(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/22/15) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged the People's Republic of China to end all state-sanctioned denial of religious freedoms targeting Muslims in that nation's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In a letter to President Xi Jinping, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“The ability of Muslims in Xinjiang to freely practice their faith is allegedly being obstructed by local authorities who routinely attempt to ban fasting during Ramadan under a state campaign to suppress Islamic religious practices and local Muslim traditions.
“These acts of state religious suppression also reportedly include harassing Muslim men who grow beards and women who wear Islamic attire. It is also reported that Muslims under the age of 18 are prohibited from practicing their religion and that authorities impose heavy fines on families whose children study the Quran, Islam's revealed text, or fast during Ramadan.
“The Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to those who practice Islam. As a signatory to the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the People's Republic of China is responsible for ensuring that Muslims in Xinjiang and across greater China are entitled to equal protection under the law against any state discrimination and against any incitement to discrimination. . .
“The American Muslim community and CAIR respectfully urge the People's Republic of China to uphold its own laws and international conventions by removing all barriers to religious freedom for the Muslims in Xinjiang, for Muslims throughout China and for the rights of all other people of faith in your nation.â€
CAIR also requested a meeting between the Chinese ambassador in Washington, D.C., and representatives of the American Muslim community and other concerned parties to discuss the issue of religious freedom.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,Â 202-744-7726, email@example.com