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Uyghur Organisation accuses Chinese authorities of banning Eid celebrations in Xinjiang

Representative Image (Photo: Reuters)

In stark contrast to global Muslim festivities marking Eid al-Adha, the Centre for Uyghur Studies has accused the Chinese government of intensifying its crackdown on Islamic practices in Xinjiang, historically known as East Turkistan.

Traditionally celebrated as the Festival of Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha holds deep cultural and religious significance for Muslims worldwide.

However, the Centre for Uyghur Studies highlighted that Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang are being denied the right to observe this important occasion due to severe restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities since 2017.

“For centuries, Uyghur Muslims have joyously celebrated Eid alongside the global Muslim community,” the Centre stated in a public announcement on X.

“Yet, in recent years, they have faced increasing suppression under Chinese occupation, particularly since 2017,” it added.

Under the current regime, Chinese policies have allegedly criminalised Islamic practices and banned religious festivals like Eid al-Adha.

The Centre for Uyghur Studies emphasised that Uyghur Muslims have diligently preserved their Islamic heritage despite decades of Chinese rule but now face what they describe as a “genocide” by Chinese authorities.

This accusation refers to widespread reports of mass detentions, forced labour, and coercive assimilation practices targeting Uyghur and other Muslim-majority populations in the region.

“Eid al-Adha traditionally embodies the values of sacrifice, compassion, and devotion,” the Centre’s statement continued. “For Uyghur Muslims, it serves as a reminder of their membership in the global Muslim community, despite the challenges they currently face.”

The Chinese government has consistently denied allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, asserting that its policies are necessary measures against separatism and terrorism.

However, international scrutiny and condemnation have grown, with several countries and human rights organisations calling for independent investigations into the situation.

As Muslims across the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, the plight of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing cultural and religious tensions within China’s western regions.

The Centre for Uyghur Studies and other advocacy groups continue to advocate for global awareness and action to address what they view as systematic persecution and cultural erasure.