In a bid to crack down on ‘extremism’, China has announced bans on beards and face veils in its remote violence-wracked Xinjiang region, homeland of the Uighurs – a traditionally Muslim group, many of whom complain of cultural and religious repression and discrimination.
The area has been hit by a wave of deadly unrest, while authorities have stepped up already strict controls and organized mass rallies of thousands of military police to indicate Chinese resolve in crushing security threats.
The new regulations, which came into force on Saturday 1st April, outlines prohibitions on growing “abnormal” facial hair or wearing robes that cover the whole body and face.
They also ban spreading “extremist ideas,” refusing to watch or listen to government propaganda on radio or TV, and preventing children from receiving “national education,” according to the text of regulations published on a government website.
China has for years blamed exiled Uighur “separatists” for a series of violent attacks in Xinjiang.