Why China is banning beards and veils in Xinjiang

170331185744-04-china-xinjiang-exlarge-169

No long beards. No veils in public places. No home-schooling. China is intensifying its crackdown against what it deems religious extremism in the far-west province of Xinjiang, which is home to 10 million Muslims.

The latest measures — outlined in a sweeping new anti-extremism legislation — take effect Saturday and come on the heels of a series of steps to increase surveillance in the region that include the surrender of passports and mandatory GPS trackers in cars.
“They’re doubling down on security in Xinjiang,” said James Leibold, an associate professor at Australia’s Le Trobe University, whose research focuses on China’s Uyghur minority.