People’s Daily: Burqa Ban Starts February 1st

Earlier this month, a ban on wearing burqa’s, or ‘face masking veils’ (蒙面罩袍), was legally approved in China. On January 18th, state-run newspaper People’s Daily reports that the ban will go into effect on February 1st.

The prohibition on burqa’s applies specifically to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, home to the majority of China’s Muslims. The article states:

“Wearing burqa’s (face-covering veils) will be banned in public places in Urumqi from February 1st. Wearing any other kind of clothing that promotes religious extremist ideology will also be prohibited, along with the wearing or using of religious badges, artifacts, memorabilia and symbols. The public places included in this stipulation are: institutional or organizational office spaces, enterprise or business establishments, public transport, stations, schools, hospitals, kindergartens, streets, roads and public community areas, places for leisure and entertainment, and other places identified by the government. Citizens, legal persons and other organizations who violate this regulation have to be reported to the public security bureau. Those who violate the ban on wearing burqa’s in public places will be punished in accordance with the laws and regulation of the public security bureau; violation is considered a crime and perpetrators will be held criminally responsible. The management and operators of public places and work spaces that are in violation will be given a warning, if nothing is corrected within due time, they will be fined 2000 to 5000 yuan.”

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While some Weibo netizens regard the new laws as being “too strict”, and are critical of the “grounds on which they are implemented”, others support it, saying that the burqa is “an apparel that stands for religious extremism” and that it is “an emblem for female oppression.”

– by Manya Koetse

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About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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