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China bans wearing veils or growing abnormal beards

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China today banned wearing veils or growing abnormal beards in Xinjiang as part of a major crackdown aimed at curbing religious extremism in the restive Uygur Muslim majority province.

According to law, special task forces to curb extremism would be set up at regional, prefectural and county governments.

The regulation were passed by the Xinjiang legislature’s standing committee. Security and surveillance measures have been beefed up in recent months following reports of heightened violence in the region’s rural south.

The province is restive for several years due to the resentment by Uygurs over increasing settlements of Han population from other provinces. China blames separatist Al Qaeda affiliated group East Turkistan Islamic Movement for the spate of violent attacks in and out of the province.

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