No Taraweeh for China Muslims Print
Muslims in China's far northwest region of Xinjiang are banned from performing Taraweeh prayers, special nightly prayers performed during the holy fasting month of Ramadan,

"We must timely warn and stop religious believers from organizing and planning large scale prayer groups and prevent any large crowd incidents that could harm social stability," said a notice on the Xinhe county website cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Friday, September 5, 2008.

Orders were issued by local governments this week to stop Muslims from performing their rituals during the fasting month on claims of preventing violence.

The orders prohibit government officials, Communist Party members, teachers and students from observing the dawn-to-dusk fasting month.

"For those that maintain beards and for the women who wear veils, we should take all effective measures to have them shave their beards and take off their veils," the Shaya government said. The county government also stepped up patrols around Masajid in the region.

"The handing out of religious propaganda in public places by any work unit or individual is banned," the Shaya government said. "We must strictly prohibit the playing of any audio-visual tapes, loud speaker announcements and religious drum rituals that could disrupt the Ramadan festival."

The Uighur are a Muslim people who speak Turkish. They number 8,000,000 and inhabit the northwest Xinjiang region or Eastern Turkestan, have long chafed under Chinese control. The region has been autonomous since 1955, but continues to be the subject of security crackdowns.
 
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