The Xian Grand Mosque in the Muslim Quarters is truly a gem in the city. Set in a garden style with traditional Chinese Architecture (including the rare hanging or cantilever canopy construction which is fast disappearing in China), the mosque welcomes everyone to see how Islam and Chinese traditions can exist side by side without conflict. Too often Muslims in my country decry the display of pictures of animals in Muslim homes, but here, one can see stones carved with tortoises, dragons, birds among the many archways, gates, garden furniture and steps. The Chinese Muslims who come here to pray look so friendly, always with smiles on their faces, as if to say welcome, my brother! unlike those we have back home who often give visitors the unwelcome looks. The gardens are so peaceful and tranquil. We sat on the stone steps and forgot that just outside the wall are noisy buzzing markets. A must see in Xian.
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