I was brought up to believe people should respect each other’s religions and customs from the start ...”
To avoid potential inconvenience, some hotels now refuse to allow people from Xinjiang to check in, even if they have reservations, according to Nafisa. “I’ve heard somany complaints about it, but not one person has used the law to sue the hotels. Discrimination is contrary to the Law on the Protection of Consumers’ Rights and Interests,” she said. “If 30 people won 30 cases on this issue around China, I don’t think any hotel would dare to refuse anyone entry.”
All disputes must be handled in accordance with the law, and the idea that the end justifies the means, lawful or otherwise, must be eradicated, especially in Xinjiang, Nafisa said.
On Feb 1, a regulation banning women from wearing full-face veils and full-body coverings in public was officially introduced in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. Officials say the garments are not traditional and are often associated with extreme religious views.
“Although there has been a lot of debate about it, just enacting the regulation was a step forward because the authorities now have a law to follow when they deal with these sorts of issues,” Nafisa said.
She had the opportunity to put her views to Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Politburo’s Standing Committee and the leader of the central government’s coordinating group for Xinjiang affairs, during a meeting in December.
At the meeting, attended by 12 local leaders, Yu said a series of terrorist attacks have resulted in a skewed public perception of people from Xinjiang, and that the terrorists are an extremely small group and do not represent any religion or region, certainly not the vast majority of people from the autonomous region. Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org