It appears China’s war on terror has devolved into a McCarthyist witch hunt, the latest ‘extremist’ measure concerning the banning of beards, burkhas, and headscarves on buses in Karamay, Xinjiang. Well known fact: only uyghur terrorists sport beards.
Foreign Policy reports:
“The QQ news portal and other Chinese news sites that picked up the report also ran a graphic showing the “five abnormal styles” that weren’t allowed on Karamay public transport. It showed pictures of women in full and partial veils, headscarves, and men with full beards and even a modest goatee.”
So if you’re a rabbi, hipster, or any other one of our shaggy friends, you might want to hold off on that Xinjiang trip, unless you want to walk the whole time. Other banned items include the ilbab, a type of robe, and anything sporting the crescent moon and star. Violators are subject to arrests.
We figure it’s only a matter of time before they start banning anybody who’s eaten pita bread in the last month or ever watched a Muhammad Ali fight. In fact, we’re not far off. Last July, Urumqi authorities prohibited bus passengers from carrying cigarette lighters, yogurt and even water, to prevent attacks…somehow.
Racial profiling extends beyond the confines of a bus. The LA Times reports:
“Black-clad, helmet-wearing paramilitary forces were seen in several locations in recent days, stopping Uighur men to check their IDs and scroll through the playlists of their phones. As for women, they are targeted by the Communist Party’s version of the fashion police. Under a local initiative known as Project Beauty, guards at mobile checkpoints detain women whose clothing looks too Islamic.”
Last month, government departments in Xinjiang banned civil servants from observing Ramadan, the fasting month in the Islamic calendar.
The overzealous clampdown is a response to the recent and ongoing extremist attacks, the most infamous of which was the Kunming knife attack that left 29 dead, and over 100 injured.