Chinese Studies Islam in China
by
Jo Smith Finley
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 June 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 November 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199920082-0121

Introduction

Islam was transmitted to China during the Tang and Song dynasties (618–1279) via the overland and maritime Silk Roads. Arabian and Persian traders built tombs and mosques (combining traditional Arab and Chinese architectures), intermarried with local Chinese, and raised the first generation of Chinese-speaking Muslims. Sino-Muslim scholars of the Ming and Qing dynasties were conversant in Islam, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. In Xinjiang, the picture was a little different. There, local peoples underwent a gradual process of Turkicization and Islamization. In the 10th century, the Qarakhanid kingdom of Kashgar (قَراخانيان; 喀喇汗王朝) was the first Turkic dynasty to convert to Islam. However, the kingdom of Qocho or Qarakhoja (قاراغوج; 高昌) in Turpan remained mainly Buddhist until the 15th century. It was only after the Chagatayid khan Tughluq Tömür (图格鲁格铁木耳) converted to Islam and his son conquered Qocho in the 1390s that the Buddhist Uyghurs began to convert to Islam. In this way, the Mongol conquests played an important role in spreading the Islamic faith. At the end of the Ming, Sufi migrants from Central Asia formed menhuan (门环) in northwestern China (ishan in Uyghur), networks that revolved around a religious leader. In Xinjiang, rival factions of the Sufi Naqshbandi order, the Aqtaghlik Khojas (白山和卓) and the Qarataghlik Khojas (黑山和卓), seized control in the Tarim Basin and Turpan in the 17th century. While the histories of the Sinitic and Turkic Muslims in China are largely separate, they did converge briefly during the Qing, when Muslims from Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, and Yunnan rose against the state in the “Muslim Rebellions.” Since the late 1980s, global flows of Islam have impacted on both communities, inspiring a new wave of Islamic reformism. Prior to 1949, both Sinitic and Turkic Muslims were referred to in Chinese sources as “Hui” (回) or “Hui-hui” (回回). It was only in the 1950s that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) identified ten Muslim groups, which it subdivided into four language families: Sino-Tibetan (Hui), Turkic-Altaic (Uyghur, Kazakh, Dongxiang, Kyrgyz, Salar, Uzbek, and Tatar), Turkic-Mongolian (Bao’an), and Indo-European (Tajik). To further complicate matters, the ethnonym “Uyghur” (ئۇيغۇر;维吾尔) previously used by the Buddhist Uyghurs had fallen into disuse from the 17th century until the 1920s as a result of the Islamic conversion. Use of the terms Uyghur and Hui in the pre-20th century context are thus anachronistic. Finally, one encounters a significant blurring between the “religious” and the “ethnic” when considering Chinese Islam, for that religion is not confined to the realms of theology; rather, it also informs a wide range of everyday practices. Therefore, titles that deal with China’s Muslims holistically are included alongside those that focus specifically on religion.

General Overviews

This section includes three sublists of works that provide a general overview of Islam in China. Chinese-Language Works includes the major secondary sources published in Chinese, English-Language Works includes those published in English, and Works in Other Languages lists those published in other languages.

Chinese-Language Works

A number of monographs by mainland Chinese scholars provide general overviews. Several deal with the rise, spread, and development of Islam in China (Ma 1998, Mi and You 2004, Ding 2003, Jin 1995). Among these, Mi and You 2004 pays special attention to the “ethnicization” process Islam underwent in China, and Ding 2003 to the process of “Islamization” that took place in the Northwest. Two works discuss theology, focusing on belief systems, classical texts, and intellectual schools of thought (Ma 1998, Ding 2003). Others analyze the situation of Islam in China during specific historical periods, such as the Republican era and the early PRC years (Mi and You 2004). Zhang, et al. 1991 is unique in providing rich demographic data on the geographical distribution of Muslim peoples in China (before and after 1949), marriage and family life, birth and death rates, age and gender distributions, educational levels, and structures of employment. Several works explore the cultural characteristics of China’s Muslims, describing cultural properties of Islam in China (Ma Qicheng in Zhongyang minzu xueyuan minzuxuexi yu minzu yanjiusuo 1993, Ding 2003), comparing the Turkic Muslims with the Sino-Muslims (Ma 1998), or focusing on particular ethnic groups (see Zhang, et al. 1991 on the Dongxiang of Gansu, the Hui of Ningxia, and the Uyghurs of Xinjiang; Yibulaxin and Zhang 1993 on the Hui, Uyghur, Kazakh, Dongxiang, Kyrgyz, Salar, Tajik, Uzbek, Bao’an, and Tatar; Tan, et al. 1988 on the fourteen minorities in northwestern China, ten of which follow Islam). Finally, Jin 1995, which deals with Islam across the contemporary world, includes an interesting discussion of the relationship between Chinese Islam and modernization.

  • Ding Mingren (丁明仁). Yisilan wenhua zai Zhongguo (伊斯兰文化在中国). Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2003.

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    This monograph provides an overview of certain aspects of Islamic culture in China, namely, the entry and spread of the religion, processes of religious conversion, cultural characteristics, and intellectual development. It contains four pages of color plates.

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  • Jin Yijiu (金宜九), ed. Dangdai Yisilanjiao (当代伊斯兰教). Beijing: Dongfang chubanshe, 1995.

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    This volume considers the situation of contemporary Islam around the world and contains one chapter on Islam in China.

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  • Ma Qicheng (马启成). Zhongguo Yisilan wenhua leixing yu minzu tese (中国伊斯兰文化类型与民族 特色). Beijing: Zhongyang minzu xueyuan chubanshe, 1998.

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    This monograph provides an overview of the varieties of Islam in China, focusing on its rise and spread, theology (scriptures, beliefs, schools of thought), and cultural characteristics.

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  • Mi Shoujiang (米寿江) and You Jia (尤佳). Zhongguo Yisilanjiao (中国伊斯兰教). Beijing: Wuzhou chuanbo chubanshe, 2004.

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    This monograph provides an overview of Islam in China, outlining its spread and development before focusing on the situation of Islam during the modern and contemporary era.

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  • Tan Guangguang (覃光广), Li Minsheng (李民胜), Ma Biao (马飙), Guo Hui (郭辉), and Meng Xian (蒙宪), eds. Zhongguo shaoshu minzu zongjiao gailan (中国少数民族宗教概览). Beijing: Zhongyang minzu xueyuan chubanshe, 1988.

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    This volume collects together general studies on the different religions practiced by China’s fifty-five minority nationalities and organizes them into separate sections based on geographical region.

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  • Yibulaxin (易卜拉欣), and Zhang Huicheng (张会成). Yisilan wenhua zai Zhongguo: Jianben (伊斯兰文化在中国: 简本). Beijing: Minzu chubanshe, 1993.

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    Simplified edition of a volume dealing with Islamic culture in China. Considers the major Muslim minority nationalities living in China as well as features of China’s Islamic architecture. Contains four pages of color plates.

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  • Zhang Tianlu (张天路), Song Chuansheng (宋传升), and Ma Zhengliang (马正亮). Zhongguo Musilin renkou (中国穆斯林人口). Yinchuan: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1991.

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    This volume on China’s Muslim populations contains a wealth of demographic data relating to Muslim communities in China before and after the establishment of the PRC in 1949.

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  • Zhongyang minzu xueyuan minzuxuexi yu minzu yanjiusuo (中央民族学院民族学系民族硏究所). Minzu zongjiao, lishi, wenhua (民族宗教历史文化). Beijing: Zhongyang minzu xueyuan chubanshe, 1993.

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    This volume brings together essays by a long list of Chinese scholars writing on diverse aspects of religion, history, and culture among China’s various minority nationalities. It contains one essay on Islam in China by Ma Qicheng (马启成).

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English-Language Works

Several English-language general surveys are available, of which Parker 1907 is an early example. Edward Harper Parker, an English barrister and sinologist, possessed “extensive first-hand knowledge of [China] combined with distinguished scholarship, sympathetic understanding, and genius for generalization” (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 50.1 [1918]: 169). Bush 1970, a monograph, has been hailed as the first comprehensive treatment of religions in China following the establishment of the PRC and, unlike the earlier accounts of Christian missionaries, managed to avoid ideological bias. This book found “striking signs of witness to Islam as a universal faith” (p. 267) in northwestern China in the 1950s and describes the state’s various attempts to crush Muslim intellectual resistance. The handbook Schwarz 1984 provided, at time of publication, a long overdue introduction in a Western language to China’s northern minorities, including Turkic Muslim groups and the Sino-Muslims. While the statistics are outdated, it remains a reliable reference work. Lipman 1984 interrogated Islamic society in Gansu, northwestern China, and found that the observed community negotiated a dual sense of belonging, at the same time, to two cultures. On the other hand, Israeli 1984, published in the same volume, found a “continuing incompatibility” between Sino-Muslims and the Chinese (Confucian) social order, with compromise restricted to the sphere of material culture. Israeli’s more than twenty years of work on mainly (though not exclusively) the Sino-Muslims, and their relationship with the Han majority, was later collected in Israeli 2002. In Section 5, he asserts that Hui Muslims had manifested a separate identity long before anthropologists attached academic terms, such as “nationalism,” “ethnicity,” or “ethnonym,” to them, thus rejecting Dru C. Gladney’s theoretical approach to the topic (see Gladney 2004, cited under Social and Cultural Life of Muslims in China: Muslim Identities in China). Finally, two articles, Pillsbury 1981 and Rossabi 1989, provide short, general surveys to various aspects of Islam in China.

