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China removes domes, minarets from mosques: report Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

China removes domes, minarets from mosques: report

Mosques in China have had their domes and minarets removed [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 November, 2020

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A British diplomat in China has deplored the changes to the religious buildings as 'depressing'.
China is removing domes from mosques across the country as part of Beijing's effort to erase Islamic symbols and influence, according to a report by The Telegraph.

One such building that has been altered is the Nanguan Mosque in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia province. The mosque has had its green domes and minarets removed.

On a recent trip to the mosque, the United Kingdom's deputy head of mission in China, Christina Scott, deplored the changes to the religious building.

"TripAdvisor suggested making the Nanguan Mosque in Yinchuan worth a visit," Scott wrote on Twitter. "This is the only way it looks now after 'renovations'. Domes, minarets, everything gone. Of course, no visitors are allowed either. So depressing."

Scott also shared photos of the mosque, showing that the building's green and gold decorations had been stripped away, replaced by a grey facade.

The Nanguan mosque is not the only Islamic religious building to have been changed by Chinese authorities.

Renovations have also been carried out on mosques in Linxia, a city known as China's 'Little Mecca'.

The moves come as part of China's growing clampdown on religious institutions and minorities under the leadership of Xi Xinping.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head has ordered that religious groups "Sinicise" in order to maintain loyalty to the CCP and the state. This has resulted in the demolition of mosques and churches across China, as well as the detention of more than a million Muslims in "re-education" camps.

Late last year, Chinese officials announced plans to rewrite the Quran and Bible to "reflect socialist values".

Modified versions of religious texts will exclude any content deemed to go against the beliefs of the country's Communist Party, a top party official said at the time. 

Content seen by censors as a deviation from the party's beliefs will be amended or re-translated, the party official added.

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