China Bans Women from Wearing Burqas in Public

| by Karen Eisenberg

In the city of Xinjiang, China, Muslims (Uighurs) account for half of the population.  Burqas are a popular wardrobe choice for most of the female community.  However, in an attempt to curb Islamic fundamentalism, it is reported, that the Regional Legislator in Xinjiang, has approved the ban of burqas in public.  It is unclear when the ban will take effect, but what is known, is that the ban has been approved. 

Also banned in Xinjiang, is the Muslim tradition of fasting for Ramadan.  Additionally, men with long beards are prohibited from taking public buses.  Uighurs insist that China is attempting to repress their religious and cultural freedom, but China claims the burqa is “not a national dress of Muslims" and justifies the ban because burqas are also banned in France. 

According to reports, the underlying reason for China’s restrictive policies against Uighurs, is the fear of uprising extremists and violence. 

Sources: Quartz; Times of India