In another crackdown on religious freedom against Muslims, a Chinese court recently sentenced a Muslim couple from Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uyghur Region of China for practicing their religious belief.
A 38-year-old Muslim man was sentenced to six years in prison for growing his beard, while his wife was given a two-year sentence for wearing a veil.
China’s Xinjiang region, which is home to millions of Turkic-speaking Uyghurs, has seen an upsurge in violence that has left hundreds dead since 2012.
However, Uyghur exiles and rights groups have criticized Chinese authorities’ heavy-handed rule in Xinjiang, including police raids on Uyghur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uyghur people, and forcing many to flee overseas, often through Southeast Asia.
Since the beginning of this year, a certain number of Muslims having beards and wearing the veils and Burqas have been prosecuted and sentenced.
Last year in Karamay, Xinjiang, authorities banned residents from sporting beards, Burqas and headscarves on buses.
It is noteworthy that this crackdown against the Muslim community in the country was like many other incidents, when China recently forced imams of eastern Muslim majority district of Xinjiang to dance in the street, and pledge an oath that they will not teach religion to children besides telling them that prayer is harmful to the soul.