In an effort to combat “religious extremists,” China has announced a series of bans on a range of physical attributes, including “abnormal beards” and the wearing of veils in public places.
While China claims that the measures are in place to fight “extremists,” many of them appear to cover traditional Muslim custom, and will be enforced in Xinjiang, home to the country’s largest Muslim population.
Under the 15 new rules, workers in public places will be asked to “dissuade” those who fully cover their bodies, including the wearing of veils and the growing of “abnormal beards.”
The legislation also says people cannot reject “radio, television and other public facilities.”
It goes on to mention that people will also be prosecuted for “intervening in others’ secular lives.”
Despite measures over the years that appear to discriminate against the Uighurs, China insists that the legal, cultural and religious rights of the minority group are fully protected.
In 2014, a city in Xinjiang banned people with beards and those wearing veils from boarding buses.
President Xi had earlier this month called for a “great wall of iron” to safeguard the western region of Xinjiang, following an Islamic State video that was posted, showing what appeared to be Uighur fighters undergoing training.
The fighters announced in the video that they would “shed blood like rivers and avenge the oppressed” when they returned to Xinjiang.