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AFP
May 22, 2018
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China calls on all mosques to raise national flag

World

AFP
May 22, 2018

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BEIJING: All Chinese mosques should raise the national flag to “promote a spirit of patriotism” among Muslims. Flags should be hung in a “prominent position” in all mosque courtyards, the China Islamic Association said in a letter published Saturday on its website.

This would “further strengthen the understanding of national and civic ideals, and promote a spirit of patriotism among Muslims of all ethnic groups”, it read. Mosques should also publicly display information on the party’s “core socialist values”, and explain them to devotees via Islamic scripture so that they will be “deeply rooted in people’s hearts”, it said.

The China Islamic Association is a government-affiliated body and has the sole power to accredit imams. The letter comes on the heels of China’s newly revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, which came into effect in February and prompted rights groups to voice concern for religious freedoms. The new regulations intensified punishments for unsanctioned religious activities and increased state supervision of religion in a bid to “block extremism” and tackle what Beijing sees as internal threats.

Mosque staff should organise study of the Chinese constitution and other relevant laws — particularly the new religious regulations, the letter said. They should also study Chinese classics and set up courses on traditional Chinese culture, while being sure to focus only on Muslim sages of Chinese rather than foreign origin, it added.

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