A provincial Parliament in China’s Xinjiang province home to millions of Muslim Uyghurs have banned the wearing of Islamic veils in public, reports said Thursday.
The veil ban was "considered and approved" by the Urumqi Parliament's Standing Committee on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported, quoting the official news website of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) government.
“It is scheduled to come into force after review by the Xinjiang parliament's Standing Committee before it is formally announced,” the website Tianshan.net said.
The move could trigger unease and unrest among the Uyghur community as regional government continues to tighten its policies on religious clothing and symbols.
The move follows another decision last August, which banned people wearing scarves or veils in Karamay, another town in Xinjiang, from boarding buses. The provincial government has also outlawed practicing Islam in government buildings.
Exile groups say government policies have triggered discontent in the remote northwestern province, the largest in China.
It seen as an effort by the government to curb religious extremism in the region which has experienced frequent clashes between members of the community and authorities; several attacks were carried out on police stations.
Beijing blames the attacks on separatists operating from abroad but inciting the people of the region.