China city bans beards & Muslim clothing from buses

Beijing - A city in China's mainly Muslim Xinjiang region has banned people with large beards or Islamic clothing from travelling on public buses, state media said, prompting outrage from an overseas rights group on Wednesday.

Authorities in Karamay banned people wearing hijabs, niqabs, burkas, 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 co-operate 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 Uighur minority and has been hit by a wave of clashes between locals and security forces which have killed hundreds in the past year.

China has blamed several deadly attacks on civilians outside the region in recent months on "terrorists" seeking independence for the region.

Rights groups say restrictions on Uighurs' religious and cultural freedoms have stoked tensions.

China 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 Uighurs and Beijing", Dilxat Raxit, a spokesperson for the exiled World Uyghur Congress (WUC), said in a statement to AFP.

Chinese 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.

China 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 20 August 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.

Read more on: china security religion
David Van Schalkwyk 2014/08/06 10:41:21 AM
Rights groups have a problem with this but not a problem with Muslims killing other religious groups even other Muslims... Something tells me Rights groups are run by Muslims... It is good to finally see a country taking a stand against the terrorists...
Ashburg Aaronsen Aaronsen 2014/08/06 11:28:24 AM
Zionist Hasbara Trolls deployed all over the internet.
Wayne Barnes 2014/08/06 12:16:27 PM
@Raaziq Tape: Brigette Gabriel said it best. When 15%-25% of the Muslim population are radical. The majority don't matter. History shows what has happened when a radical few drove the agenda. Ask the German majority how things worked out when the Nazi minority drove the agenda. As a result 60 million people died. The peaceful majority becomes irrelevant. So please Raaziq, with respect. You fly the kite.
forest gump 2014/08/06 12:22:32 PM
all muslims are terrorist? whens the last time a muslim bombed your house and forced himself on your wife and daughter? i cannot question the Real terrorist on their beliefs as they call themselves Muslims what i can question is there morality and maybe even their understanding of what they think they know about there religion because im assuming we believe same thing and so do many other people(fastest growing religion anyone?) yet i find not one justification for hurting an innocent and i expect to be condemned by any and all if i was to step out of line
Zubeida Fisher 2014/08/06 12:25:23 PM
when Muslims stand up and fight they regarded as terrorists when other religions do the same thing its just them defending themselves. Double standards much.
MinRa 2014/08/06 03:03:35 PM
As the saying goes “When in Rome do what the Romans do”
Shereen Sirkhotte 2014/08/25 02:11:47 PM
Oops sorry Mr Van Schalkwyk all you people sound the same another oops did I just stereotype you did I just judge you by your name....get it