Western China city seeks to banish Muslim veil

December 15, 2011 08:30

BEIJING - A city in heavily Muslim far western China has begun a campaign to discourage veils and growing long beards in a bid to "dilute religious consciousness", media reports said on Thursday.

The notice by the government in the Xinjiang city of Yining was uploaded in full by several Chinese news websites, and by Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, though it then vanished from the Yining government's website.

Many Uighurs, a Turkic language-speaking Muslim people native to Xinjiang, resent Chinese rule and controls on their religion, culture and language, and the region has seen sporadic cases of violent unrest.

The notice said the government in the Dunmaili district of Yining had decided to "further implement the Party's activities to dilute religious consciousness and advocate a civilised and healthy lifestyle."

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