China campaigns against Islamic extremism in Xinjiang

February 15, 2012 12:55

BEIJING - China's far western Xinjiang region has launched a campaign to stamp out rising religious extremism, state media said on Wednesday, after several violent attacks blamed on separatist Islamic fundamentalists.

Xinjiang is home to the mainly Muslim Turkic-speaking Uighur people, many of whom chafe at Chinese government controls on their culture and religion.

Provincial authorities aim via "public lectures" throughout Xinjiang to "rally mass support for the government's religious policies and to discourage illegal religious activities," the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"Officials will elaborate on the government's religious policies and the danger of illegal religious activities, while lecturers from religious circles will advocate proper dress codes, patriotism and efforts to promote peace and discourage violence."

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