Id Kah Mosque

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مسجد عيدگاه
Id Kah Mosque
艾提尕尔清真寺
Ài Tí Gǎ Ěr Qīng Zhēn Sì
Id Kah Mosque (39712811190).jpg
Id Kah Mosque in 2017
Religion
AffiliationIslam
ProvinceXinjiang
Location
LocationKashgar, Xinjiang, China
Id Kah Mosque is located in Southern Xinjiang
Id Kah Mosque
Shown within Southern Xinjiang
Geographic coordinates39°28′20″N 75°59′03″E / 39.47227°N 75.984106°E / 39.47227; 75.984106Coordinates: 39°28′20″N 75°59′03″E / 39.47227°N 75.984106°E / 39.47227; 75.984106
Architecture
Architect(s)Saqsiz Mirza
Typemosque
Completed1442
Specifications
Capacity20,000
Minaret(s)3
Id Kah Mosque
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese艾提尕尔清真寺
Traditional Chinese艾提尕爾清真寺
Uyghur name
Uyghurھېيتگاھ مەسچىتى

The Id Kah Mosque (Uighur: ھېيتگاھ مەسچىتى, romanizedHëytgah Meschiti, Хейтгах Месчити; simplified Chinese: 艾提尕尔清真寺; traditional Chinese: 艾提尕爾清真寺; pinyin: Àitígǎěr Qīngzhēnsì; from Persian: عیدگاه, Eidgāh, meaning "Place of Festivities") is a historic mosque and tourist site located in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China.

History[edit]

The mosque was built by Saqsiz Mirza, the elder of two sons of Amir Sayyid Ali, in 1442 (although it incorporated older structures dating back to 996)[citation needed] to commemorate his ancestors.[1] The mosque covers an area of around 16,000 square meters.[2]

The mosque's modern golden-brick structure was built in 1798, replacing the older building, and was further expanded in 1838 to its current size.[3]

On 9 August 1933, Chinese Muslim General Ma Zhancang killed and beheaded the Uyghur leader Timur Beg, displaying his head on a spike at Id Kah mosque.[4][5][6][7]

In March 1934, it was reported that the Uyghur emir Abdullah Bughra was also beheaded, the head being displayed at Id Kah mosque.[8][9]

In April 1934, the Chinese Muslim general Ma Zhongying gave a speech at Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, telling the Uyghurs to be loyal to the Republic of China Kuomintang government of Nanjing.[10][11][12]

The mosque received a renovation in 1981,[13] and the mosque's façade was covered with tiles between 2004 and 2005.[14]

On 30 July 2014, the imam of the mosque at the time, Jume Tahir, was stabbed to death by extremists shortly after attending morning prayers.[15][16] His unknown successor was jailed for 15 years by the Chinese authorities in 2017, having been accused of spreading extremism.[17][18]

The current imam of the mosque is Memet Jume.[19]

Decline in attendance[edit]

In 2009, Id Kah was the largest mosque in Xinjiang and in China.[20][21] Every Friday, it housed nearly 10,000 worshippers and could accommodate up to 20,000.[22] On other days of the week, around 2,000 Muslims came to the mosque to pray.[20]

In 2011, between 4,000 and 5,000 people attended Friday prayers in the mosque.[23] However, the current mosque's imam, Memet Jume, said in a 2021 interview with the Associated Press that the number of worshippers attending Friday prayers at the mosque dropped to between 800 and 900 in 2021;[23] he attributed the drop to "a natural shift in values", rather than Chinese government policies.[23]

Architecture[edit]

The mosque incorporates architectural features observed in Central Asian, West Asian and to a lesser extent, Chinese architecture.[3] The mosque is centered around the prayer hall and has a courtyard on both sides of it.[24]

The Id Kah Mosque consists of a chapel, a sutra hall, a gate tower and some other auxiliary buildings. The temple gate is made of yellow bricks, the gate is 4.7 meters high, 4.3 meters wide, and the gate building is about 17 meters high. Two 18-meter-high minarets are built asymmetrically on both sides of the gate tower, and a crescent moon stands on the top of the tower. At dawn each day, the imam in the temple will climb the tower five times and call for Muslims to come and worship. Behind the gate tower is a large arch, with a minaret at the top.

