China passed a new regulation on Wednesday that officially bans wearing burqas and ‘abnormal’ beards in the Muslim province of Xinjiang.
The prohibitions are among 15 types of behaviors that are identified by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region’s top legislative body to be connected with “religious extremism.” The new legislation is set to take effect on Saturday, South China Morning Post reports.
Unfortunately, the Xinjiang government did not specify what would make a veil or beard “abnormal.”
Other cited examples are even more bizarre. The legislation also prohibits “resorting to religious instead of legal procedures to marry or divorce” or “meddling in other people’s weddings, funerals, and inheritance.”
Other “extremists acts” include, “refusal to listen to government radio or watch state-produced television programs”, “denying children of having a national education”,“interfering with or sabotaging the enforcement of family planning policies”, “damaging national identity cards, household registration books or the Chinese currency on purpose” as well as “using the concept of Halal in non-food-related areas or using it to intervene in other people’s secular lives.”
To monitor behaviors, the local government will be assigning special task forces across the region.
Observers view the creation of the new regulation as a response to reports of violence in the Muslim-majority region. President Xi Jinping has recently called for a “great wall of iron” in Xinjiang during the annual meeting of China’s parliament earlier this month.