Beijing: A CNN report said that thousands of ethnic minority Muslims surrounded a mosque in southwestern China in an effort to prevent the Chinese authorities from tearing down the dome and minarets of the mosque.
The Chinese authorities wanted to alter the structure of the mosque, belonging to Hui ethnic group in Najiaying village in Yunnan province, as part of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s campaign of ‘Sinicization’.
Sinicization is a process of making something more Chinese in character or bringing something under Chinese influence. It is campaign to eschew any foreign influence in the religious faiths and align it with Chinese tradition and culture and under the communist party.
The CNN reported said that in the recent years the authorities have removed overtly Islamic architecture. The authorities have destroyed domes and have torn down minarets from more than a thousand mosques belonging to the Hui Muslims in the country.
The protesters stalled off the authorities’ attempts to alter the mosque. It is reported that a huge police force was present in riot gear and was clashing with the protesters. Dozens of protesters are said to have been arrested.
The stand-off continued from Saturday to Sunday evening. Now it is believed that the Chinese authorities have begun a crackdown. Internet has been cut off in many neighborhoods and the authorities have given time till June 6 to the organizers and participants to turn themselves in.