Outside, a group of Hui tourists speaking with a northern accent – women in black robes and men in white caps – take turns posing for photographs with the giant mosque behind them.
While the Chinese government has cracked down on religious activities among the Muslim Uygur community in Xinjiang ( 新疆 ), citing the threat of Islamic extremism, ethnic Hui Muslims more closely integrated with Han Chinese society have been able to enjoy mFive times a day, the call to prayer is broadcast from loudspeakers at one of China’s largest mosques, in a small, ethnic Hui town in the southwestern border province of Yunnan (雲南).
Rows of date palms grow in Shadian’s Harmony Square, in front of the prayer hall, while two Chinese-style archway gates, engraved with the characters for “love the country” and “love the religion”, stand on either side of it.
In the late afternoon, swarms of students emerge from a private Islamic college and head towards the mosque to perform their fourth prayer of the day.
ISLAMIC TEACHING TELLS US TO LOVE OUR COUNTRY
Ma Feixiang, Hui Muslim potter
Outside, a group of Hui tourists speaking with a northern accent – women in uch greater religious freedom.