According to the results of the journalistic research by The Guardian and the Bellingcat website, over the past 3 years, the Chinese authorities have caused significant damage to the country’s Muslim infrastructure, which has gone unnoticed by the world media and the public outside the country.
As the journalists found out, more than 30 mosques were demolished in whole or in part with the filing of Chinese officials. The scale of what is happening became apparent after analyzing satellite data.
Of the 91 religious buildings in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which were surveyed using satellite data, 31 structures and 2 religious shrines were seriously damaged during the last 3 years.
Nearly half of these 33 objects were completely or almost completely destroyed, while the rest lost their main distinctive features, such as domes and minarets.
In particular, among the destroyed was the Utian Aitika Mosque next to Khotan – a religious building was built in 1200. One of the largest mosques in the region, Kargilik, was also demolished, as was the Imam Asim complex.
“The shots of the ruins Imam Asim are very shocking,” commented Ryan Thum, a historian at the University of Nottingham.