China defers plan to pull down Ningxia mosque

BEIJING: Chinese authorities have put off plans to demolish a new mosque following a rare demonstration by a large group of Muslims of the ethnic in northwest China‘s province.

This is the first major protest against local authorities by the Hui community. Most agitations against government agencies have been limited to Uyghurs of the border province of Xinjiang.

Large crowds gathered at the in Ningxia province‘s Weizhou town on Thursday and Friday following a notice issued by the Weizhou government to the mosque‘s management committee that the vast white structure would be demolished because it had not obtained necessary permission and construction permits.

Local Muslim leaders asked why the government allowed two years of construction work without interference and woke up only after it was constructed and prayer meetings began to be held.

Images posted online shows the Grand Mosque as an imposing white structure topped with nine onion-shaped domes, crescent moons and four towering minarets.

The local county head, who visited the mosque, promised to consider a reconstruction plan by its management and not take action against the structure until the new plan was approved in the normal official process, the South China Post reported.
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