A Chinese county has removed loudspeakers from over 300 mosques after getting noise complaints from neighbours about the call to prayer.
Hualong Hui Autonomous County in China‘s Qinghai province has removed over one thousand loudspeakers over three days.
The removal of the call to prayer has angered muslims in the area who have branded the locals as intolerant. It comes as anti-muslim sentiment rises in China and the Chinese government cracks down on people practicing the Islamic faith.
According to a report by state mouthpiece Global Times on August 21, the loudspeakers were removed due to noise complaints.
Environmental protection inspectors allegedly received complaints about noise pollution from local mosques.
Residents close to the places of worship have complained that Islamic calls to prayer wake them up early in the morning and they claim in some cases have aggravated heart conditions of some patients.
Locals were said to have put their support for the new move in posts online encouraging other governments to do the same.
According to Global Times, the call to prayer ritual is not forbidden and Muslims are ‘free to practice their religion across China.’
However in some areas of China such as Xinjiang, the government has been cracking down on Islamic activities. Now in the province, people under 18 are not allowed to visit the mosque while burqas and ‘Islamic looking’ beards have also been banned.
Peter Irwin, World Uyghur Congress Project Manager told MailOnline: ‘The article tries to show that there is clear support from the local population. Anti-muslim sentiment has been growing in recent years online, so it is of little surprise that it has emerged in this case as well.’
William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International told MailOnline: ‘In China, there are numerous cases where the government is arresting imams on flimsy charges, sending government cadres to people’s homes during Ramadan to ensure they don’t pray and banning outward manifestation of Islamic faith.
‘Seen in this context, it’s highly likely that the move to take down loudspeakers in mosques is a way to ensure Islam literally has a diminished voice in the public square.’