Domes and other decorations have been removed from mosques in China in what critics say is a further move to suppress the influence of Islam in the country.
Before and after photos of the Nanguan Mosque in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia province, show its bright green domes and golden minarets have been removed during recent ‘renovations.’
The UK’s deputy head of mission in China, Christina Scott, shared images online saying the new look was ‘so depressing.’
She tweeted, ‘TripAdvisor suggested the Nanguan Mosque in Yinchuan well worth a visit. Only this is what it looks now, after “renovations.” Domes, minarets, all gone. No visitors allowed either, of course. So depressing.’
She went on to say the building had been ‘stripped of any art that indicates its purpose’ and that while it was previously ‘beautiful inside’, it now has a ‘cold and barren interior.’ Domes and minarets have also been removed from mosques in neighbouring Linxia, a city known as ‘Little Mecca’ in Gansu province, according to The Telegraph.
It’s the latest move by the Chinese Communist Party as part of a widespread clampdown on religious institutions in recent years. The party is officially atheist but recognises five religions, Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Islam, and Protestantism. However, since Xi Jinping became General Secretary, religious groups have come under increased pressure to adhere to a socialist ideology. Some churches and mosques have been bulldozed while children in Tibet are banned from studying at monasteries.
Translated copies of classic religious texts have been re-edited by censors to bring their messages in line with the principles of the party and ensure they do not contain any content which could be seen to conflict with the party’s views.
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