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Anti-extremism regulation taking shape

Updated: 2015-03-12 08:35
By Cui Jia (China Daily)

Anti-extremism regulation taking shape

A soldier is under a training session on Aug 1, 2013. [Photo/IC]

The legislature of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region plans to draft a regulation by 2016 to curb religious extremism. It may include a ban on wearing clothes in public linked to religious extremism such as full face and body coverings, the head of the legislature said.

"There are different opinions after the legislators of Urumqi, the capital of the region, passed a regulation banning full face and body coverings in public in February. The fact is that such clothes are not traditional ethnic costumes, but expressions of religious extremism," said Nayim Yasen, director of the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang People's Congress, during the annual session of the National People's Congress.

He added that the regional legislature is considering including the same article in its anti-extremism draft regulation.

"Religious extremism is one of Xinjiang's biggest problems at the moment, and it must be handled in accordance with the law," Nayim said.

Ma Pinyan, a senior anti-terrorism researcher at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said such a ban is necessary because wearing full face and body coverings in public is an obvious statement promoting religious beliefs.

Many deputies to the Xinjiang delegation of the NPC said people, especially in rural areas, have been forced to cover up their faces and bodies so the extremists won't harass them, and not because they hold extremist thoughts.

Xinjiang, which has a large Muslim population, has been hit by religious extremism, leading to an increasing number of terrorist attacks.

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