CE Q&A, June 4th 28th anniversary & Ramadan
There are just weeks to go before Leung Chun-ying steps down as Chief Executive. On Thursday at his final question and answer session in the Legislative Council, Leung was grilled on the UGL probe by pan-democrats, and offered plenty of softball questions by pro-government lawmakers. Meanwhile, for the third year in a row, attempts by the pan-democrats to introduce a motion commemorating the June 4th crackdown were sidelined. Outside the chamber though, the memory will be kept alive. This Sunday is the 28th anniversary.
This year’s holy month of Ramadan for Muslims began last Friday evening, but there are fears it could turn into one of the most tragic holy months for a long time. On Tuesday this week, two terrorist attacks blasted the Iraq capital of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 100. Takfiri Daesh claimed responsibility. A day later, a suicide truck bombing ripped through a secure diplomatic area of Kabul, Afghanistan in the morning rush hour, killing at least 90 people and wounding 400. In recent years, terrorist groups such as Islamic State have picked Ramadan as a peak time for committing acts of violence against other Muslims, but it has not deterred the faithful from observing the tradition.
There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, making it the second largest religion after Christianity. For believers the holy month of Ramadan, which began last Friday evening, is particularly important. In mainland China, the Islamic community is having a tough time. In the country’s largest Muslim provinces like Xinjiang with its ten million Uyghurs, the central government has banned Islamic baby names, burqas and “abnormal” beards, and plans to implement DNA checks as a means of controlling the movement of Muslims. This year, it’s also trying to stop people fasting during Ramadan and has ordered all restaurants to remain open. In Hong Kong Ramadan is still observed, particularly by the SAR’s Indonesian community, many of whom are working as domestic helpers.