  • Aubin, Françoise. “Islam and the State in the People’s Republic of China.” In Islam and the State in the World Today. Edited by Olivier Carré, 159–178. New Delhi: Manohar, 1987.

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    Chapter on Islam in China, included in the English-language (and more current) version of the German-language Der Islam in der Gegenwart, edited by Werner Ende, Udo Steinbach, and Michael Ursinus (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1984). The volume contains twenty-four essays on the religious, political, social, and cultural life of Islamic nations and Islamic immigrant communities elsewhere.

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  • Bush, Richard C. Religion in Communist China. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1970.

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    The first book in English to document the situation of religions in mainland China over the two decades since the Communist revolution of 1949. One chapter dedicated to Islam.

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  • Israeli, Raphael. “Muslims in China: Islam’s Incompatability with the Chinese Order.” In Islam in Asia. Vol. 2, Southeast and East Asia. Edited by Raphael Israeli and Anthony H. Johns, 275–304. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1984.

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    A chapter authored by an Israeli scholar on the cultural dissonance between Islam and Chinese Confucian practice, included in a collection of papers delivered at the Hebrew University in 1977. The collection highlights the varied manifestations of Islam in peripheral areas of the Muslim world and the problems facing Islamic minorities there.

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  • Israeli, Raphael. Islam in China: Religion, Ethnicity, Culture, and Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002.

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    Monograph in five sections, focusing on Chinese Muslims’ struggle for identity and survival (Section 1); processes of sinicization and eclectic adaptation (Section 2); factionalism within Chinese Islam (Section 2); moments of unrest (Section 3); and the growth of Islamic identity in the reform era (Section 4).

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  • Lipman, Jonathan. “Patchwork Society, Network Society: A Study of Sino-Muslim Communities.” Paper presented at an International Conference on Islam in South, Southeast, and East Asia, held April 1977 at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In Islam in Asia. Vol. 2, Southeast and East Asia. Edited by Raphael Israeli and Anthony H. Johns, 246–274. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1984.

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    A chapter by a specialist on Sino-Muslims, included in a collection of papers delivered at the Hebrew University in 1977. The collection highlights the varied manifestations of Islam in peripheral areas of the Muslim world and the problems facing Islamic minorities there.

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  • Parker, Edward H. “Islam in China.” Asiatic Quarterly Review 24 (1907): 64–83.

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    A survey article that describes and translates portions of Chinese historical records and tells the story of Islam in China in an accessible way. Useful resource for the general reader.

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  • Pillsbury, Barbara L. K. “Islam: ‘even unto China.’” Paper presented at a conference “The World of Islam from Morocco to Indonesia,” held in Washington, DC, in June 1980. In Change and the Muslim World. Edited by Philip H. Stoddard, David C. Cuthell, and Margaret W. Sullivan, 106–114. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1981.

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    General chapter on China in a volume that considers Islamic reformism and political violence in the Muslim world.

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  • Rossabi, Morris. “Islam in China.” In The Religious Traditions of Asia. Edited by Joseph M. Kitagawa, 355–374. London: Collier Macmillan, 1989.

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    Chapter on Islam in China in a textbook aimed at university students. Describes the arrival of Islam, diplomacy and warfare, Islam and Mongol rule, peaceful coexistence under the Ming, the Muslim Rebellions during the Qing, Republican Xinjiang (1912–1949), and Islam under the PRC. Contains ten maps.

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  • Schwarz, Henry G. The Minorities of Northern China: A Survey. Bellingham: Western Washington University Press, 1984.

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    A useful handbook in four sections: Section 1 deals with Turkic-Islamic minorities, Section 4 with other minorities, including the Sino-Muslims. The text is subdivided into subject areas, one of which is religion.

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Works in Other Languages

The best available general survey in a European language is Hoppe 1995, which contains chapters on seven Islamic minority nationalities resident in Xinjiang. The final chapter, titled “The Central Asian Culture Syndrome,” is particularly useful as it provides an overview of shared cultural characteristics across the Central Asia region.

  • Hoppe, Thomas. Die ethnischen Gruppen Xinjiangs: Kulturunterschiede und interethnische Beziehungen. Hamburg: Institut für Asienkunde, 1995.

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    Monograph in the German language. Compares and contrasts the cultural characteristics of ethnic groups in Xinjiang, northwestern China (chapter 2 [Uyghurs], chapter 3 [Pamiri Tajiks], chapter 4 [Kyrgyz], chapter 5 [Kazakhs], chapter 7 [Hui], chapter 12 [Tatars], chapter 14 [Uzbeks]).

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Bibliographies

Several good-quality print bibliographies are available. An early example is Pickens 1950, conducted by Claude L. Pickens Junior of the China Inland Mission, and based upon his 1933 and 1936 surveys of Muslims in northwestern China, northeastern Tibet, and Inner Mongolia. While the author evidently had an evangelical as well as a scholarly interest in the Sino-Muslims, the product is extremely valuable. In addition, more than 1,000 photos of Muslims in western China dating from the 1920s and the 1930s can be found in a collection of several hundred books and pamphlets in several languages housed at the Harvard-Yenching Library in the United States. Leslie 1981 is highly expository, finely annotated, and clearly structured in five main sections. These include an introduction, works in Chinese (including fifty-nine works from the Ming-Qing periods); biographies of literary personalities; appendixes, and a postface containing a useful list of Chinese Muslim surnames. Chen and Sa 1990 is a major bibliographic work produced in mainland China, which lists studies in many languages. Part 1 lists Chinese-language works, categorized into sections on religion and philosophy, population, politics and law, economy, culture, science and education, language and script, literature, the arts, minority nationalities, local history, chronicles, archaeology, customs, and geography. Part 2 lists works in minority languages (Uyghur, Kazakh, Mongolian, Kyrgyz, and Xibo). Finally, Part 3 lists works in Western languages, Part 4 works in Russian, and Part 5 works in Japanese. Israeli and Gorman 1994 lists more than four hundred sources in ten categories, as well as the journals devoted to this field. Beyond the above, several monographs include substantial bibliographies. The bibliography in Schwarz 1984 is important because it contains minority-language as well as Chinese-language titles. Gladney 1991 was at time of publication hailed as having one of the most extensive listings of modern sources on the Sino-Muslims. Wang 1996 includes a bibliography of more than three hundred Chinese-language titles. Finally, Section 14 of Nathan Light’s online bibliography (Annotated Bibliography of the History and Culture of Eastern Turkistan) deserves mention.

Reference Works

Encyclopedias are a prominent feature of the academic research environment in mainland China. Here are listed just two examples relevant to the study of Islam. Zhongguo Yisilan baike quanshu bianji weiyuanhui 2007 is an encyclopedia of Islam, divided into two sections, the first of which deals with Islam in the world, and the second with Islam in China. Many subjects are covered, including the spread, history, and development of Islam; Islamic beliefs; Islamic doctrine, theory, and social thought; the Muslim education system; Islamic sects and community organizations; Islamic historical figures and events; holy sites and monuments; and Islamic culture (literature, art, architecture, language, script, calligraphy). Xinjiang baike quanshu bianzuan weiyuanhui 2002 focuses specifically on the region of Xinjiang. While it covers a comprehensive range of subjects, it includes a useful section on religions followed by local peoples over time.

  • Xinjiang baike quanshu bianzuan weiyuanhui (新疆百科全书编纂委员会). Xinjiang baike quanshu (新疆百科全书). Beijing: Zhongguo da baikequanshu chubanshe, 2002.

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    Encyclopedia of Xinjiang. Covers religions in addition to history, geography, natural resources, ethnic groups, politics and law, economy, science, culture, education, medicine, society, environmental protection, and contemporary figureheads. Contains a bibliography of reference materials.

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  • Zhongguo Yisilan baike quanshu bianji weiyuanhui (国伊斯兰百科全书委员会). Zhongguo Yisilan baike quanshu (中国伊斯兰百科全书;al-Mawsūʻah al-Islāmīyah al-Ṣīnīyah; Chinese Encyclopaedia of Islam. Chengdu, China: Sichuan cishu chubanshe, 2007.

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    A complete encyclopedia of Islam, with trilingual captions of entries in Chinese, Arabic, and English. Part of a PRC State Council–approved National Plan (1988–2000) to compile a series of dictionaries and funded by the China Social Science Foundation. Includes ancient and modern entries, presented in an accessible format.

