Xinjiang: 16 thousand mosques destroyed or damaged in the last three years

Domes and minarets demolished in the name of "sinicization". The destruction occurred in correspondence with the launch of the New regulations on religious activities.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Chinese government has reportedly destroyed or damaged about 16 thousand mosques in the western region of Xinjiang, inhabited by a Uyghur Muslim minority.

This is what emerges from a report released three days ago by an Australian research institute, supported by the US State Department.

The Australian Institute of Strategic Policy, a think-tank sponsored by the Canberra government, claims that 16,000 mosques have been destroyed or damaged; many of them have suffered the demolishing of domes and minarets to be recognized as "sinicized" constructions. In fact, most of the destruction took place in the last three years, i.e. in correspondence with the New regulations on religious activities, officially launched on 1 February 2018.

Among the various duties listed, there is the "sinicization", the submission of thoughts, texts, images and constructions to Chinese culture. Precisely for this reason, oriental-style domes and minarets are considered not "Sinicized" and thus destined to be replaced with "more Chinese" forms or to be completely destroyed. In August 2018, the Weizhou (Ningxia) mosque was in danger of destruction.