- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

China’s Muslim businesses in the Xinjiang region have been ordered by authorities to sell alcohol and cigarettes or face the possibility of having their shops closed.

“All restaurants and supermarkets in our village should place five different brands of alcohol and cigarettes in their shops before [May 1, 2015],” an recent announcement by Laskuy township authorities said, Radio Free Asia reported Monday.

“Anybody who neglects this notice and fails to act will see their shops sealed off, their business suspended, and legal action pursued against them,” the order continued.

Aktash village party committee secretary Adil Sulayman told RFA’s Uyghur Service that the policy was created to undermine Islam.

China says that Uyghur groups outside the country are using the internet to inspire local populations to become violent, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

“We have a campaign to weaken religion here and this is part of that campaign,” he said, RFA reported. “Our village is the key village — we have to implement the ‘Weaken Religion’ campaign effectively … Religious sentiment is increasing and this is affecting stability,” he added.

RFA reported that 60 local businesses will be affected by the campaign.

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