The atheist ruling Communist Party has banned minors under 16 from religious activity or study in Linxia, China. Following the displeasing move, residing Hui Muslim community fear the eradication of Islam from the country.
A deeply Islamic region in western China that had offered religious freedom for the ethnic Hui Muslims no longer let its young boys flit through their stone courtyards en route to classes and prayers. The Hui Muslim community comprises of nearly ten million people, half of Muslim population, according to 2012 government statistics.
The local authorities have severely curtailed the number of students over 16 officially allowed to study in each mosque. They have also instructed mosques to display national flags and stop the loud announcements for prayers in order to reduce ‘noise pollution’. The mosques have been asked to remove the loudspeakers completely.
The rules have intensified punishments for unsanctioned religious activities across all faiths and regions.
“They want to secularise Muslims, to cut off Islam at the roots,” said an Imam. He further added, “These days, children are not allowed to believe in religion, but only in Communism.”
More than thousand boys used to attend the mosque to study Koranic basics during summer and winter school holidays but now they are banned from even entering the premises.