China: Fear of Religious Freedom Causes Destruction of Mosque
Chinese Hui Muslims gather to pray at a mosque in Xichuan, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)
January 4, 2012
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
Growing tension between the Chinese Communist Party and ethnic and religious minorities was on full display this week after police destroyed a newly refurbished mosque in northern China. Police attempted to justify the destruction by claiming the mosque was an “illegal structure” used to advance the practice of Falun Gong. In this analysis, LIGNET looks at the growing tension between the government and China’s ethnic and religious minorities.

The village of Taoshan in the Ningxia region of China was the scene of violent clashes this week as police demolished a mosque that dated back to the 19th century Qing Dynasty.  While the Chinese Communist Party has clashed often in the past with ethnic Uighur Muslims in the northwest parts of China, this particular clash came as a surprise to many observers because the Muslims in Ningxia, known as Hui, are considered more assimilated.  Reports indicate that between two and five people died, including an 80-year-old woman.

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