The Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam made an apology today after the Kowloon Mosque was stained with blue paint on Sunday. The stuff came from a water cannon that was used to drive the demonstrators apart. Yesterday, tens of thousands again took to the streets to protest against the city-state government. The protests turned into chaos.
Lam visited the mosque on Monday, one of the most important in Hong Kong, before traveling to Japan to attend the homage of the Japanese emperor Naruhito. The imam “accepts” her apology. The police stated that the mosque was accidentally smeared with blue and that it “respects religious freedom and also wants to protect all places of worship.”
Yesterday’s demonstration in the Kowloon district itself went peacefully, but groups of black-clad and masked protesters made the protest end in chaos. Subway stations, Chinese banks and hundreds of stores were destroyed. After a police station was pelted with gasoline bombs, the police intervened and fired tear gas at the rioters.
Elsewhere in Kowloon, the police used water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. A blue liquid emerged from the water cannons, so that the demonstrators remained recognizable. It was this liquid that stained the mosque. The gate and stairs of the prayer house were hit. The Kowloon Mosque is the most important Islamic site in Hong Kong.
The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for almost five months and are often accompanied by violence and destruction. In June mass protests arose because the Hong Kong government wanted to pass a law that would make extradition of suspects to China simple. The Hong Kong government has withdrawn the bill, but the protest movement is now continuing to focus on China’s influence in general.