Hyderabad: Taking note of the restrictions imposed during Ramadan - the Holy month of fasting, by China in its Muslim dominated Xinjiang region, Jamiat Ulema Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has urged the Muslims in India to boycott all Chinese made goods with immediate effect.
"The aggression of Chinese regime against Muslims has crossed all limits. Its time for Muslims world over, especially those in India, to boycott all Chinese made goods and items", President of Jamiat Ulema Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and former MLC Hafiz Peer Shabbir Ahmed said in a statement.
He also appealed experts to prepare a list of all Chinese made goods and circulate so as to create awareness among the masses.
"China is attracting consumer market by low price goods. But, the income earned in this fashion is being used against the Chinese Muslims. We will be helping the Chinese regime if we don't stop using Chinese goods now", he added.
Hafiz Shabbir cited how effective was the boycott call against Israel.
"In similar fashion, we should boycott all Chinese goods and teach China a lesson", he said.
Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk during the holy month, which began on Thuesday, but China’s ruling Communist party, which is officially atheist, for years has restricted the practice in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
"Food service workplaces will operate normal hours during Ramadan," said a notice posted last week on the website of the state Food and Drug Administration in Xinjiang's Jinghe county.
Officials in the region's Bole county were told: "During Ramadan do not engage in fasting, vigils or other religious activities," according to a local government website report of a meeting this week.
Each year, the authorities’ attempt to ban fasting among Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang receives widespread criticism from rights groups.
Uighur rights groups say China's restrictions on Islam in Xinjiang have added to ethnic tensions in the region, where clashes have killed hundreds in recent years.
China says it faces a "terrorist threat" in Xinjiang, with officials blaming "religious extremism" for the growing violence.
"China's goal in prohibiting fasting is to forcibly move Uighurs away from their Muslim culture during Ramadan," said Dilxat Rexit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress. "Policies that prohibit religious fasting is a provocation and will only lead to instability and conflict."
As in previous years, school children were included in directives limiting Ramadan fasting and other religious observances.
The education bureau of Tarbaghatay city, known as Tacheng in Chinese, this month ordered schools to communicate to students that "during Ramadan, ethnic minority students do not fast, do not enter mosques ... and do not attend religious activities".
Similar orders were posted on the websites of other Xinjiang education bureaus and schools.
Officials in the region's Qiemo county this week met local religious leaders to inform them there would be increased inspections during Ramadan in order to "maintain social stability", the county's official website said.
Ahead of the holy month, one village in Yili, near the border with Kazakhstan, said mosques must check the identification cards of anyone who comes to pray during Ramadan, according to a notice on the government's website.
The Bole county government said that Mehmet Talip, a 90-year-old Uighur Communist Party member, had promised to avoid fasting and vowed to "not enter a mosque in order to consciously resist religious and superstitious ideas".
Interestingly, similar appeals were issued few months ago by traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) after China's move to block India's bid at United Nations for a ban on Jaish-e-Mohamed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.
"CAIT would strongly agitate against Chinese goods and pledge to burn holi of Chinese goods made in China," the body's national president B C Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said in a joint statement.