China is expanding its crackdown on mosques to regions outside Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch says

The Chinese language authorities has expanded its marketing campaign of closing mosques to areas apart from Xinjiang, the place for years it has been blamed for persecuting Muslim minorities, in accordance with a Human Rights Watch report launched Wednesday.

Authorities have closed mosques within the northern Ningxia area in addition to Gansu province, that are dwelling to giant populations of Hui Muslims, as a part of a course of recognized formally as “consolidation,” in accordance with the report, which pulls on public paperwork, satellite tv for pc photographs and witness testimonies.

Native authorities even have been eradicating architectural options of mosques to make them look extra “Chinese language,” a part of a marketing campaign by the ruling Communist Celebration to tighten management over faith and cut back the danger of potential challenges to its rule.

President Xi Jinping in 2016 known as for the “Sinicization” of religions, initiating a crackdown that has largely targeting the western area of Xinjiang, dwelling to greater than 11 million Uyghurs and different Muslim minorities.

A United Nations report final 12 months discovered China might have dedicated “crimes towards humanity” in Xinjiang, together with via its building of a community of extrajudicial internment camps believed to have held at the very least 1 million Uyghurs, Huis, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz.

Chinese language authorities have decommissioned, closed down, demolished or transformed mosques for secular use in areas exterior Xinjiang as a part of a marketing campaign geared toward cracking down on spiritual expression, in accordance with Human Rights Watch.

The Chinese language International Ministry didn’t instantly reply faxed questions looking for touch upon the report and its official insurance policies towards Muslim minorities.

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One of many first recognized references to “mosque consolidation” seems in an inside occasion doc from April 2018 that was leaked to U.S. media as a part of a trove of paperwork often known as the “Xinjiang Papers.” The file instructed state businesses all through the nation to “strengthen the standardized administration of the development, renovation and enlargement of Islamic spiritual venues” and burdened that “there shouldn’t be newly constructed Islamic venues” with the intention to “compress the general quantity (of mosques).”

“The Chinese language authorities is just not ‘consolidating’ mosques because it claims, however closing many down in violation of non secular freedom,” stated Maya Wang, appearing China director at Human Rights Watch. “The Chinese language authorities’s closure, destruction and repurposing of mosques is a part of a scientific effort to curb the follow of Islam in China.”

In Liaoqiao and Chuankou villages in Ningxia, authorities dismantled the domes and minarets of all seven mosques and razed the primary buildings of three of them between 2019 and 2021, in accordance with movies and footage posted on-line and corroborated with satellite tv for pc imagery by the group’s researchers.

Moreover, the ablution corridor of 1 mosque was broken inside, in accordance with movies obtained by the group.

The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm the adjustments described within the report.

The coverage of “consolidating mosques” was additionally referenced in a March 2018 doc issued by the federal government of Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia. In keeping with the paper, the federal government wished to “strictly management the quantity and scale of non secular venues” and known as for mosques to undertake “Chinese language structure kinds.”

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The paper urged the “integration and mixture of mosques” may “resolve the issue of too many spiritual venues.”

In Gansu province, a number of native governments have detailed efforts to “consolidate” mosques.

In Guanghe County, the place the vast majority of the inhabitants is Hui, authorities in 2020 “canceled the registration of 12 mosques, closed down 5 mosques and improved and consolidated one other 5,” in accordance with the federal government’s annual yearbook, referenced within the Human Rights Watch report.

Information studies additionally counsel the Chinese language authorities has closed or altered mosques elsewhere across the nation, sometimes dealing with public backlash. In Could, protesters in Nagu city in southern Yunnan province clashed with police over the deliberate demolition of a mosque’s dome.

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