Muslim Theme Park in China?

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It is usually the condition of Muslims from Xinjiang that gets reported in the media in the West and that is also how the news of Muslims in China reaches Muslims in Muslim majority countries. To change this perception the Chinese Government has been slowly reaching out to Muslim countries in the Middle East and courting them (for Economic reasons) and create a softer image of Muslims in China. The Muslim Theme park being built in Yinchuan is one such effort. Here is an excerpt from a recent article.

Since 1958, Yinchuan, a city 600 miles west of Beijing, has been the capital of the Ningxia region governed by China’s Hui Muslims. Now China’s leaders are spending $3.5 billion to turn it into a “World Muslim City,” replete with a mosque-like “Golden Palace,” Arabic street signs, and an elaborate light and dance show inspired by The Thousand and One Nights, that is, the version in which Aladdin was born in China.

 It’s part of the government’s larger bid to improve relations with the Arab world by emphasizing shared Sino-Arab history and culture.

….

A 900,000 square-foot terminal is being added at the nearby airport to accommodate the hoped-for flocks of Arab tourists. Soon there will be direct flights from Amman and Kuala Lumpur. So far, the park has drawn few visitors. As Beijing continues to crack down on human rights and free expression, China’s Muslim Disneyland comes off as another expensive, ill-conceived PR attempt to artificially beautify a defective civil society.

Here is the link to the whole article from quartz.

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