BEIJING, China: In an effort to curb growing extremism, the authorities have banned wearing of burqa in public places in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang.
“The regulation is seen as an effort to curb growing extremism that forced Uighur women to abandon their colorful traditional dress and wear black burqas,” according to China’s official news agency, Xinhua.
“Burqas are not traditional dress for Uighur women, and wearing them in public places is banned in countries such as Belgium and France,” Xinhua said.
Following the approval of a legislation to ban burqa in the region, the women in Urumqi no longer be allowed to wear the traditional Islamic garment.
The Chinese northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang, where largely Muslim Uighur ethnic minority resides and speaks a Turkic language, has been beset for years by violence that the government blames on Islamist militants or separatists.
The Uighur minority say that the government’s repressive policies and controls on Islam are to blame for provoking spates of unrest there. On the other hand, the human rights groups also argue that the government violates the Uighurs’ rights to freedom of worship.