Entrance plaque[edit]

Radio Free Asia reported in 2018 that a plaque containing Quranic scriptures, which had long hung outside the front entrance of the mosque, had been removed by authorities. Turghunjan Alawudun of the World Uyghur Congress said that the move was "one aspect of the Chinese regime’s evil policies meant to eliminate the Islamic faith among Uyghurs, to eliminate Uyghur faith, literary works, and language."[25] In May 2020, Radio Free Asia again reported on the removal of the plaque.[25]

Current status[edit]

The Independent and The Globe and Mail have reported that the Id Kah Mosque has been transformed from a working mosque into a tourist attraction.[26][27][28] Henryk Szadziewski from the US-based Uyghur Human Rights Project told Radio Free Asia that while the mosque remains standing, "its disappearance would cause outrage given its importance. The significance of its existence to the Chinese authorities is to demonstrate to the world observance of Uyghurs' religious freedoms."[29] According to Uyghur imam Ali Akbar Dumallah, who fled China in 2012, scenes of small groups of people praying at the Id Kah and other mosques are staged by the government for visitors.[19] According to the World Uyghur Congress, a mass celebration that took place outside Id Kah Mosque during the 2021 celebration Eid al-Fitr was staged as part of a propaganda facade by Chinese authorities to attempt to falsely portray Xinjiang as a region with strong religious freedom and to whitewash its religious repression in the region.[30][31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 旅游词典 (1992). 旅游辭典 (in Chinese). 陕西旅游出版社.
  2. ^ Qi, Xiaoshan (October 1994). Ancient art in Xinjiang, China. 新疆美術攝影出版社. ISBN 9787805472232.
  3. ^ a b Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman (2015). China's Early Mosques. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-7486-7041-3.
  4. ^ S. Frederick Starr (2004). Xinjiang: China's Muslim borderland. M.E. Sharpe. p. 77. ISBN 0-7656-1318-2. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  5. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian crossroads: a history of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  6. ^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911–1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 93. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  7. ^ The British newspaper The Times reported that a turki chief was beheaded on August 25, 1933
  8. ^ Christian Tyler (2004). Wild West China: the taming of Xinjiang. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 116. ISBN 0-8135-3533-6. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  9. ^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911–1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 123. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  10. ^ S. Frederick Starr (2004). Xinjiang: China's Muslim borderland. M.E. Sharpe. p. 79. ISBN 0-7656-1318-2. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  11. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian crossroads: a history of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  12. ^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911–1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 124. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  13. ^ China. Apa Publications. 1997. ISBN 978-0-395-66287-8.
  14. ^ Robert Neville (28 June 2009). "Pourquoi la Chine casse-t-elle Kachgar?". LExpress.fr (in French). L'Express. Archived from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Imam of China's largest mosque killed in Xinjiang". BBC News. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  16. ^ Areddy, James T. (31 July 2014). "State-Appointed Muslim Leader Killed in China". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  17. ^ NEWS, KYODO (23 May 2021). "Ex-Muslim leader at China's biggest mosque in Xinjiang incarcerated". Kyodo News+. Archived from the original on 19 April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Former Muslim leader at China's biggest mosque in Xinjiang incarcerated". The Japan Times. 24 May 2021. Archived from the original on 19 April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  19. ^ a b Moritsugu, Ken; Kang, Dake (6 May 2021). "Will there be any Muslims left among the Chinese Uyghurs?". Christian Science Monitor. Associated Press. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  20. ^ a b "All Quiet on the Western Front -- Beijing Review". www.bjreview.com. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  21. ^ China Report: Political, Sociological and Military Affairs. Foreign Broadcast Information Service. 1985.
  22. ^ Peter Neville-Hadley. Frommer's China. Frommer's, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7645-6755-1. Page 302.
  23. ^ a b c Ken Moritsugu; Dake Kang (6 May 2021). "Ramadan in China: Faithful dwindle under limits on religion | Taiwan News | 2021-05-06 12:20:36". Taiwan News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 19 April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  24. ^ 蔡燕歆 (3 March 2011). Chinese Architecture. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-18644-5.
  25. ^ a b Sintash, Bahram (22 May 2020). "Removal of Islamic Motifs Leaves Xinjiang's Id Kah Mosque 'a Shell For Unsuspecting Visitors'". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  26. ^ Fifield, Anna (25 September 2020). "'Prisons by another name': China is building vast new detention centres for Muslims in Xinjiang". The Independent.
  27. ^ Vanderklippe, Nathan (9 March 2021). "Lawsuit against Xinjiang researcher marks new effort to silence critics of China's treatment of Uyghurs". The Globe and Mail.
  28. ^ Vanderklippe, Nathan (4 November 2019). "'Like a movie': In Xinjiang, new evidence that China stages prayers, street scenes for visiting delegations". The Globe and Mail.
  29. ^ Sintash, Bahram (22 May 2020). "Removal of Islamic Motifs Leaves Xinjiang's Id Kah Mosque 'a Shell For Unsuspecting Visitors'". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  30. ^ "Staged Eid Celebrations Whitewash China's Abusive Policies in Xinjiang: Uyghur Rights Advocate".
  31. ^ Echols, William (20 May 2021). "China's 'Wolf Warriors' Spread Staged Eid al-Fitr Dance Video". Polygraph.info. Retrieved 16 June 2021.

External links[edit]