News Roundup: Islam in China

Last month, thousands of Hui Chinese Muslims gathered for a rare protest against the planned demolition of a mosque. The local authorities claimed that the mosque was bigger than was initially approved, and therefore, eight of its nine domes would be torn down. Up to 30,000 people attend prayers at the mosque.

The government’s decision is viewed as an attempt to exert greater control over religious practices. One newspaper of the ruling Communist Party admitted that “Demolishing the mosque is sure to earn the ire of local religious followers. However, if the local government does not react to the illegal act, it will fuel the idea that religions are superior over China’s laws.”

SHARIAsource China Editor Matthew Erie has previously written on our blog about the Chinese government’s attempts to legally respond to its Muslim Hui population’s calls for greater regulation of ḥalāl food (food that has been prepared in accordance with Islamic dietary laws). He observed that “the constant push-and-pull of China’s Islamic revival in a socialist state often at odds with its multi-faith population means that the future of such legislation is an open question.”

For an overview of Islam in China, as well as links to legal resources, see our Country Profile.