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Sport China destroys thousands of mosques in Xinjiang, according to an Australian institute

16:10  25 september  2020
16:10  25 september  2020 Source:   france24.com

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Les Ouïghours font l'objet d'une campagne sécuritaire et idéologique menée par Pékin d'une main de fer. Ici, Des fidèles lors d'une prière à Hotan, dans le Xinjiang, le 16 avril 2015. © Greg Baker, AFP The Uyghurs are the subject of a security and ideological campaign led by Beijing with an iron fist. Here, Worshipers praying in Hotan, Xinjiang on April 16, 2015.

China has destroyed or damaged thousands of mosques in the sensitive Xinjiang region, says a report released Friday by an institute of Australian research and funded by the US Department of State.

It would be another attack by Beijing against the Uyghur minority . According to a report, published Friday, September 25, by an Australian research institute, China destroyed or damaged thousands of mosques in the sensitive region of Xinjiang, in the northwest of the country, where Beijing is carrying out security campaigns. and ideological with an iron fist . The report was also funded by the US State Department.

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Around 16,000 mosques have been destroyed or damaged in recent years in this predominantly Muslim region, a detailed report from the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy (ASPI), a research firm set up by the Australian government, attests.

The researchers say they were based on satellite photos and on important "extrapolations": after analyzing 533 mosques (out of the 24,000 officially in Xinjiang), they made calculations according to statistical models.

Most of the destruction has taken place in the past three years and 8,500 mosques have been completely destroyed, the report said. Some others have seen their domes and minarets removed, according to researchers, who estimate the number of mosques still standing in Xinjiang at 15,500.

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The study was funded by the US State Department , ASPI said. Washington is strongly opposed to Beijing on many issues and has been at the forefront in recent months in denouncing Chinese policy in Xinjiang.

>> To read: In China, Uyghurs victims of an imposed birth control policy

Willingness to "sinise"

Long hit by bloody attacks attributed to members of the Uyghur ethnic group, predominantly Muslim, this huge semi-desert territory is the subject of a firm security takeover in the name of the fight against terrorism.

More than a million people, mainly Muslims, were interned there in "camps", accuse human rights organizations. China claims that these are "vocational training centers", intended to help the population find employment and thus remove them from religious extremism.

According to testimonies collected by the daily Le Monde , the Chinese state has also undertaken, since 2016, to send Communist Party cadres to monitor the families of the Muslim minority in their privacy. This, in addition to the charges of forced sterilizations .

The Chinese authorities regularly maintain that they want to "sinise" religions. This campaign, carried out in the name of greater control of cults, also aims to fight against Islamist movements catalyzing separatist sentiment in Xinjiang.

"This report is nothing but rumor and slander," said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, during a regular press briefing, denouncing the "lack of credibility" of the research firm and " its funding from abroad ".

"The total number of mosques per Muslim inhabitant in Xinjiang is higher than in many Muslim countries," he protested.

ASPI released another report on Thursday accusing China of strengthening its network of "detention centers" in the region.

With AFP

China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims sparks anger near new embassy site in London .
China's decision to move its British embassy from London's upmarket West End to the less glitzy east could have been a heart-warming tale of homecoming. The new mission will be built at the former Royal Mint, just a stone's throw from the city's original 19th century Chinatown. China plans to refurbish the building and establish its biggest diplomatic mission in the world at the site, set just back from the River Thames on the outskirts of London's financial center. It could be years until the embassy actually moves, but it's already facing opposition from some local councilors and residents.

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