In a clampdown targeting Muslims in the northwestern region, at least 31 mosques and two major Islamic shrines have been partly or completely demolished since 2016 in China’s Xinjiang.
Al-Jazeera with reference to an investigation by the Guardian and Bellingcat, reported that 15 of the mosques and both shrines appear “to have been completely or almost completely razed”.
The report further stated that guesthouses, domes and minarets had also been removed.
Al-Jazeera quoted CJ Werleman, a journalist and author who has collected testimonies from dozens of Uighur refugees as saying, “The demolition of mosques is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to China’s brutal crackdown on the 12 million Uighur Muslims who live in Xinjiang.”
Imam Asim shrine, which used to attract thousands of Uighur pilgrims each year has also been completely destroyed. Rian Thum, a historian of Islam at the University of Nottingham, called the images of Imam Asim in ruins as “quite shocking”.