“Peaceful Mosque” in Xinjiang

Posted: 2011年02月2日 in Original Thoughts
Tags: , , , ,
 Peaceful Mosque Uyghur Muslims have been labeled as “peaceful” in kashgar.    As my previous piece on “peaceful family” suggests, only Uyghur families and neighborhood are chosen to be “peaceful family” or 平安家庭,a term having nothing to do neither with common Chinese practice of five-good family / 五好家庭 nor with Islamic doctrine of being peaceful.A similar labeling is interestingly applied to Uyghur Mosques that Uyghur mosques are often identified and labeled as “peaceful Mosque” or 平安寺院. As is commonly known, a mosque or masjid or Jama’ati is a place to pray or, by extension, to group together for the faithful.   Why are Uyghur mosques singled out as peaceful?  Does it mean other religious sites such as Buddhist temples and Christian Churches in China are not peaceful at all?

A simple explanation from the photo (attached) is that a peaceful mosque is to discourage Muslims from prayer and a best “peaceful Mosque” is the one that can be closed and locked after the prayer times.   The character 神 on the locker may be best understand as door-keeping shen or 看门神 that serves to monitor or prevent Uyghur Muslims from entering mosques. The “peaceful Mosque” phenomenon may illustrate a larger picture that the Chinese government discourages Uyghurs to be Islamic by not attending regular prayers, together with other restrictions imposed on Uyghur daily practices.

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