BEIJING — Thousands of members of China’s Hui Muslim minority have gathered at the site of a mosque in Weizhou, in northwestern China, in an attempt to block the government authorities from demolishing the building.
The Grand Mosque in Weizhou was completed just last year but authorities say it must be demolished as it lacks the proper building permits.
Videos have emerged online showing hundreds of China’s Hui Muslim minority protesting against a government decision to demolish a mosque, which officials say was built without proper planning approval.
Protesters told some reporters that the government proposed altering the building to make it look more traditionally Chinese, instead of demolishing it, but that the Muslim community rejected that proposal.
They said the mosque was under construction for over two years — but no authority came down on it.
The drive to demolish the structure is being seen as Beijing’s move to clamp down on religious minorities in the country — be it Christians or Muslims.
The BBC reports that most Hui mosques in the past “had been built in a more Chinese style.”
Officials in Ningxia have been removing elements of Islamic and Arabic architecture from the region’s buildings since earlier this year, in line with a government directive to make foreign religions more ‘Chinese in orientation’.
32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say
JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.
Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.
Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.
“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.
Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.Follow @gorkhapost