The Chinese government is cracking down what it deems religious extremism in the western province of Xinjiang which has a population of 10 millions Muslims.
Long beards, veils and home schooling has been banned as a result of the latest measures which will be in effect from Saturday. Previous measures include mandatory GPS trackers in automobiles for increased surveillance and surrender of passports.
These measure are the result of a new legislation which will expand and standardize piecemeal rules and regulations which were otherwise being implemented in individual cities and towns. The new legislation prohibits:
- Growing beards or choosing absurd names in order to hype up religious fanaticism
- Propagating or advocating extremist thoughts
- Full face covers or forcing someone to wear a full face cover
- Not providing state education to their children
- Reading, publishing and downloading of all sort of extremist content
According to the Chinese government the terrorists are influenced by religious extremism and are responsible for hundreds of deaths in the province. The turkic speaking Uyghurs who are a minority have been involved in numerous attacks.
In 2014 rail station in the city of Kunming was attacked which killed 31 people, earlier in 2013 five people were killed in Beijing when a car drove into them.
Xinjiang province borders with Russia, Mongolia, central and South Asia and is an autonomous region with Muslims being the dominant ethnic group. Throughout history the Uyghurs have differentiated themselves from China ethnically, culturally and linguistically.
Lu Kang, the spokesperson for the foreign ministry of China said: “The objective fact is that the people of all ethnicities in Xinjiang, just like the people living in other regions of China, are enjoying better lives, working conditions and brighter prospect for development. We oppose the approach of linking terrorism with certain ethnicity or a certain religion.”