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Islam and Muslim Minorities in China

  • Rohan Gunaratna
  • Arabinda Acharya
  • Wang Pengxin

Abstract

Islam lies at the heart of the identities of Muslims in China even though issues involving ethnicity and language have been present to varying extents. However, it is difficult to generalize Muslim identity in China due to their wide dispersion throughout the country as well as their divergent nature. The ethnic identity of Uighur is very different from that of the Hui Muslims, many of whom share a number of cultural and demographic traits with the Han Chinese. Even within particular minority groupings, issues involving language and culture have been present to varying degrees. This was the reason Muslim identity could not consolidate on a stronger scale on its own until the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Since then, Beijing’s attempts to integrate minorities have triggered a perception of threat among the Muslims, especially the Uighurs. In fact, reforms in the social, political, and economic areas targeting minorities in general and Muslim minorities in particular had never been unproblematic. The result was the overall perception that the Muslim population in China has deliberately been placed in a position of lesser economic, political, intellectual strength vis-à-vis the Han Chinese than at any time previously. This perception is most manifest in Xinjiang, a region with a substantial Muslim population and a turbulent history.

Keywords

Tarim Basin Qing Dynasty Chinese Communist Party Ming Dynasty Muslim Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Rohan Gunaratna, Arabinda Acharya and Wang Pengxin 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rohan Gunaratna
  • Arabinda Acharya
  • Wang Pengxin

There are no affiliations available

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