baba doesn’t lied. The reporter is liars! As I Chinese muslim, I see what happened in these years. Did you know what the real situation in China? Some Uighur terrorists killed other Uighur people, do you know who the victums are? They are other Uighur muslims! How can you tell the lie to the world in the Ramadan month?! Allah judge you!! The liars will go to hell (dozehk)!!!

    • Amad

      August 8, 2011 at 3:21 AM

      First of all, stop screaming. It is Ramadan for you too.

      Secondly, are you a Uighur? Do you live in their province?

      Thirdly, I know there are Muslims in other regions who are not being treated like this. Can’t you see this as a regional problem, encouraged by the central government in its bid to “nationalize” the Uighur culture?

      Finally, what motivation do you think any of us have, including media and human rights organizations, to make up these stories? We have no agenda against China. In fact, having Pakistani origin myself, we have always had a love affair with China.

      • umtalhah

        August 8, 2011 at 9:02 AM


      • Ishaque

        August 8, 2011 at 11:18 PM

        OK, let me tell you. First, I’m not an Uighur, but it dosen’t mean anything. China has many problem on the muslims culture. But, we have 20 million muslims: Huihui, Uighur, Kazakh, Tajk, Uzbiek, Kirkz, Dongxiang, Baoan, Sala, etc. over ten different ethnic groups of muslims., why government treads Uighur bad? It dosen’t make sense!!! The week before last week, some Uighurs kill some other Uighur muslims and other Chinese in the police office. If that happend in Pakistan, what government will do?

        Second, I love my Uighur brothers, but, common Chinese doesn’t. Do you know why? Do you know how many Uighur went to other cities to be the thieves? Although some of them were used by criminals, others they just do that as a criminal group. I feel so so so bad. How can a muslim do that without shame?! Of course, that’s not the reason that the government should do something bad to them. But how bad government treat them? I have many Uighur friends too, yes they may feel bad some time, but most of time, they find people just don’t know them.

        My anscestors came from Persia. We see Uighur as our brothers. We want to help them. However, it’s difficult. Some of them, actually, only several of them want to make violence in China. Whatever the opinions they intend to express, for the name of Allah and Islam, why did they kill innocents? Whatever they want, do they express their opinions by fromal way? In Xinjiang, many many civil services are Uighur

        Do you know how complex the situations are? Maybe you can live in China for several monthes. Do you know the real China? Real Xinjiang? You don’t. I suspect you have other aims.

        In this month, all muslims are in the painful practise of Namaz, please give us peace and quiet. If you need news resources, just go to Syria and see how bad their government treats our Doste! Go and see how Yemen and Saudi government treat Shia muslims. Don’t bother our Chinese muslims! We can handle our problems. In the past, we don’t need you guys help and win the respect. Now, we also can do it. And we can do it better without your help!

        Insha Allah!

        • Amad

          August 9, 2011 at 2:54 AM

          First of all, you need to check your attitude as you are skirting the comments policy with your accusations and insinuations. Anymore, and you’ll be moderated out.

          Read your comments again… how much generalization have you done about Uighurs? That they kill, that they are thieves? And basically they deserve the punishment from China.

          It doesn’t make sense? Yes it does. In India too, for example, you’ll see a huge problem with Muslims in Kashmir yet Muslims in other part of the country seem to be living the life. Doesn’t mean that Kashmiri Muslims brought it upon themselves.

          By the way, are you Shia? Just asking because I am wondering if this is a sectarian issue for you.

  8. Saeed

    August 8, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    Amad, that is actually one of the problems Muslims face. Many Pakistanis support China so much that they are willing to overlook any abuse commited by the Chinese. India is evil because of Kashmir, Russia because of Chechnya, USA because of Iraq. But for many Pakistanis, everything China does is Halal and if i ever mention China’s oppression of Muslims, I am called an Indian etc etc

  9. umtalhah

    August 8, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    i have a Uighur friend and even though she was here in saudi she was still extremely concerned in fact scared of the treatment she knew she was going to receive upon her return to china that with a broken heart she decided to suppress her desire to wear a headscarf :'(
    may Allah make their affairs easy and may He make them steadfast upon His religion and may He reward them abundantly for their efforts.
    may Allah reward all involved in bringing these affairs to our attention.
    the least we can do is remember our muslim bros and sisters in our du’aas.

  10. Ishak

    August 9, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    *Below Comment has been edited to make it conform to the MM Comments Policy*

    As I told you, if you want to know China, come and stay for long. Not only in Xinjiang, But also in other areas. Ask questions to other muslims. For me, we help Uighurs as much as possible. In my mosque, we give them money, help their childern get into school. Yeah, you are right, as I first time said, In China, we have problems with our government. In my hometown, three Imams were put into prison. However, we can save them by ourselves. In the past (150 years ago), we were kill by Chinese, we ask help to Pakistan, Central Asia, but on one help us. Many many (1 million) people were killed. Do you know Dungan people?! You may don’t know!

