Ramadan begins on Thursday for Muslims all over the globe. They will fast during the daylight hours, read the Quran and end fast at sunset. However, in far western Xinjiang district of China, all Muslims are banned from fasting, halal restaurants are instructed to stay open and Muslim convenience stores are told to continue selling cigarettes and alcoholic beverage.
First Saturday of Ramadan in U.S. will happen on June 20
The Islamic Society of Orange County is now preparing for thousands of American Muslims that will arrive on June 20, the first Saturday of Ramadan in the U.S.
Director of education at one California mosque, Shayk Mustafa Umar explained that Ramadan teaches people religious discipline.
“When you go without food and drink for an entire day, even for one day, you realize what you have given up, and you realize what you actually have that you had taken for granted,” Umar told The Voice Of America. He said Ramadan is that time of year where Muslims reflect about how they better their lives.
Umar said Ramadan is also the time to strengthen friendships.
“So it is kind of a mixture of worshiping God and also having fun and having a good time, and realizing and appreciating the blessings that you have in this life.”
Duaa Alwan, a president of the Islamic Society in Orange County, said people of other religious beliefs join their celebration.
“You have Pakistani food, you have Indian food, you have Middle Eastern, you have Italian food, you have Mexican food, and it really reflects the diversity that our community shares,” she told Voice of America.
China bans Muslim from fasting
Meanwhile, Uighurs Muslims in far western Xinjiang of China are banned from fasting during Ramadan. The Chinese government is said to be accusing the group for a series of terrorists activities in the region.
Establishments owned by Muslims are instructed to conduct business as usual, like selling cigarettes and alcohol. Uighur leader Dilxat Raxit said the Chinese government went as far as getting “guarantees from parents, promising that their children won’t fast on Ramadan.
Raxit fears that the encroachment of their religious rights will spark resistance. “The faith of the Uighurs has been highly politicised and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance,” Raxit said.
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