A city in western China is trying reduce religious fervor by prohibiting people from wearing veils, traditional Arab dress, or growing long beards, Associated Press reports.
"Dilute religious consciousness, advocate a civilized healthy life style," the notice in the Dunmaili district of Yining in China's heavily Muslim western reaches read.
The notice added the campaign's objective was "to completely get rid of the abnormal phenomenon in the entire community of minority ethnic women and youth wearing Arabian dress, growing beards and covering their faces in veils."
The notice also called for stubborn individuals who refuse to give up their veils, Arab dress, or long beards to be educated, and "diehards" turned over to judicial departments.
Yining is in Xinjiang, a region home to the traditionally Muslim Uighur ethnic group. The region has occasionally seen religiously-motivated violent unrest.
Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims and other minority faiths are generally allowed to wear their traditional dress.
However, both groups have been targeted in political re-education campaigns following anti-government violence related to complaints over the lack of religious freedom in China.
Xinjiang regional spokeswoman Hou Hanmin told AP by telephone that she was unaware of the campaign.
"This is not consistent with the reality here," Hou said of the campaign, adding that it sounded "unrealistic."
The notice from the Dunmaili district of Yining disappeared from the Yining government website Thursday after Western press inquiries, but remained available on a state-run news website.
Bans of face coverings and other forms of hijab are increasingly taking hold in Western countries where a failure to assimilate large numbers of Muslim immigrants has resulted in societal divisions and calls to supplant the indigineous mainstream Western culture and laws with the growing minorities' Islamic Sharia law.
Both Tunisia and Turkey have bans on hijab in public schools, universities, and government buildings. Morocco has no official ban, but actively encourages women to eschew hijab. In all three countries hijab is seen as a symbol of political Islam rather than mere religious expression.