    NOW, when we face to so-call “help”, we don’t care. I knew that you will ask whether I am shia. I can tell you, I am not. I am a pure Hanafi muslim. (…)

    Our communities have helped Uighurs brothers and sisters take part in the development for over 20 years. Imams and Ahonds always help them one to one, face to face. Uighurs feel better in the eastern part of China. Also, in Xinjiang, the new local leader is helping Uighurs have more new free dual-language school education and free medical care. Yes, we have problems, but we are getting better. Better than Pakistan government treats your people.

    You suspect me about sect. Actually, I suspect your sect too. Most of Uighurs brothers just like me, love peace and follow the national law. Only few of them, they are not, they are accepted bad guide from middle east, but not their own culture. I don’t want to put this problem into sects, because as a muslim, that’s wrong.

    (…) But I am a part of where I am. I grew up here, I feel both good and bad in here, and I am helping my people live better.

    Everytime when I see the Pakistan Cities, I also feel angry. How a Islamic country treats their people that bad? —that’s illution. Like what you saw in China.

    @Saeed: do you know why Pakistan and China are friends? Do you know in history, how close Chinese Muslims and Pakistan Muslims? I will not to say any people are evils, although I don’t like them. I am a human, I don’t have right to judge anyone is evil, only Allah can.

    As I said, we have 20 million muslims in China, Uighurs brothers and sisters are part of us. But they can’t repersent all of us. You can say what you want, but the truth is, Xinjiang’s development is good. After 5 years, everyone can have free education and medical care. Dose Pakistan government supply that to all of you?

    If you want to help Chinese Muslims, ok, I can tell you. Ask the companies to invest Xinjiang! Help Uighurs brothers have more changes to have jobs! ! ! To send scholars go to Xinjiang, help them protect their traditional culture. Pakistan is a Hanafi Islam country, we share the same faith, ask Great Imams to hold Islam communication meeting with Chinese muslims every years.

    Is that ok? SEE the truth by your eyes, by your HALAL eyes. Don’t use American’s eyes, don’t use your imgination, and don’t believe illusion.

    I knew many Pakistan Muslims and Indian Muslims. Every time they ask me the Muslims’ situation in China, I will show the pictures to them. From over 30 cities in China. But I don’t want to show them to you, I don’t trust you. Oh, I fogot to tell you, Those bad words are not what I said to Brothers, that’s other non-muslims said Uighurs . Do you know how much we have done to change that? Do you know how many Uighurs students can have opportunities to go to a good high school and unis? AGAIN, WE HAVE PROBLEMS, BUT WE ARE GETTING BETTER.

    You can say my attitude is bad. but, for example, if one day, i go to Pakistan, just ask some people’s feeling and say “oh! how bad in there, because they all treat Sufi people so bad.” Will you will happy with that? To know Xinjiang more from different angles, if you do that so, I still hope you come back and recognize it again.

    Still, I have something that I have to say. Some powers (I don’t like to say the name, but I can see them do things like Afilers) train some Chinese muslims to do some bad things all around China, and let other Chinese hate common Muslims deeper. I know the same people do the same things in Pakistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and some middle east countries too. If some in here belongs to those groups, I have nothing to say. Allah will judge everything.

    In the Ramadan, I really shouldn’t talk too much about this. 1000 years ago, when we Chinese Muslims first did Ramadan Namaz in China, our ancestors had known that we will not be accepted by Chinese, and one day, we also will not be accept by some other muslims. WE chose to follow Allah’s will only. Take care.

  11. Ishak

    August 11, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    the first day of ramadan in Xinjiang.

    You don’t know the Chinese, but you can see what the first day of Ramadan in Xinjiang.
    The Great Moula in Mosque (which is the biggest one in Xinjiang) told Muslims don’t use violence. People who are from different ethnic group should unify to together.

  12. Tavseef

    August 15, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    It is a pity that Pakistani and we, Kashmiri Muslims see China as our saviour inspite of all this.

  13. sara

    August 17, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    Assalamua alaikum,

    Problem is, as an ummah, we are too busy bickering, dividing, being greedy, being selfish, pointing fingers, making little cliques, and being arrogant, preachy, jerks to actually accomplish anything positive. Therefore, no country is afraid of our boycotts–we produce little of anything so we can’t effectively boycott anyone—but we can call each other Kufar, real welll….then sit around crying when we have no power to stop this kind of thing.

    May Allah help us all.

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