China Bans Prayer for Uighurs

Chinese officials in Urumqi have banned visits to mosques on Friday—an important day for Muslim prayer—in an effort to minimize ethnic violence. After a week of unrest, in which 156 people have been killed and at least 1,000 more injured, five of the major mosques were closed at their imams’ suggestion. But as hundreds of Uighur worshippers gathered outside of mosques to pray, the ban was loosened, and Chinese authorities allowed for short services. Uighur leaders have condemned the unrest, saying that it was against the spirit of the Muslim faith. Elsewhere in the province, foreign journalists have been officially banned. In Urumqi, where a nighttime curfew has been imposed, armed soldiers are patrolling the streets.