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Collected Source Materials

This section contains a (nonexhaustive) list of collected primary sources. At time of publication, Li and Feng 1985 was considered by far the most comprehensive collection of source materials on Chinese Islam dating from the Republican era. A historical overview contains materials by renowned Muslim scholars Bai Shouyi (白寿彝), Yang Zhijiu (杨志玖), and Jin Jitang (金吉堂) as well as essays by Han historians such as Chen Yuan (陈垣). A section on mosques and monuments assembles materials on the Islamic cultural heritage of Guangzhou, Beijing, and Xinjiang. A section on famous Islamic figures includes material on Wang Daiyu (王岱舆), Ma Fuchu (马复初), Wang Jieran (王浩然), and Ha Decheng (哈德成), plus a brief history of ahongs, and a compilation of the ancient birthplaces of Islam in China. Xing 1986 contains copies of archival records; information about monuments, tombs, and mosques; memoirs; letters; local government reports; and manuscripts. Unusually, it also carries the memoirs and essays (translated into Chinese) of an Englishman and a Frenchman, both of whom were based in Yunnan at the time of the Panthay Rebellion (1856–1873). Liu 2006 presents selected excerpts from the 《Fule zhihui》(Kutadghu Bilig. Knowledge That Gives Happiness), the Chinese-language translation of a didactic political essay in eighty-five chapters written in Qarakhanid (回鹘语, Old Uyghur), the first literary language of the Muslim Turks. This poem is valuable because it expresses, in artistic form, the author’s views on politics and government (justice, fairness, rule of law), and provides vivid characterizations of all aspects of Uyghurs’ lives during the Middle Ages (politics, economy, military matters, law, ethics, philosophy, history, culture, religion, diplomacy, language, astronomy, arithmetic, geography, marriage, and social life). It is generally considered to be the “national epic” of the Uyghurs. Wu and Zhang 2010 is a companion reader to the Collection of Hui Manuscripts, and is designed to provide a detailed summary of its contents to students and others who might not be able to afford to purchase the Collection itself. Finally, while it does not constitute a primary source in itself, Aubin 1986 is an excellent volume to consult when seeking recommendations for the most useful Chinese-language sources for the study of Chinese Islam (especially the classical texts of the 17th and 18th centuries).

  • Aubin, Françoise. “Chinese Islam: In Pursuit of Its Sources.” Central Asian Survey 5.2 (1986): 73–80.

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    An essay that lists the author’s recommended primary sources for the study of Chinese Islam (covers mainly, although not exclusively, the Hui).

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  • Li Xinghua (李兴华), and Feng Jinyuan (冯今源), eds. Zhongguo Yisilanjiaoshi cankao ziliao xuanbian, 1911–1949 [中国伊斯兰教史参考资料选编1911–1949]. Vols. 1 and 2. Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1985.

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    Collection of 197 Islam-related items published in newspapers and periodicals across China between 1911 and 1949 (scholarly articles, surveys, notes, reports, translations). Covers history, mosques and monuments, famous Muslim figures, Islamic sects and networks in northwestern China (Qing, early Republican periods), culture and education, Islamic scriptures and doctrines, and the situation of Islam in different regions.

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  • Liu Bin (刘宾). 《Fule zhihuizhenyan xuancui: Zhong-Ying-Ri-Weiwen duizhao ben (《福乐智慧》箴言选粹: 中英日维文对照本). Wulumuqi, China: Xinjiang kexue jishu chubanshe, 2006.

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    Excerpts from the 《Fule zhihui》(Kutadghu Bilig. Knowledge That Gives Happiness), the first long narrative poem in Turkic literature. Written by the 11th-century poet, scholar, and philosopher Yusup Khas Hajib (ھاجىپ خاس يۈسۈپ,优素甫哈斯哈吉甫), who completed it in Kashgar in 1069–1070, and dedicated it to the Eastern Qarakhanid ruler. Presented in Chinese, English, Japanese, and Uyghur.

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  • Wu Jianwei (吴建伟), and Zhang Jinhai (张进海). Huizu diancang quanshu zongmu tiyao (回族典藏全书总目提要). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 2010.

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    Annotated catalogue of Collection of Hui Manuscripts, a comprehensive collection of primary sources for the study of Islam and Muslim communities in China. Provides a summary for each text, including book title, volume number, authors, content, status, available versions, material, binding, and specifications.

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  • Xing Dexin (荆德新). Yunnan Huimin qiyi shiliao (云南回民起义史料). Kunming, China: Yunnan minzu chubanshe, 1986.

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    Collection of historical materials relating to the Hui uprising in Yunnan, southwestern China (1856–1873).

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Journals

No journals in the English language focus specifically on Islam in China. However, the peer-reviewed publication Journal of Chinese Religions publishes on religions in China more broadly. Supported by the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions (SSCR), it is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on religious practice in China and Chinese communities around the world. Another journal that frequently carries articles on China is the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Its remit is to consider the Muslim minority condition around the world and in all its dimensions—historical, demographic, social, economic, and abstract/conceptual. A third journal that often carries work on China is The Muslim World, which is dedicated to the dissemination of scholarly research on Islam and Muslim societies (as well as on aspects of Christian–Muslim relations). Beyond these, several other English-language journals publish on Islam in general and may occasionally carry studies on China (see Studia Islamica, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, and Journal of Islamic Studies). Two Chinese-language journals merit special mention. 伊斯兰文化 Yisilan wenhua is currently the only scholarly journal in China to focus on Islamic culture. The editors of the second journal, 回族研究Huizu yanjiu, start from the premise that while Hui people have high cultural origins, for historical reasons they have lacked the ability of self-expression. In this context, the journal wishes to publish articles that allow Hui researchers concerned with Hui affairs to exchange ideas and provide a resource for Hui people and government officials to learn about Hui history and culture.

Histories

This section is divided into a number of subsections. They deal, respectively, with the Entry of Islam to China and the religion’s spread from west to east; the Historical Relationship between Islam and Trade in China through China’s history; Islam in China in the Early–Mid-20th Century (According to Christian Missionaries); histories of the Sino-Muslims (Also Known as Tungans, Hui); and histories of the Turkic Muslims of the Northwest.

Entry of Islam to China

This section deals with the manner in which Islam entered China. Chapter 7 in Li 2003 details the early spread of Islam in the Northwest, before focusing on the details of Islamic culture under the Qarakhanid dynasty in Kashgar (قەشقەر; 喀喇汗王朝). A further two rich sources are provided by Japanese historians. Haneda 1978 deals with the Turkicization and Islamization of Xinjiang’s Tarim Basin, showing how Turkic Qarluqs (in old Turkic; 葛逻禄) antagonistic to the Uyghur steppe empire (in today’s Mongolian Republic) moved west to form the Qarakhanid dynasty, the first Turkish-Islamic dynasty in Central Asia (10th–early 13th centuries). Oda 1978 focuses on Islam’s subsequent spread east during the 14th through 16th centuries, illustrating how, while cultural characteristics other than religion were common to all, conversion to Islam meant that the Buddhist Uyghurs of Turpan ceased to be known by the ethnonym “Uyghur.” In Hami, conversely, a joint community persisted for some time, as suggested by the dual Buddhist and Muslim names of Hami princes. With regard to the origins of the Sino-Muslims, a key monograph is Dillon 1999, which emphasizes the settlement of Arab and Persian traders in China ahead of the Islamic conversion. It designates three historical periods as crucial: the Ming (emergence of a permanent Hui community), the Yuan (role of Mongol conquest in transferring Muslims to China), and the Qing (emergence of Sufism). The Chinese-language volume Mi and You 2000 details the arrival, development, and spread of Islam in China, while the same authors focus on the development of Islamic mosques in China and the merging of Islam with traditional Chinese cultures in Mi and You 2004, published in English. Finally, three articles by mainland Chinese scholars emphasize the importance of the Silk Road in facilitating cultural exchange between Eastern and Western civilizations and the peaceful spread of Islam during the Tang-Song periods (Part 2 of Mi and You 2000, Han 2003, Sha 2004).

  • Dillon, Michael. China’s Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. London: Routledge Curzon, 1999.

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    Reconstruction of the history of the Muslim community known today as the Hui, from the earliest days of Islam in China to the present. Section 1 focuses on patterns of Muslim settlement in China.

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  • Haneda, Akira. “The Problems of Turkicization and Islamization of East Turkestan.” Acta Asiatica 34 (1978): 1–21.

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    Article describing the gradual processes by which Xinjiang was first Turkicized and then Islamized, involving the conversion of Buddhist Uyghurs to Islam. Shows how the Islamization of the Qarakhanid Turks in Kashgar took place under the influence of Samanid colonists and merchants from the first Islamic local dynasty of Transoxiana (874–999).

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  • Han Yi (韩毅). “‘Sizhou zhi lu’ yu Tangdai Yisilanjiao chuanru xibei ‘丝绸之路”与唐代伊斯兰教传入西北.’” Qinghai minzu xueyuan xuebao (青海民族学院学报) 29.3 (2003): 59–63.

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    Describes the spread of Islam to northwestern China during the Tang dynasty.

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  • Li Jinxin (李进新). Xinjiang zongjiao yanbianshi (新疆宗教演变史). Urumchi, China: Xinjiang renmin chubanshe, 2003.

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    This monograph considers the history and development of different religions in Xinjiang over time, including Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Shamanism, Manichaeism, and Islam. Contains eight pages of color plates.

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  • Mi Shoujiang (米寿江), and You Jia (尤佳). Zhongguo yisilanjiao jianshi (中国伊斯兰教简史). Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2000.

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    A jointly authored book by mainland Chinese scholars detailing the arrival, development, and spread of Islam in China.

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  • Mi Shoujiang (米寿江) and You Jia (尤佳). Islam in China. Beijing: China Intercontinental Press, 2004.

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    English-language publication by two mainland Chinese scholars. Depicts the introduction of Islam to China, accompanied by green-tinted photos and illustrations.

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  • Oda, Juten. “Uighuristan.” Acta Asiatica 34 (1978): 22–45.

