By Simon Denyer
The Washington Post - May 5, 2015
Chinese authorities have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant
owners in a village in its troubled Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and
cigarettes, and promote them in “eye-catching displays,” in an attempt
to undermine Islam’s hold on local residents, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. Establishments that failed to comply were threatened with closure and their owners with prosecution.
widespread discontent over its repressive rule in the mainly Muslim
province of Xinjiang, and mounting violence in the past two years, China
has launched a series of “strike hard” campaigns to weaken the hold of
Islam in the western region. Government employees and children have been
barred from attending mosques or observing the Muslim fasting month of
Ramadan. In many places, women have been barred from wearing
face-covering veils, and men discouraged from growing long beards.