Shanghai, China
By Aly Song

The traditional home of China’s Muslim Uighur community is the far western state of Xinjiang, a region that has been plagued by violence in recent years.

The government blames a series of attacks on Islamist militants and Uighur separatists, who it says want to set up an independent state called East Turkestan. But human rights activists say that government policies - including restrictions on Islam - have stirred up the unrest, although the government strongly denies this.

Uighur men visit the Bund in Shanghai, April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

Some members of the Uighur community have chosen to move elsewhere around the country and Shanghai, the city where I am currently based, had 5,254 Uighur residents as of 2010, according to a government website.

Life can be difficult for migrant workers of all backgrounds, but it seems particularly hard for Uighurs.

A ethnic Han woman takes pictures of a prayer service at a mosque in Shanghai, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

Their distinctive features, their different language and their religion all make them stand out among the majority Han Chinese, and they can suffer discrimination from those who associate them with the violence centered on Xinjiang.