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    Illustrates the gradual transition of belief from Buddhism to Islam in Turpan and Hami, two centers of a region the author calls “Uighuristan,” following the fall of the Yuan dynasty.

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  • Sha Zongping (沙宗平). “Sizhou zhi lu yu Zhongguo Yisilanjiao” (丝绸之路与中国伊斯兰教). Shihezi daxue xuebao (zhexue shehui kexue ban) 石河子大学学报 (哲学社会科学版) 4.3 (2004): 1–6.

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    Describes the spread of Islam to China along the Silk Road.

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Historical Relationship between Islam and Trade in China

The role played by the overland and maritime Silk Roads in spreading Islam and enabling cross-cultural exchange between the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds is well known. Three book chapters published in a collection that emerged from a colloquium held in England in 1967 (Rogers 1970, Hudson 1970, Scanlon 1970) focus on historical trading relationships between China and the Muslim world. A Chinese-language article, Han 2003, describes how ancestors of the contemporary Hui first inherited their commercial traditions from Arab traders, and then introduced their own creative innovations. Finally, Park 2012 is unique in its methodology, analyzing premodern maps to throw light on the respective roles of imperial encounter and maritime trade in cross-cultural exchange between China and the Islamic world from 750 to 1500.

  • Han Yi (韩毅). “Tang-Song shiqu Huihui minzu dui haiwai nongye he yaocaiye pinzhong de yinjin yu shuru” (唐宋时期回回民族对海外农业和药材业品种的引进与输入). Qinghai minzu yanjiu (青海民族研究) 14.4 (2003): 67–72.

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    Describes the Hui contribution to the development of the commercial economy of northwestern China during the Tang-Song period.

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  • Hudson, Geoffrey Francis. “The Medieval Trade of China.” In Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium (Papers on Islamic History II). Papers presented at colloquium held at the Near Eastern History Group, All Souls College, Oxford University, 26–30 June 1967. Edited by Donald S. Richards, 159–168. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970.

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    Explores the role of Islam in the medieval trading relations of China. Included in a collection of surveys of Islamic commercial involvement in Asia.

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  • Park, Hyunhee. Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds: Cross-Cultural Exchange in Pre-modern Asia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139088329Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Well-received monograph authored by a Korean scholar. Considers the extent of premodern Sino-Islamic contact, an exchange enabled by imperial encounter and maritime trade.

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  • Rogers, Michael. “China and Islam: The Archaeological Evidence in the Mashriq.” In Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium (Papers on Islamic History II). Papers presented at colloquium held at the Near Eastern History Group, All Souls College, Oxford University, 26–30 June 1967. Edited by Donald S. Richards, 67–80. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970.

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    Considers the connections between China and Islam based on an analysis of archaeological evidence gathered in the Mashriq. Included in a collection of surveys of Islamic commercial involvement in Asia.

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  • Scanlon, George T. “Egypt and China: Trade and Imitation.” In Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium (Papers on Islamic History II). Papers presented at colloquium held at the Near Eastern History Group, All Souls College, Oxford University, 26–30 June 1967. Edited by Donald S. Richards, 81–96. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970.

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    Considers trading relations between Egypt and China and related patterns of “imitation.” Included in a collection of surveys of Islamic commercial involvement in Asia.

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Islam in China in the Early–Mid-20th Century (According to Christian Missionaries)

Much of our knowledge of Islam in China during the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries comes to us via the writings of missionaries. The best-known is Broomhall 2007 [1910], authored by a British Protestant Christian missionary with the China Inland Mission. Broomhall argued that, prior to the persecutions, massacres, and uprisings of the 19th century, China’s five or ten million Muslims had been equal before the law with other religionists. Since that time, however, the Muslim had been “hedged about with restrictions much like those the Jew suffers in Russia” (p. 783). As someone who sought the conversion of Chinese Muslims to Christianity, this author advocated sending Arabic-speaking missionaries to China. Yet, evangelical aims notwithstanding, the book contains a wealth of valuable descriptions, illustrations, and images. Beyond this, the journal The Muslim World carried numerous articles authored by missionaries, among them one written by founder and editor Samuel Marinus Zwemer. Zwemer 1918 is an account written after the author’s visit to China in 1917. Rhodes 1921 is authored by the secretary to the Moslem Committee of the China Continuation Committee, a man who had worked with Muslim communities in China for more than twenty years. Finally, Botham 1924 asserts that the “real unifying forces of Islam” find their source in China’s Northwest. Another, similar work is Andrew 1932, which characterizes northwestern Gansu as the home of the Hwei-hwei (Sino-Muslims)—a people “as foreign in origin as those who are today visitors to the country” (p. 89). Finally, it is important to mention Mateer 1919, an article that involves proselytizing of a different sort: Mateer, himself a “Mohammedan,” advocates the active diffusion by Muslim scholars of the tenets of Islam throughout China.

Sino-Muslims (Also Known as Tungans, Hui)

High-quality histories of the Sino-Muslims exist in both Chinese and English. One prominent theme within these is the debate over the term Hui. In Bai 2003, a Sino-Muslim scholar writes that the term came to exclude Turkic-speaking Muslims after 1941, following redefinition by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Lipman 1997 problematizes the notion of the “Hui” as a discrete ethnic group. Preferring the term Sino-Muslim, the author stresses that Chinese-speaking Muslims have been an inseparable (if anomalous) part of Chinese society for centuries, distinct from China’s Turkic Muslims who are not Chinese speaking. A second theme is the role of ancient trading relations in bringing Muslims to China. Bai 2003 argues that the contemporary Hui are descendants of Muslim trading communities active in China during the Tang (618–907) and Song (960–1279) dynasties. Yang 2002 consults local gazetteers to reveal the large number of Muslim (Semu色目,lit. “colored eyes”) households in Zhenjiang, a major commercial center of eastern China during the Yuan dynasty. A third theme is the role of Muslim figureheads in the consolidation of Islam in China. Dillon 1999 traces the transferral of Muslims to China by Mongol invaders (see also Yang 2002), the stories of early Muslim leaders who contributed to the rise of Ming rule (see also Chang 1988, which claims that Emperor Ming Tai-ts’u, his wife, advisers, and generals were of Semu origin), and the emergence of Sufism during the Qing. The discursive local history Lin and He 1992 is of special interest, being conceived by two advocates for local Islamic historians working in Yunnan, Ningxia, and Gansu. Finally, two histories focus particularly on the Muslims of Yunnan. Wang 1996 covers the late 16th to mid-19th centuries. Combining historical and folkloric sources with “recall ethnography” (interviews with elderly Hui), the author concludes that the Han–Hui relationship in Yunnan is “dynamic and dialectical,” simultaneously producing concord and conflict. It contests Israeli’s argument (see Israeli 1984, cited under General Overviews: English-Language Works) that China is inherently hostile to Islam. Finally, Atwill 2005 focuses on the Panthay Rebellion and the seventeen years of the Dali Sultanate, which ruled from 1856 to 1873. Eschewing traditional interpretations that represent Muslim Yunnanese as a political threat, Atwill places the insurrection in a broader, multiethnic borderland context.

  • Atwill, David G. The Chinese Sultanate: Islam, Ethnicity, and the Panthay Rebellion in Southwest China, 1856–1873. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005.

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    Study of the Muslim-led Panthay Rebellion, one of five mid-19th-century rebellions to threaten the Chinese imperial court. Contrasts the views of Yunnan held by the imperial court with local and indigenous perspectives and explores the strong ties between the Muslim Yunnanese and Southeast Asia/Tibet.

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  • Bai Shouyi (白寿彝), ed. Zhongguo Huihui minzu shi (中国回回民族史). Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 2003.

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    History of the origins of the term Huihui and of the groups associated with it.

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  • Chang, Yusuf. “The Ming Empire: Patron of Islam in China and Southeast-West Asia.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 61.2 (1988): 1–44.

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    Described by the author as a rewriting of essential parts of Ming history with the goal of exposing the truth, this article claims the Muslim Hui origins of the Ming emperor Ming Taizu.

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  • Dillon, Michael. China’s Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. London: Routledge Curzon, 1999.

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    A history of the Hui in three sections, the first of which concentrates on characteristics of settlement and the important role played by Sufism during the Qing dynasty.

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  • Lin Song (林松), and He Yan (和龑). Huihui lishi yu Yisilan wenhua (回回历史与伊斯兰文化). Beijing: Jinri Zhongguo chubanshe, 1992.

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    Co-authored discursive history of Islamic culture in local Hui communities.

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  • Lipman, Jonathan. Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.

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    History of the Muslims of northwestern China. Explores acculturation/accommodation, connections (to the divine, other Muslim communities within China, the outside world of Islam, Sufi revivalism in the Arabian Peninsula), resistance, and integration. Analyzes primary and secondary sources in several languages.

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  • Wang Jianping. Concord and Conflict: The Hui Communities of Yunnan Society in a Historical Perspective. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1996.

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    Historical ethnography. Examines the degree to which Hui Muslims in Yunnan are socially and culturally integrated with the majority Han, but also the extent to which Islamic beliefs place them in conflict with Chinese civilization. Of interest to political scientists, anthropologists, historians, and scholars of Islam.

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  • Yang Zhijiu (杨志玖). Yuandai Huizu shi gao (元代回族史稿). Tianjin, China: Nankai daxue chubanshe, 2002.

