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The Uyghurs

China calls it 're-education' and a clampdown on Islamic terror; others call it genocide, with disturbing parallels to the events of the Holocaust. Roy Jenkins reports on the plight of the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, or East Turkestan in China. With a language and culture quite distinct from that of the Han Chinese people, it's now estimated that 1M people or more are being detained in 're-education camps', incarcerated on grounds of race, culture and religion. Roy Jenkins talks to one Uyghur exile, Rahima Mahmut, who is campaigning on behalf of her people, despite the obvious dangers to her own safety and that of her family back in China. She has lost contact with her brothers and sisters since the 2016 clampdown on Uyghurs. Her story has caught the attention of a prominent Jewish human rights campaigner, Mia Hasenson-Gross, and there are now widening calls for bringing economic and moral pressure to bear on the Chinese government.


Challenges like Veganuary to eat vegan food, or Dry January when people give up alcohol, are increasingly popular at this time of year. Intermittent fasting, where people limit food intake on certain days, has become a mainstream secular diet in recent years, chosen for health and weight loss. But for religious people fasting, or choosing to abstain from certain food or drink, is far more than a dietary decision. For them fasting is believed to be a way to gain a closer spiritual connection with God.

In this programme we’ll speak to four guests about the significance of fasting in their religions. Laura Jones is a Muslim and is completing her PhD at Cardiff University on Ramadan in Britain. Gemma Simmonds is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus and a Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge. Sarah Whittleston grew up in Caerphilly, and is the leader of prayer ministry at Elim Pentecostal Church. She regularly leads fasting events for the network of churches that span England and Wales. Reverend Jon Birch is from South Wales Baptist College and fasting forms an integral part of his own personal religious practise.

Leroy Logan

Roy Jenkins' guest today is a man who once failed to recognise his own father because he’d been beaten up so badly by police officers.
As a boy, he’d himself been stopped several times as he was carrying his trumpet home from music practice.
Yet in his twenties, he gave up a career as a hospital research scientist to become… a policeman.
Dr Leroy Logan served the Metropolitan Police for more than 30 years before retiring with the rank of Superintendent.
Incidents from his life were dramatised in Steve McQueen’s recent BBC1 series Small Axe, and he’s written his autobiography, Closing Ranks, My Life as a Cop
As a founder member of the Black Police Association, he was rarely far from controversy, witnessing at first hand many of the effects of institutional racism. He’s never been afraid to call it out, drawing strength from an active Christian faith, and with a passionate commitment to justice and the needs of young people in particular.

3 episodes