World News - Asia & Middle East

New statute identifies 15 prohibited behaviours but gives few details

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PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017

China’s restive far-western Xinjiang region passed a new regulation on Wednesday to curb religious extremism, amid the government’s ramped-up campaign against what it calls the rising threat of terrorism and separatism.

The regulation, which will take effect on Saturday, banned a wide range of acts including wearing veils or beards the rule called “abnormal”, without specifying what makes them so, refusal to watch state television or listen to state radio, and preventing children from receiving national education, calling them “manifestations” of extremism, according to official news website

Security and surveillance measures have been beefed up in recent months following reports of heightened violence in the region’s rural south, including massive shows of force where thousands of heavily armed police paraded in a number of cities.

Beijing blames Islamist militants and separatists for violent attacks in Xinjiang that have killed hundreds of people in recent years. Rights groups claim the conflicts were caused by the government’s repression of religious freedom and unfair ethnic policies.

The regulation, passed by Xinjiang’s regional legislature’s standing committee, said special task forces to curb extremism would be set up at regional, prefectural and county governments and local leaders would be evaluated annually for their localities’ achievements on the matter.

It listed 15 items of comments or behaviour that the government views as “extremism”, covering a wide range of aspects of daily life.

According to the regulation, resorting to religious instead of legal procedures to marry or divorce or meddling in other people’s weddings, funerals and inheritance are all prohibited extremist acts.

Other actions include interfering with or sabotaging the enforcement of family planning policies, and deliberately damaging national identity cards, household registration books or the Chinese currency.

Applying the concept of Halal in non-food-related areas or using it to intervene in other people’s secular lives is also considered an extremist act, according to the regulation.

The document defines “extremism” as any comment or behaviour that promotes extreme religious ideas and rejects or interfere in normal production or people’s daily lives.

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Airline passengers travelling to the UK from Middle Eastern countries are to be banned from carrying laptops and other large electronic devices onboard, according to reports.

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The move follows a similar measure announced on Tuesday by the US authorities affecting flights originating in eight mainly Muslim countries. Passengers flying to the States from 10 airports will no longer be allowed to have any electronic devices apart from mobiles phones in the cabin.

The US government cited unspecified threats as the reason for the new rules. The Department for Transport, which leads on UK aviation security policy, refused to comment on whether it is implementing a similar ban.

The reports come weeks after it was revealed that UK security services have foiled 13 potential attacks in less than four years, while counter-terrorism units are running more than 500 investigations at any time.

The official threat level for international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely", for more than two years.

US president Donald Trump has attempted to introduce a travel ban aimed at people from Muslim-majority countries, which has run into trouble in the US courts.

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Once again, the so-called religion of peace has exposed its violent roots. A man in India named H Farook was hacked to death by Muslim men, angered at his atheist posts on Facebook.

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Blasphemy laws are taken pretty seriously in Islam. Break them and face horrific penalties that range from public lashings to death penalties.

Christine Williams from Jihad Watch wrote:

“Blasphemy laws are encoded in the Sharia, which Muslims consider to be divine law. If a government does not impose a death sentence for blasphemy, an individual Muslim might decide to step in as judge and executioner, if he believes that in doing so, he is serving and protecting the name of Allah.”

Such was the fate of H Farook.

A group of four Muslims in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu — an area that’s, interestingly enough, populated mostly by Hindus, rather than Muslims — nonetheless took offense at the postings of a 31-year-old man named in the Times of India as H. Farook. And they hacked him to death.

From the newspaper:

“H Farook, 31, from Bilal Estate in South Ukkadam here, was hacked to death by a four-member gang, late Thursday night. He was a member of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK), and an atheist. According to police, Farook was administering a WhatsApp group where he posted rationalistic views against his religion. He also posted rationalistic messages on his Facebook page which came in for criticism by members of the community.

“Meanwhile, Ansath, 30, a Muslim realtor, surrendered before the judicial magistrate court -V on Friday evening in connection with the murder.

“‘Farook’s anti-Muslim sentiments had angered people. This may be a possible motive for murder,’ said S Saravanan, DCP, Coimbatore.”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turks living in Europe to have at least five children, saying it would be the best response to Europe's "injustices".

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President Erdogan made the comments on Friday while campaigning in the city of Eskisehir for a referendum that would usher in a presidential system and enhance his powers.

The Turkish leader has unleashed scathing rhetoric toward European nations - especially the Netherlands - after Turkish ministers were prevented from carrying out campaign meetings there.

Mr Erdogan told Turks in Europe: "Go live in better neighbourhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses.

"Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you."

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Posters calling on Muslim residents to “leave immediately” have resulted in a police investigation in Uttar Pradesh, India. 

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Written in Hindi, the posters were found in more than two dozen locations in the town of Jianagla. 

They warned of “dire consequences” if the estimated 200 Muslim residents in the village do not all leave by the end of the year. 

Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have just secured a substantial victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and the posters featured had the name of one of their MPs. 

"With BJP in power in Uttar Pradesh, Hindus of the village would do what US president Trump was doing to Muslims in that country," the poster reportedly said, according to the Times of India.

The police have removed the majority of the posters and five men from the village have been hauled in for questioning.


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