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Chinese official demoted for not smoking in front of Muslims

BEIJING: A Chinese official who allegedly declined to smoke in front of Muslims in Xinjiang has been demoted for taking an "unstable political stance," a state-run newspaper reported Tuesday. Xinjiang, home to China's Muslim Uighur ethnic minority, restricts religious practises -- such as growing beards, wearing headscarves, and fasting during Ramadan -- that are seen as symbols of "Islamic extremism". A notice from the Hotan district government over the weekend accused Jelil Matniyaz, a village-level secretary for the…