China may be the country with the largest population in the world, but that hasn’t exempted it from Muslim terrorism, and now the Chinese government is taking action.
In Xinjiang, in China’s western region, people wearing head scarves, veils and long beards are no longer allowed to board city buses, for fear they might perpetrate a terror attack.
Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur people who speak a Turkic language. The area has been beset for years by violence which the government blames on Islamist militants and fundamentalist Muslims.
Five “types” of passengers are now banned from riding buses in Xinjiang: Those who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those with long beards.
The ruling Communist Party said on Monday that: “Those who do not comply, especially those five types of passengers, will be reported to the police.”
But Alim Seytoff, the president of the Washington-based Uighur American Association, said in an emailed statement,: “Officials in Karamay city are endorsing an openly racist and discriminatory policy aimed at ordinary Uighur people.”
Usually Uighur woman choose to dress in the traditionally casual Chinese style, but some have now opted to wear a full veil, commonly seen in the oppressive regimes of Pakistan or Afghanistan.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the Chinese authorities have good reason to be worried. Over the last 18 months, hundreds of people have died in the unrest in Xinjiang although as media is state controlled, it’s impossible for western journalists to establish the precise numbers of deaths, and types of fighting which have been prevalent there.
It was reported that in July over 100 people were killed at a train station by knife-wielding Muslim terrorists who staged mass attacks in two different towns in the region. A suicide bomber at the Urumqi market in May also killed at least 39 people.
It would be nice to think that the U.N. would convene an urgent meeting to pass motions against China for discriminating against its Muslim population, as it often does if a Palestinian is killed by Israel.
Sadly, the U.N., as well as the world at large, has been too busy lately to pay any attention to the situation in Xinjiang.
A situation that, by all accounts, is going from bad to worse.