Wang Zuo'an, chief of the State Administration for Religious Affairs in China, asked Muslim citizens to stand against religious extremism. He also said the development of Islam in China should stick to socialism with Chinese characteristics, as per a Xinhua news report. Wang also asked for new mosques to exhibit Chinese features rather than copied foreign architectural styles.
China is tightening its rules for religious ceremonies. Last week, a local government directive told residents in Xinjiang province to surrender their passports, in a bid to restrict their attempts to travel abroad.
The resource-rich province of Xinjiang, which shares its border with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan, was seething with unrest among Uyghur Muslims over the increasing settlements of Han Chinese from other provinces. The province has seen some deadly terror attacks in recent years that were blamed on the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which was linked to al-Qaeda in the past and now to Islamic State.
With inputs from PTI
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