A sit-in was held at the Weizhou Grand Mosque in Weizhou, Tongxin county (Ningxia region), on Friday, August 10. Hundreds of villagers participated in the protest to prevent the demolition of the mosque. According to media reports, on August 3 the local government issued a notice that the mosque would have to be taken down because it lacks the proper construction permits. Government officials gave mosque representatives until August 10 to demolish the building. Local Muslims reportedly rejected a government proposal to replace the minarets and domes with a more Chinese style pagodas to prevent the demolition. Further demonstrations are possible in the coming hours and days.
The Weizhou Grand Mosque was rebuilt in 2017 to replace the 600-year-old Chinese-style mosque that was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Weizhou is located in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Hui Muslims are recognized as one of 56 officially recognized nationalities in the country.
Individuals in the area are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public or online, and obey all instructions issued by the local government.