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    Chinese-language monograph on the situation of Muslim communities in China during the Yuan dynasty, written by a Yuan specialist.

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Turkic Muslims

English-language histories of the Turkic Muslims tend to come in the form of histories of Xinjiang/Chinese Central Asia, in recognition of increasing Chinese political dominance over recent centuries. To date, only one full survey history of Xinjiang (Millward 2007) exists. However, several works study the political, economic, and sociocultural situation in the region during specific periods. Millward 1998 is an economic history of Xinjiang during the period of Qing expansion. Two political histories dealing with Republican Xinjiang reach different conclusions. Among the protagonists behind the two short-lived independent states in Xinjiang (the Turkish-Islamic Republic of Eastern Turkestan in the 1930s and the East Turkestan Republic in the 1940s), Forbes 1986 distinguishes discrete segments that identified either with Turkic nationalism/Islamic traditionalism or with pro-Soviet, secular, progressive ideologies. It is that author’s view that secular ideologies dominated. On the other hand, Benson 1990 asserts that Turkic nationalism and Islamic solidarity played greater roles than Soviet aid, advice, and economic ties in the success of the East Turkestan Republic (1944–49). Kim 2004 is the first work to reconstruct the local Muslims’ viewpoint at the time of the Kashgar Emirate (1864–1877) in analyzing Turkestani lithography, among other source materials. Thum 2014 builds on this approach by focusing on local meanings of Islam for the Turkic peoples of the Altishahr (southern Xinjiang) during the past 250 years. Based on an analysis of local manuscripts, it shows how, partly insulated from the rest of the Islamic world, they incorporated elements of Semitic, Iranic, Turkic, and Indic traditions into their religious life. Some of the available Chinese-language works also focus on the people rather than the geographical region. Among them are Su and Huang 1993, which describes Islam under the rule of the Hami Uyghur princes (chapter 4), and Tuoheti 1995, which deals with the Islamization of the Tarim Basin in the latter 10th century (chapter 8), the Qarakhanid dynasty (喀喇汗王朝, 840–1230) (chapter 4), and the Yarkand Moghul khanate (叶尔羌汗国1514–1678) (chapter 6).

  • Benson, Linda. The Ili Rebellion: The Moslem Challenge to Chinese Authority in Xinjiang, 1944–1949. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1990.

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    Analyzes the establishment of a small independent Islamic state (the East Turkestan Republic, or ETR) in Xinjiang between 1944 and 1949, as well as the Chinese Nationalist government’s response to Turkic Muslim nationalism on the northwestern frontier.

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  • Forbes, Andrew D. W. Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang, 1911–1949. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

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    Based on a wealth of Turkic, Arabic, Chinese, English, German, and other European-language materials, this volume provides a detailed analysis of the complexities of ethnic politics in Xinjiang during the Republican period.

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  • Kim Ho-dong. Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864–1877. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.

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    Revision of the author’s PhD dissertation (“The Muslim Rebellion of the Kashgar Emirate in Chinese Central Asia, 1864–1877,” Harvard University, 1986). Presents the Yaqub Beg Emirate as a territorial, commercial, and political break in modern Chinese history. Draws on Chinese administrative archives, Russian military reports, Japanese studies, and Turkestani lithography.

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  • Millward, James A. Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity, and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759–1864. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998.

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    Focusing on a region of the Qing Empire situated beyond the borders of China proper, and treating the empire in its broader context as an Inner Asian political entity, this book examines the fiscal and ethnic policies that underlay Qing imperial control over Xinjiang.

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  • Millward, James A. Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. London: Hurst, 2007.

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    The first comprehensive survey history of Xinjiang. Of particular interest to scholars of Islam are chapter 2 on “the Uyghur Kingdom” (9th–16th centuries) and the Islamization of the Central Asian Turks. The author then shows how by the 16th–19th centuries, Islamization had linked Xinjiang to Central and South Asia and how Sufi traditions had taken root in the Tarim Basin.

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  • Su Beihai (苏北海), and Huang Jianhua (黄建华). Hami, Tulufan Weiwu’er wang lishi (哈密、吐鲁番维吾尔王历史). Urumchi, China: Xinjiang daxue chubanshe, 1993.

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    A co-edited book in two sections, the first looking at the history of the Uyghur princes of Hami (Uy. Qumul), the second at that of the Uyghur princes of Turpan. Covers religious institutions, mosques and the mosque economy, religious schools, the religious system and laws, and what the authors dub (perhaps with a degree of partisanship) “economic exploitation.”

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  • Thum, Rian. The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.

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    Demonstrates how Uyghurs constructed a unique local history over the past 250 years, shaped by manuscripts, pilgrimage, and the veneration of Islamic saints.

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  • Tuoheti, Mozhati (拓和提莫扎提; Mujat Tokhti). Weiwu’er lishi wenhua yanjiu (维吾尔历史文化研究). Beijing: Minzu chubanshe, 1995.

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    Monograph written in Chinese by a Uyghur scholar on selected aspects of Uyghur history and culture. A section on the Qarakhanids discusses holy war, and two important texts produced during the period: the Fule zhihui 《福乐智慧》and the Tujueyu da cidian 《突厥語大詞典》(Dīwān lughāt al-Turk by Maḥmūd Kāshgarī). Contains six pages of color plates.

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Intellectual Development of Islam

This section includes works focused on the intellectual development of Islam in China. It is divided into three subsections, namely, Phases of Intellectual Development, Muslim scholarship and famous Muslim Scholars in China, and Sufi Factions (and Factionalism) in China.

Phases of Intellectual Development

Good-quality works on Muslim intellectual development in China cover most historical periods, the majority published in Chinese and focusing on the Sino-Muslims. Ma 1983 analyzes the long-term development of Islam in three stages: the Dashifa (大师法Arab law: Tang and Song dynasties), the Huifa (回法Hui law: Yuan dynasty), and the Huijiao/Qingzhenjiao (回教Hui religion/ 清真教 “Pure and True Religion”: Ming and Qing dynasties). Two co-edited books, Mi and You 2000 and Mi and You 2004, cover transformations in Chinese Islam occurring during the Yuan and early Ming periods, in particular the process of “ethnicization” Islam underwent. Yang, et al. 1988 makes available Zhao Can’s important history of the evolution of jingtang (scripture hall) education (经堂教育), its scholars, and its scribes during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Dillon 1999 is the first attempt in English to provide a comprehensive outline of the different Sufi sects and orders in China (orthodox Gedimu 格迪目, Ikhwani 伊赫瓦尼), and demonstrates the importance of membership in a Sufi order in the transmission and preservation of Islam in China. Ma 1998 focuses particularly on the Islamic classical texts, belief systems, and intellectual schools of thought in China. Mi and You 2000 is alone in considering the ongoing development of Islam in the contemporary era. One work that focuses on the development of Islam in Xinjiang is Li 2003. It concentrates on three historical periods, including the Qarakhanid dynasty (قَراخانيان; 喀喇汗王朝), the East Chagatai khanate (东察合台汗国), and the period of Khoja (خوجا;和卓) rule in the Tarim Basin. A second work, Reichl 2001–2002, explores the prominence of Islamic elements (Muslim heroes and Sufi saints) in Uyghur epic poems.

  • Dillon, Michael. China’s Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. London: Routledge Curzon, 1999.

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    Reconstruction of the history of the Muslim community known today as the Hui. Contains three chapters on the intellectual history of Sufism in China.

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  • Li Jinxin (李进新). Xinjiang zongjiao yanbianshi (新疆宗教演变史). Urumchi, China: Xinjiang renmin chubanshe, 2003.

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    History of religious beliefs in Xinjiang. See chapter 7 on Islamic culture among the Qarakhanids; chapter 10 on Islam during the period of the East Chagatai khanate; chapter 12 on Islam among the Kazakh, Krygyz, and Tajik groups; and chapter 14 on Islam during the period of Khoja rule. Eight pages of color plates.

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  • Ma Qicheng (马启成). “A Brief Account of the Early Spread of Islam in China.” Social Sciences in China 4 (1983): 97–113.

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    English-language analysis of the series of implantations of Islam in China. Also published in Chinese in伊斯兰教在中国Yisilanjiao zai Zhongguo (Yinchuan, China: Ningxia Popular Press, 1982).

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  • Ma Qicheng (马启成). Zhongguo Yisilan wenhua leixing yu minzu tese (中国伊斯兰文化类型与民族 特色). Beijing: Zhongyang minzu xueyuan chubanshe, 1998.

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    Exploration of Islam as a belief system, a social force, and a cultural phenomenon.

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  • Mi Shoujiang (米寿江) and You Jia (尤佳). Zhongguo yisilanjiao jianshi (中国伊斯兰教简史). Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2000.

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    Part 3 covers transformations in Chinese Islam occurring during the Yuan and early Ming periods, while Part 4 considers the ethnicization of Islam in China and Part 5 the further development of Islam in the contemporary era.

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  • Mi Shoujiang (米寿江) and You Jia (尤佳). Zhongguo Yisilanjiao (中国伊斯兰教). Beijing: Wuzhou chuanbo chubanshe, 2004.

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    Contains sections on the development of Islam in China, including the process of ethnicization it underwent.

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  • Reichl, Karl. “Hero and Saint: Islamic Elements in Uighur Oral Epics.” In Special Issue: Saints and Heroes on the Silk Road. Edited by Thierry Zarcone, Ekrem Icin, and Arthur Buehler. Journal of the History of Sufism (2001–2002): 7–24.

