China: clashes between Muslim minority and police in southwest

Clashes were reported over the weekend on social media in China. Clashes between the Hui Muslim minority and police in the southwestern province of Yunnan. A movement of anger that would have erupted following rumors evoking demolition work of a mosque.

(Illustration) Anti-riot exercise in Shenzhen, China, August 6, 2019. STR / AFP

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With our correspondent in Beijing, Stéphane Lagarde

The images were quickly deleted by the censors, but they can still be found on Monday on Twitter, censored in China. Kicks, punches, projectiles, demonstrators tried Saturday to push back a wall of black shields of the armed police of the people. The security forces then prevented access to the Najiaying mosque in Yuxi.

Sinization of Islam

Among the ethnic minorities in this prefecture of Yunnan province are many members of the Muslim Hui community. On another video, some of the protesters manage to approach a perimeter wall and bring down a construction scaffolding. Still other images show men in fatigues shouting slogans. Comments also indicate the presence of many plainclothes officers.


— 马聚 (@majuismail1122) May 27, 2023

Dating back to the Ming dynasty, the Najiaying mosque has a dome and four minarets, it is the high parts and in particular the dome that would be targeted by the local authorities who described the construction as "illegal".

The Sinicization campaign in China in recent years has brought down crosses from churches and raked the ornaments of several mosques. According to RFA, the court and the Tonghai County Public Security Bureau prosecutor's office issued a joint notice on Sunday, saying that a "case" on Saturday, May 27, had seriously disrupted social order. About thirty demonstrators were reportedly arrested.

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