China launches anti-halal drive ‘to fight extremism’

BEIJING: Chinese authorities have introduced a series of measures to curb what is being described as the “panhalal tendency” of a section of people in the western province of Xinjiang.

State-backed Global Times said sections of local Muslims had stretched the idea of halal to items like napkins and services like barber shops, which could give rise to religious fanaticism. Muslims form the dominant population in Xinjang.

The local government said in a social media post that officers were to strengthen the “ideological struggle” and fight “halalification” or “pan-halal tendency”. Halal, Arabic for “permissible”, refers to a set of rules guiding Muslims on what is allowed according to the religion.

Global Times quoted Liu Ming, secretary of the leading party members’ group of the People’s Procuratorate of Urumqi (equivalent of public prosecutor’s office), as saying that officials had been asked to “take the lead to free minds and shake off conventional thinking”. Local government officials have also been asked to use Mandarin in official and social communications in preference over the local Uighur language.

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