May 16, 2019

Is China cracking down on Ramadan?

The Stream discusses the human rights struggle for Uighurs, a Eurovision boycott and anti-abortion legislation in the US.

Ramadan in Xinjiang
What is Ramadan like for Muslim Uighurs living in China's Xinjiang region? Human rights groups continue to criticise China's crackdown on fasting, regular prayer, and other common Muslim practices which are viewed by Chinese authorities as acts of religious extremism and dissent against the state. The number of Uighurs detained in Chinese re-education camps is unknown and Chinese officials have called them humane schools for eliminating "terrorism". We’ll speak to human rights activists for an update to the situation and discuss a campaign to boycott China-made products during the holy month of Ramadan.

Eurovision boycott
Activists are calling on artists and music fans to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held in Tel Aviv. Those who support a cultural boycott of Israel say artists who choose to perform in this year's competition are "artwashing" and normalising the Israeli state's treatment of Palestinians. Others, including singer Madonna, say all human rights should be respected and that music should be seen as a medium for peace. So, is a cultural boycott of Israel justified, and how effective are such protests?

US fetal 'heartbeat bills'
In the US, at least 15 states including Georgia, Ohio and Alabama have introduced bills that would ban women from having abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected at around six weeks. Alabama's proposed legislation would also ban abortions in cases of rape and incest. The wave of "heartbeat bills", which are likely to be challenged in court, is seen as one more step toward a now-conservative US Supreme Court eventually overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that establishes the right to abortion access in the US.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Rushan Abbas @rushan614
Director, Campaign for Uyghurs

Sophie Richardson @SophieHRW
China Director, Human Rights Watch

Mariam Barghouti @MariamBarghouti

Shayna Weiss @shaynamalka
Associate director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University

Kimberly Mutcherson @ProfessorMutch
Co-dean & professor of law, Rutgers Law School   

Read more:
“Forgive my children for not fasting” - Ramadan in Xinjiang - Amnesty International
Madonna, on Eurovision, says she won't bow 'to suit someone's political agenda' - Reuters
Alabama’s abortion bill is not about Alabama. It’s about tossing Roe v. Wade. - Washington Post

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