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    Article dealing with Islamic elements of Uyghur epic poetry. Part 1 of this special issue contains ten articles on Sufism in Xinjiang.

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  • Yang Yongchang (杨永昌), Ma Jizu (马继组), and Biao Zhu (标注), eds. Jingxue xi chuan pu (经学系传谱). Xining, China: Qinghai renmin chubanshe, 1988.

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    Edited volume presenting the history of the study of Islam in China, as authored by Zhao Can (赵灿), a Hui Muslim scholar who lived during the reign of Qing emperor Kang Xi.

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Muslim Scholars in China

This section includes studies either penned by, or analyzing the work of, the most prominent and highly esteemed Sino-Muslim scholars. Among those penned by the scholars themselves are Wang 1648, which is a key work by Wang Daiyu (王袋舆 c. 1590–1658). This author used the Chinese classical texts as a tool to help Chinese-speaking Muslims understand Islam texts in a context in which most could not read them in their original languages. He firmly believed in providing Islamic works in Chinese-language versions rather than depending upon the Arabic-language texts. He also employed the Chinese language and Confucian concepts as a means to explain Islam to non-Muslim Han, though not with the aim of converting them. Several English-language analyses of the intellectual thought of Wang Daiyu and a second eminent scholar, Liu Zhi (刘智 c. 1670–1724) are available. Petersen 2013 undertakes a close reading of the original sources to establish the intellectual influence of authors affiliated with the Kubrawi Sufi order on Wang Daiyu’s explanation of Islam. Murata, et al. 2009 shows how Liu Zhi’s Tianfang xingli (天方性理 Nature and Principle in Islam), while heavily influenced by classic texts in the Sufi tradition, was yet distinct from the work of other Muslim scholars in addressing the basic articles of Islamic thought with Neo-Confucian terminology and categories. Frankel 2011 shows how Liu Zhi interpreted the outer and inner manifestations of Islam through the vocabulary of Buddhism, Daoism, and Neo-Confucianism, and thereby turned Islamic monotheism into an intelligible Chinese worldview. Both Wang’s and Liu’s works would eventually become part of the corpus of Chinese Islamic written material known as the “Han Kitab汉克塔布,” a collection of literature that synthesized Islam and Confucianism. Benite 2005 reconstructs the network of Muslim scholars responsible for the Han Kitab and situates its creation amid intense dialogue between those scholars and China’s imperial rulers. Finally, several Chinese-language works provide biographical information and analysis of Sino-Muslim intellectuals during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing periods (chapter 10 of Ding 2003; Bai and Yang 1985, Bai and Yang 1988, and Bai and Yang 1991). Among these, Ding 2003 also considers key intellectual figures in Chinese Islam during the modern and contemporary periods.

  • Bai Shouyi (白寿彝), and Yang Huaizhong (杨怀中), eds. Huizu renwu zhi: Yuandai (回族人物志: 元代). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1985.

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    Introduces Hui intellectual figures from the Yuan period.

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  • Bai Shouyi (白寿彝) and Yang Huaizhong (杨怀中), eds. Huizu renwu zhi: Mingdai (回族人物志: 明代). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1988.

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    Introduces Hui intellectual figures from the Ming period.

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  • Bai Shouyi (白寿彝), and Yang Huaizhong (杨怀中), eds. Huizu renwu zhi: Qingdai (回族人物志: 清代). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1991.

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    Introduces Hui intellectual figures from the Qing period.

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  • Benite, Zvi Ben-Dor. The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China. Harvard East Asian Monographs 248. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    Documents an Islamic-Confucian school of scholarship that flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Yangzi Delta. Demonstrates how study of the Islamic classics was considered a rightful “school” within the Confucian intellectual landscape.

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  • Ding Mingren (丁明仁). Yisilan wenhua zai Zhongguo (伊斯兰文化在中国). Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2003.

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    Introduces the entry and spread of Islamic culture in China, as well as the languages, scripts, architectural styles, spiritual life, clothing, food culture, handicrafts, music, and dance culture of China’s Muslims. Contains one chapter on important Muslim intellectuals in China.

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  • Frankel, James. Rectifying God’s Name: Liu Zhi’s Confucian Translation of Monotheism and Islamic Law. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011.

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    An introduction to the dynamic relationship between Chinese and Islamic systems of thought via the translation of Sino-Muslim scholar Liu Zhi’s most famous text, Tianfang Dianli (天方典禮 Rituals of Islam), which dates from 1760.

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  • Murata, Sachiko, William C. Chittick, and Tu Weiming. The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2009.

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    Study of Liu Zhi’s Tianfang xingli (天方性理 Nature and Principle in Islam), an important work of philosophy and psychology that focuses on the roots or principles of Islam through a Neo-Confucian lens. This work provided a detailed exposition of the “Large World” (the universe or material world) and the “Small World” (the psychological or spiritual world).

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  • Petersen, Kristian. “The Heart of Wang Daiyu’s Philosophy: The Seven Subtleties of Islamic Spiritual Physiology.” Journal of Sufi Studies 2 (2013): 177–201.

    DOI: 10.1163/22105956-12341254Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares Wang Daiyu’s analysis of the spiritual nature of the heart in The True Explanation of the Orthodox Teaching (Zhengjiao zhenquan 正教真詮, 1642) with the classification of multiple levels of the heart developed by authors affiliated with the Kubrawi Sufi order, namely, Najm al-Dīn Rāzī (d. 1256) and Nūr al-Dīn Isfarāyīnī (d. 1317).

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  • Wang Daiyu (王袋舆). Qingzhen daxue (清真大学). 1648.

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    Original work uploaded to the web by Kristian Petersen on 11 March 2012. Authored by a famous Sino-Muslim scholar known in Chinese Islamic circles by the laudatory title “Great Saint of the Qing Period.”

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Sufi Factions (and Factionalism) in China

Two Chinese-language works provide in-depth treatments of Sufi factions and factionalism within Islamic communities in China. Mian 1981 introduces and explains the emergence, development, and practices of religious self-cultivation associated with the Gedimu (格迪目), Khafiya (虎夫耶), Jahriyya (哲赫忍耶), Qadiriyya (尕德忍耶), and Ikhwani (伊赫瓦尼) sects, based on survey data carried out in Ningxia Province at the end of the 1950s. Ma 2000 draws upon a large volume of empirical data, including interviews with the leaders of sects and networks as well as documented family histories and local histories, to outline the history of Islam in China (Volume 1), the systems and historic events related to the three main Islamic sects, and the four Sufi intellectual schools (Volumes 2 and 3). In addition, two English-language works explore sectarian conflicts. Israeli 2002 is a general exploration of the factionalism that has characterized the doctrinal, social, and political diversity of Chinese Muslims (see Section 2). Finally, Togan 2001 is a specific study of factionalism among the White Mountain (白山) and Black Mountain Khojas (黑山和卓) of Xinjiang’s Tarim Basin.

  • Israeli, Raphael. Islam in China: Religion, Ethnicity, Culture, and Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002.

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    A collection of more than twenty years of Israeli’s scholarship on Chinese Muslims and their relationship with the non-Muslim Han majority. Contains material on Islamic sectarianism in China.

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  • Ma Tong (马通). Zhongguo Yisilan jiaopai yu menhuan zhidu shilüe (中国伊斯兰教派与门环制度史略). 3d ed. Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 2000.

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    Book in three volumes. Focuses on the close connection to Islam of minority nationalities in the Northwest and the spread and influence of Islamic networks and orders. Detailed reference work on the history, doctrine, and status of Islam in China. Suitable for scholars and the general reader.

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  • Mian Weilin(勉维霖)Ningxia Yisilan jiaopai gaiyao (宁夏伊斯兰教派概要). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1981.

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    Preliminary outline of the five main Sufi orders found in Ningxia Province, northwestern China.

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  • Togan, Isenbike. “Differences in Ideology and Practice: The Case of the Black and White Mountain Factions.” In Special Issue: Saints and Heroes on the Silk Road. Edited by Thierry Zarcone, Ekrem Icin, and Arthur Buehler. Journal of the History of Sufism 3 (2001): 25–38.

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    Article dealing with Sufi factionalism in south Xinjiang. Part 1 of this special issue contains ten articles on Sufism in Xinjiang.

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Social and Cultural Life of Muslims in China

This section is not intended to be exhaustive; rather, it covers some key areas of scholarship that have emerged in the field in relation to the sociocultural practices of Muslims in China. These include a large body of work on identity formation, evolution, and expression; an impressive body of on-the-ground ethnographic studies; and emerging strengths in gendered aspects of Islam and in Islamic education in China.

