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Party chief joins Muslims for Eid al Fitr

By Cui Jia in Urumqi (

Updated: 2015-07-17 20:31:57

Party chief of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region joined a group of Muslims for the fast-breaking meal during the last day of Ramadan in the regional capital of Urumqi on Friday night.

Zhang Chunxian is the first Party chief of Xinjiang to attend such an occasion since the founding of the autonomous region 60 years ago.

Muslims around Xinjiang will celebrate Eid al Fitr on Saturday, which falls one day behind other places in China. Xinjiang is home of about 13 million Muslims - almost half of the Muslim population in China. The region also houses 24,000 mosques- the most in China.

Eid al Fitr is the second biggest festival celebrated by Muslim around the world that marks the end of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. The day has been made a public holiday in Xinjiang.

Zhang who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee joined more than 200 Muslims for the fast-breaking meal after they finished performing the prayers at a mosque in Urumqi around 22:15 pm.

Freedom of religious belief is the basic right of Chinese citizens and protected by the Constitution and the law on regional national autonomy. For many years, people following Islam and those who believe in other religions or people with no religious affiliation have all lived together in peace in Xinjiang. They jointly uphold peace, unity, justice and dignity in the region and together they have made Xinjiang a better home for everyone. During Ramadan this year, all religious activities were carried out as normal and Muslims have exercised their right of freedom of religious belief, Zhang said during the speech before the meal.

"Currently, some parts of the world have witnessed an increasing number of terrorist activities. There is no room for the right of the freedom of religious belief when people cannot even protect their lives. One of the causes of the situation is religious extremism. People in Xinjiang must remember that people will suffer during unrest and live well during peace, so it is important to stay away from religious extremism and follow the right doctrines," he said.

He added that Islam is a global religion and every Muslim has their home country. Islam promotes that "patriotism is a part of the belief", which requires the religion to take the country and the nation's highest interest into consideration. Followers of Islam must follow the country's laws and follow the leadership of the government. Besides being good followers, they must become good citizens first.

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