Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Behind the Veil

By Bai Tiantian

Global Times - 2014-5-26

Xinjiang drifts toward Talibanization as dances suppressed, conservative dress imposed

Roxiangul (pseudonym), a Uyghur woman in her 50s, always makes sure she has a veil in her purse whenever she leaves the house.
Not that she wants to wear it all the time.
Five years ago, during the infamous July 5 riot in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, some young Uyghur girls suffered cuts on their arms and thighs because they were wearing short skirts.
The perpetrators, women in black gowns and black veils, called the girls "bitches" and cursed them to "burn in hell."
If that wasn't enough to frighten Roxiangul, a year or so later, when she was shopping near the International Bazaar in Urumqi, a group of random Uyghur men surrounded her and harshly accused her of debauchery for disobeying the teachings of the Koran about how women are forbidden to reveal their faces.
Even as a devout Muslim, Roxiangul was shaken and scared. After that, she began pulling a veil out of her purse whenever she sensed looks of disapproval on the street.