The plan to demolish a newly-built mosque in the country’s North West have been delayed by Chinese officials after scores of ethnic Hui Muslims, the second largest Muslim group after Uygurs of Xinjiang, organised sit-in protests, a media report stated.
The protesters assembled in the square outside the Weizhou Grand Mosque from noon until late last night against the demolition plans of the government.
Around midnight, the local county head urged the protesters to go back home and promised that the government would not touch the newly-built structure until a reconstruction plan has been agreed upon by the townsmen, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported quoting local sources as saying.
The stand-off in the town of Weizhou in Tongxin county in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is the latest and possibly the largest conflict in a recent campaign to rid the region of what Beijing regards as a worrying trend of “Islamisation and Arabisation”, as the ruling Communist Party doubles down to “Sinicise religion”, the report said.
In 2015, President Xi Jinping introduced a policy known as, “Sinicise religion”, which aimed to bring religious groups in line with the Chinese culture and under the absolute authority of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
On August 3, the Weizhou government issued an official notice to the mosque’s management committee. The notice delivered a deadline to demolish the building by August 10 on the grounds that it had not been granted the necessary planning and construction permits.
If the management committee failed to comply, the government would “forcefully demolish it according to the law”, the notice warned.