Hong Kong, April 25 (The Guardian): “If the government is serious about bringing stability and harmony to the region as it claims, it should roll back – not double down on – repressive policies.”
Authorities in Xinjiang passed new legislation last month expanding restrictions, including allowing staff at train stations and airports to deny entry to women wearing face veils and encouraging staff to report them to the police.
The new law also prohibits “abnormal beards” and “naming of children to exaggerate religious fervour”. Various cities in Xinjiang previously had rules banned women wear face veils and men with long beard from public transportation, but the new law applies to the entire region.
A Communist party village chief and ethnic Uighur was demoted last month for not having a “resolute political stance” after he refused to smoke in front of Muslim elders. The state-run Global Times newspaper quote another local official as saying cadres should push against religious convention to demonstrate “their commitment to secularization”.
(The featured picture shows a hat shop in Muslim-majority Xinkiang province of China)