Continuing its campaign to eliminate religions of all kind, Chinese officials have systemically been dismantling religious symbols from places of worship.
As part of China’s “sinicization” policy, authorities in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region are dismantling symbols of the Islamic faith from many mosques and replace them with images and symbols of the Chinese state. Wujiawan Grand Mosque, located in Baofeng town of Pingluo county in Shizuishan, is one example.
Wujiawan Grand Mosque, which was completed in November 2017 at the cost of 4.3 million RMB (about $622,600), occupies a total area of 5,000 square meters. In a manner that resembled the Chinese-Arabic style, the mosque had three levels. That’s what it looked like until April when the local government personnel came in and demolished the mosque’s upper dome, minaret, crescent moon, and a large plaque on the grounds that the mosque was not reconstructed according to the state-prescribed official rules. After all the religious symbols were removed from the mosque, a national flag was erected. Now, this grand mosque looks more like the Great Hall of the People.
One local Hui resident, talking to a Bitter Winter reporter, said that Ningxia’s Pingluo county is an agricultural county, and people don’t have a lot of money. Nevertheless, the Muslims of the county spent a year pooling and raising money together in order to build the mosque. The crescent moon, minaret and green dome at top of the mosque were all built with high-quality metal materials, making the mosque a beast to demolish. So, the Pingluo county government rented two heavy cranes, weighing 200 tons from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The government then hired a team of workers to work around the clock for a solid two days – the amount of time it took for the symbolic structures from the top of the mosque to be cut into pieces and dismantled.
At the time of the demolition, the Pingluo county government department hadn’t produced any official documents granting the mosque’s destruction, the Hui villager source said, adding that the order was just passed down verbally from one rank to the next.
It is understood that since the implementation of the new Regulation on Religious Affairs in February, the authorities’ “de-Arabization and de-Saudization” campaign has been carried out in Ningxia. In late June, Ningxia authorities once again made the following proposal targeting Muslims, saying: For religious activity venue buildings that highlight Arabic style, they must be guided and gradually rectified. New buildings or any other buildings that are expanded or rebuilt – anywhere across the region – must highlight the Chinese style. Since the implementation of this policy, mosques throughout Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have gradually been remodeled, and many Islamic symbols have been demolished. Bitter Winter previously revealed that the CCP issued a confidential document called Suggestions on Strengthening and Improving Islamic Work Under the New Circumstances, which serves as proof that the CCP is intensifying its nationwide control and suppression of Islam.
Reported by Ma Xiagu