|Chinese authorities have been imposing stifling restrictions |
on Uighur Muslims to practice their religion.
XINJIANG – Adding more pressures on Uighur Muslims, Chinese authorities have placed China’s flag at the head of a mosque in western China, a move denounced by activists as an attempt to get unwavering allegiance to Beijing ahead of their faith.
“They are essentially saying the flag is higher than religion,” Ilham Tohti, a prominent Uighur rights advocate, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday, September 18.
“They placed the flag at a very sensitive place in the mosque.”
The controversy started when Chinese placed the Chinese flag over the mihrab, the traditional prayer niche that points the direction to Makkah, in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region’s Aksu.
With millions of Muslims praying while facing Makkah, Tohti said that the Chinese law and authorities demand unwavering allegiance to Beijing.