Mr. Speaker, as per my letter to you, pursuant to Standing Order 52, I request leave to make a motion to discuss actions the government can take to address the human rights situation facing Uighur Muslims in China, specifically in light of threats to religious liberty that this community may face during Ramadan, starting June 6.
The Uighur Muslim community living in the People's Republic of China faces significant human rights abuses. During Ramadan these abuses have included forcible prevention of people from engaging in this deeply important Muslim fast.
In 2015, the Chinese government banned civil servants, students, and teachers in the Xinjiang region, where most Uighurs live, from fasting during Ramadan. It also ordered restaurants to stay open. On January 1, new “Enforcement of Religious Affairs Regulations" came into effect in the region, with the professed goal of limiting the role of religion in “marriage, funerals, culture, the arts, and sports".
Again this year, counties have posted notices forbidding students and Communist Party members from participating in the Ramadan fast.
The Chinese government is paying attention to what we in Canada say and do not say on these issues. We in this House, the government, and you, Mr. Speaker, can make a difference for these suffering people by using this opportunity to discuss the role we can play in response to this situation.