China bans burqa in capital of Muslim region of Xinjiang…


Legislators in China’s far-western Xinjiang province have passed a law to prohibit residents from wearing burqas in public, in a continued campaign against what authorities view as religious extremism.

The new ban in Urumqi was approved by local legislators last month, and given the greenlight by the regional legislature at the weekend.

The ordinance name suggests it targets outer garments covering someone’s full body including the face, which is called a burqa in some Islamic traditions.

A spate of recent violent incidents has rocked Xinjiang, a resource-rich region long inhabited by the Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim Uyghurs.

Chinese officials have blamed the recent attacks on Uyghur separatists — whom they also label “religious extremists” — seeking to establish an independent state.

Amnesty International has said Uyghurs face widespread discrimination in employment, housing and educational opportunities, as well as curtailed religious freedom and political marginalization.

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