China Bans Ramadan in Muslim Region

    Ethnic Uighur men walk outside a mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, August 3, 2011. Chinese security forces blanketed central areas of Kashgar city in the western region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, days after deadly attacks that China blamed on Islamic militants highlighted ethnic tensions in the Muslim Uighur area.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria (CHINA - Tags: CRIME LAW MILITARY CIVIL UNREST POLITICS RELIGION) - RTR2PKFW

    Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Schools, government agencies, and local party organizations in the heavily Muslim northwest of China have been told not to take part in the fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. According to officials, the move is to protect the well-being of students and to prevent institutions from promoting religion. The region of Xinjiang was already tense—it’s been the location of multiple attacks this year that the government has tied to Uighur Muslims. According to human-rights groups, government officials have thrown parties and served food to test and see if Muslim residents are fasting. The official ruling party is atheist and often sees religious groups as a threat to one-party rule.

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