Muslim Identities in China

Owing to the assimilatory forces attendant to the incorporation of borderland territories and minority groups into the Chinese nation, much research has focused on the ethnic, religious, sociocultural, and/or political identities of Muslims in terms of their binary relationship with the majority Han (state and people). Mackerras 1995 considers the tensions between identity and integration of Muslim minority communities. Gladney 2004 employs postcolonial concepts, such as the “minority subaltern,” to conceptualize both minority and majority Han identities. In terms of works that focus specifically on Turkic Muslim identity, Geng 1984 is an important early exposition of Uyghur ethnogenesis, which shows how two sets of literary languages (northern ones in Uyghur script and southern ones in Arabic script) gradually yielded to a single written language known as Chagatai (察合台语, modern Uyghur). It suggests that, partly as a result of this linguistic unity, the Tarim Basin was politically unified, and Islam preeminent, under the Kashgar Emirate (哲德沙尔汗国1864–77). Cesàro 2000 analyzes how Uyghurs draw on Muslim dietary prescriptions as a means to reinforce in- and out-group boundaries. Erkin 2009 highlights the emergence of a modern and culturally, religiously, and linguistically distinct Uyghur identity, based on consumption (foodstuffs, entertainment, real estate) in a context of assimilative state development policies. Bellér-Hann, et al. 2007 advocates a different approach to Uyghur sociocultural identity, extricating it from the Chinese political context and viewing it instead as a complex hybrid located between the Central Asian and Chinese worlds (and emphatically closer to Central Asia). Smith Finley 2013 combines the two approaches to characterize contemporary Uyghur identities as not only involving an interplay between longstanding intragroup sociocultural commonalities (permeated by Central Asian Islam), but also informed by a more recent sense of common enmity toward the Han people. Turnbull 2014 is a recent study that takes a nuanced look at the diversity of processes of identity formation in Sino-Muslim communities —even within a single province or nationality—to show how they involve locally produced “authenticities” situated within a global understanding of Islam.

  • Bellér-Hann, Ildikó, M. Cristina Cesàro, Rachel Harris, and Joanne Smith Finley, eds. Situating the Uyghurs between China and Central Asia. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

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    Comparative and interdisciplinary volume focusing on the political and cultural “in-betweenness” of Uyghur social and cultural identities. Part 3 deals with Uyghur Islam (Bellér-Hann on life-cycle rituals, Dawut on shrine pilgrimage, and Waite on contemporary Muslim reformism).

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  • Cesàro, M. Cristina. “Consuming Identities: Food and Resistance among the Uyghur in Contemporary Xinjiang.” Inner Asia 2.2 (2000): 225–238.

    DOI: 10.1163/146481700793647850Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Posits the centrality of social and cultural aspects of food in identity construction and boundary-setting processes among Uyghurs in contemporary Xinjiang.

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  • Erkin, Adilä. “Locally Modern, Globally Uyghur: Geography, Identity and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Xinjiang.” Central Asian Survey 28.4 (2009): 417–428.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634930903577169Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Produced by a US-born Uyghur postgraduate, who conducted ethnographic research in the Uyghur district of Urumchi. Articulates the transformation of the traditional Uyghur culture into a popular contemporary Uyghur culture that thrives on processes of globalization.

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  • Geng Shimin. “On the Fusion of Nationalities in the Tarim Basin and the Formation of the Modern Uighur Nationality.” Central Asian Survey 3.4 (1984): 1–14.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634938408400484Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Plots the gradual formation over time of the modern Uyghur nationality, showing that the Tarim Basin of today’s Xinjiang was unified politically, economically, religiously, culturally, and linguistically by the late 15th and first half of the 16th centuries.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities and Other Subaltern Subjects. London: Hurst, 2004.

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    Combines previously published work on Hui communities with new material gathered in Xinjiang and Istanbul (among Uyghurs in exile). Considers the status, representation, and diversity of Hui and Uyghur Muslims using theories from contemporary anthropology (postcolonial and subaltern studies). Key sections are chapter 8 on “dialogic” conversations between minority and state discourses and chapter 9 on “relational alterities.”

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  • Mackerras, Colin. China’s Minority Cultures: Identities and Integration since 1912. New York: St. Martin’s, 1995.

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    An analysis of ethnic identities and integration in the histories of China’s minority nationalities (with a focus on Islamic, Tibetan, and Korean communities) from 1912 to 1955. See especially chapter 2, “Religion, 1912–1949,” and chapter 6, “Religion among the Minority Nationalists, 1949–1995.”

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  • Smith Finley, Joanne. The Art of Symbolic Resistance: Uyghur Identities and Uyghur–Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1163/9789004256781Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A longitudinal study of evolving Uyghur identities and Uyghur–Han relations. See chapter 2 on stereotypes derived from Islamic social and cultural norms, chapter 3 on the foregrounding of Islam in interethnic boundaries, chapter 5 on Islamic renewal since 2000, and chapter 6 on the role of Islam in the enforcement of a selective endogamy.

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  • Turnbull, Lesley. “In Pursuit of Islamic ‘Authenticity’: Localizing Muslim Identity on China’s Peripheries.” Edited by John Lie and Sungtaek Cho. In Special Issue: Islam in China/China in Islam. Cross-Currents E-Journal 12 (September 2014).

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    Investigates how trans/national discourses and practices of Islamic authenticity are localized in Yunnan’s provincial capital of Kunming versus the rural enclave of Shadian. The special issue stems from a conference “The Everyday Life of Islam: Focus on Islam in China,” held at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2012.

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Ethnographies of Muslims in China

Several valuable fieldwork-based ethnographies of China’s Muslim communities exist, although there are fewer on the Hui than on the Uyghur. Gladney 1991 is a pioneering work that draws a comparison between a Hui homestead in the Northwest and a Hui urban enclave in Beijing to highlight parallel trends of ethno-religious resurgence and unity and diversity. Gillette 2000 studies a contemporary Hui Muslim community in Xi’an (Northwest China), where, in the context of Islamic revival in a society where pork and secularism are the norm, eating becomes “a political act.” Ethnographies of the Uyghurs include Häbibulla 1993, a Uyghur-language monograph by a Uyghur scholar, chapter 12 of which (“Uyghurlarning diniy etiqadi”) explores religious beliefs, customs, and practices. Two articles by Sean Roberts are indicative of identity dilemmas being played out in borderland Uyghur communities. Roberts 1998a focuses on revival of the all-male Uyghur gathering known as the mäshräp, characterized as an indigenously produced vehicle for the debate of Uyghur cultural practice and a “deterritorialized ritual space” inhabited in the absence of statehood. Roberts 1998b considers “oppositional constructions” of identity among consecutive waves of Uyghur migrants to Kazakhstan, embodied in three Uyghur-language designations: yerliklar (“locals,” born in Kazakhstan), keganlar (“newcomers,” those who came—or whose parents came—to Kazakhstan in the 1950s–1960s), and khitailiklar (“those from China,” sojourners who come to work or trade). Bellér-Hann 2008 is a pioneering historical anthropology of the Uyghurs, which gives substance to the concept of “tradition,” which modern Uyghurs invoke when constructing their collective identity. Dautcher 2009 is a “thick description” of a Uyghur community in Yining (伊宁, Ghulja), north Xinjiang, which examines how identities are organized around place, gender, family relations, friendships, occupation, and religious practice. Smith Finley 2013 considers contemporary Uyghur identities and Uyghur–Han relations, proposing a complex interplay between Sartrean notions of “We-hood” (longstanding intragroup sociocultural commonalities, permeated by Islam) and “Us-hood” (common enmity toward Han Chinese).

  • Bellér-Hann, Ildikó. Community Matters in Xinjiang, 1880–1949: Towards a Historical Anthropology of the Uyghur. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004166752.i-477Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A historical anthropology of the Uyghur of Xinjiang, spanning the era from the late 19th century to 1949, paying particular attention to the domestic domain and to life-cycle and religious rituals. Synthesizes Western and local materials, early ethnographic and primary accounts.

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  • Dautcher, Jay. Down a Narrow Road: Identity and Masculinity in a Uyghur Community. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

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    An anthropological and folkloric “thick description” of social life during the 1990s in a Uyghur neighborhood in Ghulja (Ch. Yining), north Xinjiang. A close documentation of social and cultural interactions in everyday life, with special emphasis on male identities and gender norms. Section 4 explores social dimensions of Islamic practice.

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  • Gillette, Maris B. Between Mecca and Beijing: Modernization and Consumption among Urban Chinese Muslims. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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    A portrait of urban Hui lives in post-Mao Xi’an. Demonstrates how a small minority group can survive and maintain its values in the face of intolerance by the dominant culture. Chapter 3 focuses on mosques, Qur’anic education, and the contemporary phenomenon of Arabization.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.

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    A pioneering anthropological study of the Hui Muslim minority in the PRC, based on three years of fieldwork. Brings ethnographic data together with existing scholarship on Hui history, society, and literature to produce a vivid picture of Hui life and attitudes.

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  • Häbibulla, Abdurahim. Uyghur Etnografiyisi. Urumchi, China: Shinjang khälq näshriyati, 1993.

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    A key ethnographic monograph published in the Uyghur language by a Uyghur scholar. Contains one chapter that looks specifically at the religious beliefs of the Uyghurs. Contains sixteen color plates.

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  • Roberts, Sean R. “Negotiating Locality, Islam, and National Culture in a Changing Borderland: The Revival of the Mashrap Ritual among Young Uyghur Men in the Ili Valley.” Central Asian Survey 17.4 (1998a): 673–700.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634939808401063Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the reasons for the rebirth of the traditional mäshräp (all-male gathering) in Yining (伊宁Ghulja), northern Xinjiang, and the role it plays in the negotiation of contemporary Uyghur cultural and political identity.

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  • Roberts, Sean R. “The Uighurs of the Kazakstan Borderlands: Migration and the Nation.” Nationalities Papers 26.3 (1998b): 511–530.

