The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has severely criticised fasting ban which was partially implemented by the communist rule in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region.
In a statement on Thursday, the Qatar-based civil society organisation urged China to respect the basic needs of Muslims in Xinjiang as saying that prohibition on fasting and daily worships would be against religion of freedom that is guaranteed by both Chinese constitutional law and international law.
Last week, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) local government in Xinjiang banned civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam.
The IUMS called the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other international organisations as well as human rights groups to protect Muslims’ rights against China as it described the CCP’s policies in Xinjiang as “acts of religious and ethnic persecution.”
The CCP had previously issued orders considering the religious practices and social appearance in the public sphere by warning employees and students not to fast during Ramadan.
The party had also restricted men from having long beards whereas it extended in January to women wearing of burqas in public places.
Chinese authorities have been tightening their grip in Xinjiang in the wake of increasing terror attacks, which are mainly attributed to the Muslim Uighurs by the CCP governance.
Xinjiang autonomous region, which is called as “East Turkestan” by Uighurs themselves, consists of nearly 45 percent of Turkic-Muslim Uighurs while ethnically Han Chinese makes up almost 40 percent of the region’s total population.
Hundreds of people have been reportedly killed during the unrests in Xinjiang in the past several years, where China's repressive policies, including controls on religion and Uighur culture, have been intensified by China’s party-government.
The Xinjiang’s local government has been monitoring religious education activities like Quran teaching for children and that controlling the mosque attendance in the regional cities, such as Urumqi, Kashgar and Turpan.
The communist party has recently ordered Uighurs to stock and sell alcohol and cigarettes in attractive displays, despite the fact that many Muslims consider it a sin to sell alcohol for religious reasons.
The Chinese constitution asserts that ethnic and religious minorities in the People’s Republic would be equal before the law, but in practice China has long been criticised by the rights groups and international organizations for its human rights violations regarding the ethnic and religious freedom.
Human rights groups, including the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have frequently reported that Beijing is not allowing religious freedom and ethnic liberties as well as basic human rights in ethno-religious minority regions.
China has long been suffering from ethnic separatist causes in Tibet and Xinjiang in the west and to some extent in Inner Mongolia in the north.
The US State Department on Thursday released its 2014 report that shed light on China’s human rights abuses which had a trend to increase both in Tibet and Xinjiang.