I was brought up to be­lieve peo­ple should re­spect each other’s re­li­gions and cus­toms from the start ...”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

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 cui­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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