The campaign to eliminate visual traces of Islam in Chinese cities continues unabated.
by Ma Wenyan
“Sinicizing” mosques and Islamic center means stripping their architecture of distinctive Islamic features and references, making Islam invisible in Chinese cities. “Bitter Winter” has continued to report how this campaign continues unabated, including in Beijing.
Now, the historical gate of Beijing’s Hui Muslim School has been vandalized. The origins of the school date back to 1949 with the merger of three Hui Muslim educational institutions, one of which had existed in the area since 1907. The school is in Guang’anmennei Street, and other Muslim institutions are located nearby. From 1949 on, it was known as the National Muslim College and regarded as the top educational institution in the country for Hui Muslims.
During the Cultural Revolution, it had to adopt a secular name as Beijing no. 135 Middle School, but it became again Beijing Hui Middle School in 1979, and Beijing Muslim School in 1985.
The gate leading to the school with its distinctive Arabic shapes and green decoration had become a familiar sight in the area, and a visual testimony to the presence of Hui Muslims in the nation’s capital.
Now, however, these distinctive shapes have been eliminated. The gate is square and anonymous. The green color has disappeared. Another sign reminding passers-by that there is a Muslim presence in Beijing is gone. It is rumored that the internal parts of the school will soon be “Sinicized” as well.