Chinese shopkeepers in the Xinjiang region have been ordered by authorities to sell alcohol and cigarettes. The items must also be advertised with huge, eye-catching posters.
The interesting laws have been imposed in order to ‘further weaken Islam’. Xinjiang is a troubled region, where radical Muslims have been trying to gain influence by spreading their middle-ages religious beliefs.
The measures have raised questions of Islamiphobia as Muslims there are not allowed to attend mosques, grow beards, wear burqas, teach their religion to children, fast in the Ramadan and any other type of activity related to religion.
In fact, the government categorizes non-smokers in the region as religious extremists. While the measures are decidedly harsh, and fall afoul of basic rights to individual freedom, the moves highlight the firm stance the country takes on so-called religions that look to reduce hard-won rights.
Under the new law shopkeepers who do not comply will not only have their shops and restaurants closed, but will also have to legally respond for their actions.