In 2020, a court ruled that recent additions to the mosque, including a domed roof and minarets, were illegal and should be removed. But when the deconstruction work started over the weekend, local people in Nagu, which is populated by the Hui ethnic group, a predominantly Muslim minority, objected, temporarily halting the works. Videos posted on western social media showed police with riot shields and protective gear clashing with hundreds of protesters outside the mosque. Some of the protesters were throwing chairs and stones. Several people were reportedly arrested.
Another video posted on Twitter showed a man in handcuffs with bruising on his chest, while a woman could be heard complaining about his treatment.