China Outlaws ‘Abnormal Beards’ and ‘Veils’ in Public to Fight ‘Islamist Extremism’

Apr 1, 2017 by

By Nahema Marchal –

China is amping up the fight against Islamist “extremism.”

In a bid to combat religious extremism in the autonomous region of Xinjiang — home to the country’s largest Muslim population — China has announced a series of eyebrow-raising measures including a ban on “abnormal beards” and the wearing of veils in public places.

The legislation, passed by Xinjiang lawmakers on Wednesday, also says people cannot refuse to listen to radio and watch state television.

Xianjiang has seen a wave of violence in recent years with hundreds of people dying at the hands of what the government has labelled Islamist “separatism” and “terrorism.” But human right groups deny this version, saying the unrest is only pushback against discriminatory and repressive Chinese policies against religious practice.

Over the years, the Chinese government has passed several measures that specifically target traditional Muslim custom In 2014, for instance, a city in Xinjiang banned people with beards, veils and headscarves from boarding buses.

Beijing denies any abuse or discrimination against Uighurs, a Turkic ethnic group that faces mounting tension with the majority Han Chinese population, and continues to insist that their cultural and religious rights are fully protected.

Yet under the new rules that will take come into effect Saturday, workers in public places will be asked to “dissuade” those who fully cover their bodies, including those with veils, from entering airports and train stations and to report them to the police.

“Parents should use good moral conduct to influence their children, educate them to revere science, pursue culture, uphold ethnic unity and refuse and oppose extremism,” the rules say.

In that spirit, it will be forbidden to “reject or refuse radio, television and other public facilities and services”, the new rules says and use” the name of Halal to meddle in the secular life of others.”

“Abnormal growing of beards and naming of children to exaggerate religious fervor” are also banned and people will be prosecuted for “intervening in others’ secular lives.”

Xinjiang has a population of eight million Uighurs, a group known to practice a moderate form of Islam. However, donning the veil has become increasingly popular amongst Uighur women in particular as a way to signal opposition to Chinese restrictions on their way of life.

Earlier this month, ISIS posted a 30 minute long video online showing what appeared to be Uighur fighters undergoing training,

In the video fighters announced that they would return to Xinjiang “to shed blood like rivers and avenging the oppressed.”

Following the release of the video, China’s Foreign Ministry said it would work with the international community to fight Uighur militarism in Xinjiang and President Xi — channeling Donald Trump — called for a “great wall of iron” to safeguard the region.

Source: China Outlaws ‘Abnormal Beards’ and ‘Veils’ in Public to Fight ‘Islamist Extremism’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.