• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:51am

Xinjiang city bans Muslim clothing and large beards on public buses

Uygur rights group slams measures as 'discriminatory', as China continues to restrict ethnic group's practices amid spate of violence in the region

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 11:17am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 6:26pm

A city in Xinjiang has banned people with large beards or Islamic clothing from travelling on public buses, state media said, prompting outrage from an overseas rights group.

Authorities in Karamay banned people wearing hijabs, niqabs, burqas or clothing with the Islamic star and crescent symbol from taking local buses, the Karamay Daily reported.

The ban also covers “large beards”, the paper said, adding: “Those who do not cooperate with inspection teams will be handled by police.”

Xinjiang, a resource-rich region which abuts central Asia, is the homeland of China’s mostly Muslim Uygur minority and has been hit by a wave of clashes between locals and security forces which have killed hundreds in the past year.

Beijing has blamed several deadly attacks on civilians outside the region in recent months on “terrorists” seeking independence for the region.

But rights groups say restrictions on Uygurs’ religious and cultural freedoms have stoked tensions.

Beijing last month enforced a ban on students and government staff from Ramadan fasting, while officials have also tried to encourage locals in Xinjiang not to wear Islamic veils.

The Karamay restrictions are “a typical discriminatory measure … which add to an increasing confrontation between Uygurs and Beijing,” Dilxat Rexit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uygur Congress (WUC), said in a statement.

State media said on Sunday that nearly 100 people including 59 “terrorists” had been killed in an attack in Xinjiang last week.

The report came days after the government-appointed head of the largest mosque in China, in one of the region’s oldest cities, Kashgar, was killed after leading morning prayers.

Beijing announced a year-long terrorism crackdown following a deadly bombing attack in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, in May, and hundreds of alleged terrorists have been arrested.

Security on public transport has also been tightened.

The Karamay ban applies during a sports competition ending on August 20, the report said.

Authorities in Urumqi last month banned bus passengers from carrying a range of items including cigarette lighters and yogurt, state media said.


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This article is now closed to comments

So busses out there have beards on them? Why?
Islam need to update it's stone age laws. Luckily Europe is coming to it's senses. How someone can justify a burqa?
Judges at the European court of human rights (ECHR) have upheld France's burqa ban, accepting Paris's argument that it encouraged citizens to "live together".
The law, introduced in 2010, makes it illegal for anyone to cover their face in a public place.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Only reinforcing the mistrust and hate of Chinese racism and arrogance.
China, do what you are supposed to do. Do not trust them, at all!
Why do the indigenous people mistrust China? Because of people like you.
So much for autonomy. Uighurs are Muslims and to deny them the right to wear their traditional dress will only radicalize the population. Uighurs are not Han Chinese and the Central Government had better accept that and formulate policies to assimilate not alienate them.
Of course! This is so clever; the Americans should have caught on to this sooner.
Large beards! Islamic clothing! THAT’S the source of power of the terrorists. Take those away and we win! Brilliant…
The people of East Turkistan never wanted to be part of China. China invaded and imposed Chinese rule on them. Chinese settlers instead of following the norms of East Turkishstan when they settled their try to impose Chinese Godlessness on the people of East Turkishstan. That is why the People of East Turkistand try to fight for independence. They have no choice, if they want to follow their religion, they must get independence, because the Communist Government of China will never allow them to follow their religion.
There are multiple groups including "Han" that have lived in Xinjiang for thousands of years and most (including Uyghurs) don't want to separate. Remnants of the Great Wall still exist in the region used to block Mongol invasion but not the mass Uyghur exodus into the region centuries later which is well documented as well as their conversion to Islam. China proper can't go back in time to block them and the only solution is to assimilate despite their extremist agenda.
What great idea!
Why didn't China think of it before?
But what happens if a terrorist shaves his beard and wears Western clothes over his bomb?
China needs to rethink this policy.




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