Extraordinary security measures protect the demolition of the iconic dome of a mosque known as “the Mecca of the Hui,” for which Muslims already shed their blood in 1975.
by Ma Guangyao
An iron wall has been erected against the mosque. Its characteristic dome will be demolished and the minarets will be rebuilt in “Chinese” style. A picture of the scene shows slogans hailing “democracy,” “freedom and equality,” “justice and the rule of law,” and “core socialist values” advocated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) posted on the tin walls erected around the Shadian mosque in view of the demolition work.
A model of the new construction has been posted on Weibo. “Sinicization,” as usual, means removing the most characteristic Islamic features and symbols, accused of being “Arabic” and “non-Chinese.”
Attacking the Grand Mosque of Shadian has a special historical significance. It is the largest and most important Hui mosque, built in the year 1684. It has been called “the Mecca of the Hui.”
It was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, leading to widespread protests by Hui Muslims, followed by their bloody repression ordered personally by Chairman Mao. In the “Shadian Incident” of 1975, 1,600 Hui Muslims were killed, including 300 children.
In the post-Cultural-Revolution climate, the mosque was rebuilt in 1981. It was further expanded in 2005. Extraordinary measures have been taken to prevent riots in occasion of its “Sinicization,” which has now started.
The incident confirms that the iconoclastic fury of the CCP knows no obstacles, and would even destroy one of the very icons of Islam in China.