Chinese officials are calling beards “potential hazards” and are even offering financial rewards for informants who notify them of people who have beards or women who wear veils over their faces.
The Chinese officials believe that the beards and veils can be used to disguise an individuals identity and make it easier for them to participate in terrorism. They are offering as much as $8,000 for anyone who offers information on men with beards or people who act suspicious.
Although this may seem strange to people from other parts of the world, it is China's way of detecting possible terrorists and preventing crime.
"This is common practice in the international community. It is therefore natural for Xinjiang to release such a notice and I believe it will play an effective role in combating terrorism as well as maintaining social stability," Turgunjan Tursun, a research fellow at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences said.
While China is all too serious about their view on beards, many people find it rather amusing and joked about it on Twitter.
— Top Beard (@Top_Beard) April 26, 2014
— Tony Banks (@maskedvoyeur) April 26, 2014
Chinese authorities have declared beards as "potential hazards to society", confirming my previous postulations on facial hair.
— Oscar Whylin' (@mcILLCROP) April 25, 2014
'The Fighting in China' (1900); or, a battle breaks out between two racial stereotypes. Beards to the front! pic.twitter.com/s8s1g0gltj
— Bob Nicholson (@DigiVictorian) April 24, 2014
Chinese officials fear that the Uighur-led separatist movement is gaining traction and receiving support from foreign Islamic terrorist groups. Not only are people with beards being reported, many are not allowed to enter certain Chinese businesses such as banks or government buildings.
Many Chinese families in the region where the rewards are being offered, are low income and in need of money. The financial rewards are designed to appeal to them, in hopes that more people will be willing to report suspicious activities and people with suspicious appearances.
Do you think it is right for Chinese officials to assume that all people with beards are possible terrorists?
Image via Wikimedia Commons