CHINA EX­PANDS RULES

Govt bans ‘ab­nor­mal’ beards, wear­ing veils in pub­lic and re­fusal to watch state TV

New Straits Times - - World -

BEI­JING

RAHUL BOSE, In­dian film­maker and sep­a­ratists, though rights groups say the vi­o­lence is more a re­ac­tion to re­pres­sive Chi­nese poli­cies.

The gov­ern­ment strongly de­nies com­mit­ting any abuses in Xin­jiang and in­sists the le­gal, cul­tural and re­li­gious rights of Uighurs, a Tur­kic eth­nic group, are fully pro­tected.

While China of­fi­cially guar­an­tees free­dom of re­li­gion, au­thor­i­ties have is­sued a se­ries of mea­sures in the past few years to tackle what it sees as a rise in re­li­gious ex­trem­ism.

New leg­is­la­tion, passed by Xin­jiang law­mak­ers on Wed­nes­day and pub­lished on the re­gion’s of­fi­cial news web­site, widens ex­ist­ing rules.

Work­ers in pub­lic spa­ces like sta­tions and air­ports will be re­quired to “dis­suade” those who fully cover their bod­ies, in­clud­ing veil­ing their faces, from en­ter­ing, and to re­port them to the po­lice, the rules state.

Other banned ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude “re­ject or refuse ra­dio, tele­vi­sion and other pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices”, mar­ry­ing us­ing re­li­gious rather than le­gal pro­ce­dures and “us­ing the name of Halal to med­dle in the sec­u­lar life of oth­ers”.

“Par­ents should use good A combo pic­ture show­ing dogs in cloth­ing in Shang­hai, China. Poo­dles in pink dresses, Pekingese wear­ing shirts, a Pomera­nian in sneak­ers and a rain­coat — the side­walks of Shang­hai can some­times seem like cat­walks gone to the dogs. It’s big busi­ness, too. The pet cloth­ing in­dus­try gen­er­ates sales of US$17 bil­lion (RM75 bil­lion) per year and is ex­pected to grow by 20 per cent an­nu­ally.

AFP PIC

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