    DOI: 10.1080/00905999808408580Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the negotiation of Uyghur national identity through a discussion of three Uyghur subgroups that emerged during two separate waves of migration from China. Based on ten months of participant observation and in-depth interviews conducted in the Kazakhstan borderlands.

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  • Smith Finley, Joanne. The Art of Symbolic Resistance: Uyghur Identities and Uyghur–Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1163/9789004256781Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A longitudinal study of identity and resistance based on interviews conducted over twenty years (1991–2011). See in particular chapter 2 on stereotypes derived from Islamic norms, chapter 3 on Islam in boundary construction, chapter 5 on Islamic renewal, and chapter 6 on Islam in the enforcement of a selective endogamy.

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Islam and Gender in China

A paucity of research has characterized study of gender in Chinese Islam, although this has now begun to change. One Chinese-language publication, Zhang, et al. 1991, provides useful demographic data on changes in marriage and family life and on gender distribution within Muslim groups. More recently, two articles by a prominent Turcologist deal with gender roles and relations in Xinjiang. Bellér-Hann 1998a shows that while Uyghur women’s participation in the labor market is represented as minimal in folklore, women do take part in economic activities, which tend to be “invisible” rather than nonexistent. Bellér-Hann 1998b challenges the claims of the mainland Chinese scholarly collaborators involved in the study to assert that basic assumptions about women’s social status and power relations within the household in Xinjiang have persisted, even through the decades of Maoist collectivization. Allès 2000, the first of two pioneering studies of Hui women’s mosques, describes buildings, food, finances, social functions, and the lives of female ahongs (from the Persian akhund, Shia Muslim cleric). Based on an analysis of provincial gazetteers, the author indicates the relative prominence of women’s mosques and indeed Muslim women under the Mongols. The second, Shui and Jaschok 2013, is a study of Hui Muslim women’s spiritual, educational, political, and gendered drive for an institutional presence in Islamic worship and leadership. It locates the historical origin of women’s segregated religious institutions in the context of the Sino-Muslims’ fight for survival and women’s important contribution to the cause of ethno-religious solidarity. Another article by the same authors, Shui and Jaschok 2014, considers the modes of operation, community relationships, and authority enjoyed by two leading female ahongs, attributing this to new religious trends and a more open political context. Jaschok and Chan 2009 compares situations of religious education for Muslim women within the framework of interdependent issues, including: the diversity of Muslim contexts in China; state treatment of minorities’ rights to religious practice and education; organization and implementation of religious education; and the relationship between secular education and Islamic education. Dautcher 2009 is alone in focusing on masculinity. It shows how key events in the Uyghur life cycle contribute to identity enculturation among Uyghurs in northern Xinjiang, particularly with regard to gender norms, and how both religious practice and ritualized drinking are central to the notion of Uyghur masculinity (each linked with social status).

  • Allès, Elisabeth. Musulmans de Chine: Une anthropologie des Hui du Henan. Paris: Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2000.

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    An anthropological study in French that focuses on a Muslim Chinese community situated in Henan in eastern China.

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  • Bellér-Hann, Ildikó. “Crafts, Entrepreneurship and Gendered Economic Relations in Southern Xinjiang in the Era of ‘Socialist Commodity Economy.’” Central Asian Survey 17.4 (1998a): 701–718.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634939808401064Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Article contrasting gender norms detailed in Uyghur folklore with the realities of gendered economic activities in Xinjiang during the reform period (1978–).

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  • Bellér-Hann, Ildikó. “Work and Gender among Uyghur Villagers in Southern Xinjiang.” Cahiers d’études sur la Mediterranée orientale et le monde Turco-Iranien 25 (1998b): 2–13.

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    An anthropological study of continuities and change in gender relations in Xinjiang during the 20th century.

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  • Dautcher, Jay. Down a Narrow Road: Identity and Masculinity in a Uyghur Community. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

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    A Clifford Geertz–inspired “thick description” of social life, particularly among men, in a Uyghur neighborhood, in Yining (Ghulja), northern Xinjiang.

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  • Jaschok, Maria, and Hau Ming Vicky Chan. “Education, Gender and Islam in China: The Place of Religious Education in Challenging and Sustaining ‘Undisputed Traditions’ among Chinese Muslim Women.” International Journal of Educational Development 29.5 (2009): 487–494.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2009.04.004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Investigates the place of religious and secular education in the lives of Chinese Muslim women in contrastive situations.

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  • Shui Jingjun, and Maria Jaschok. The History of Women’s Mosques in Chinese Islam: A Mosque of Their Own. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2013.

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    Unique collaboration between a female scholar based at Oxford University and a female Sino-Muslim scholar affiliated with the Henan Academy of Social Sciences. Also contains chapters, appendixes, and personal testimonies by seven other women, including two leading female ahong.

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  • Shui Jingjun, and Maria Jaschok. “The Culture of ‘Associational Leadership’ in the Hui Muslim Women’s Mosques of Central China.” Asian Journal of Social Science 42.5 (2014): 641–656.

    DOI: 10.1163/15685314-04205009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Based on the biographies of two leading female ahong, this article considers the contributions that women’s mosques and the “associational leadership” style of female ahong have made to Islamic religious practice in central China for more than three hundred years.

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  • Zhang Tianlu (张天路), Song Chuansheng (宋传升), and Ma Zhengliang (马正亮). Zhongguo Musilin renkou (中国穆斯林人口). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1991.

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    Co-authored book containing a wealth of demographic data on China’s Muslim communities, including some material relating to gender, marriage, and family.

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Islamic Education in China

There exists a small amount of high-quality scholarship on Islamic education (as opposed to state secular education) in China. Four works deal with religious education in Sino-Muslim communities. An early study in Chinese is the chapter by Ding Hong on culture and education among the Hui in Zhongyang minzuxueyuan minzuxuexi yu minzu yanjiusuo 1993. Dillon 1999 examines religious education and organization among the Hui, with a particular focus on the education and translation programs that took place during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Petersen 2006 deals with Jingtang jiaoyu (经堂教育,scripture hall education), showing how the standardization of curricula and teaching methods allowed community religious leaders to disseminate a distinctive Chinese Muslim interpretation of the Islamic faith, best displayed through the canonized corpus of Chinese Islamic texts known as the Han Kitab (汉克塔布,1600–1750). On the other hand, chapter 3 in Gillette 2000 describes how processes of Arabization—re-creation of an authentic Islam with reference to the Middle East—taking place in Xi’an from the late 19th century entailed the rejection of Jingtang jiaoyu. Instead of reciting the Arabic sounds in the Qur’an in Chinese transliteration, students were told by reformers to study Arabic directly. Three works deal with religious education among the Turkic Muslims of the Northwest. Bellér-Hann 2008 outlines the traditional Muslim education system in Xinjiang, involving the transmission of religious knowledge via the mäktäp—primary school—and the madrasa—further education college. Both Bellér-Hann 2008 and Millward 2007 discuss local attempts to implement “Islamic modern education” in Xinjiang in the early 20th century following the Jadid reformist model in Russian Central Asia. Finally, Jaschok and Chan 2009 is unique in focusing on the education of Muslim women within a diversity of Muslim contexts in China.

  • Bellér-Hann, Ildikó. Community Matters in Xinjiang, 1880–1949: Towards a Historical Anthropology of the Uyghur. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004166752.i-477Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A pioneering historical anthropology of the Uyghur of Xinjiang, spanning the era from the late 19th century to 1949. Chapter 6 on religion includes sections on Islamic education.

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  • Dillon, Michael. China’s Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. London: Routledge Curzon, 1999.

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    A reconstruction of the history of the Muslim community in China known today as the Hui, as distinct from the Turkic Muslims of northwestern China. Contains a section on religious education.

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  • Gillette, Maris B. Between Mecca and Beijing: Modernization and Consumption among Urban Chinese Muslims. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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    A portrait of everyday life among the urban Hui in post-Mao Xi’an, northwestern China.

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  • Jaschok, Maria, and Hau Ming Vicky Chan. “Education, Gender and Islam in China: The Place of Religious Education in Challenging and Sustaining ‘Undisputed Traditions’ among Chinese Muslim Women.” International Journal of Educational Development 29.5 (2009): 487–494.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2009.04.004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Investigates the place of religious and secular education in the lives of women from a variety of Muslim communities in China.

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  • Millward, James A. Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. London: Hurst, 2007.

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    The first full survey history of the region today called Xinjiang and incorporated into the territory of northwestern China. Includes material on educational reform in Xinjiang, inspired by the Muslim reformist Jadid movement in Central Asia.

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  • Petersen, Kristian. “Reconstructing Islam: Muslim Education and Literature in Ming-Qing China.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 23.3 (2006): 24–53.

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    Describes the loss of Islamic knowledge among Hui Muslims, and its reconstruction in 16th-century China to produce jingtang jiaoyu (scripture hall education). Employing Chinese as the medium of instruction, scripture hall education combined a traditional Chinese literati education with newly retrieved Islamic sources from the Muslim heartland.

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  • Zhongyang minzuxueyuan minzuxuexi yu minzu yanjiusuo (中央民族学院出版社). Minzu zongjiao, lishi, wenhua (民族宗教历史文化). Beijing: Zhongyang minzu xueyuan chubanshe, 1993.

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    Mainland Chinese edited volume containing more than thirty essays on religion, history, and culture among the various non-Han nationalities. Includes an essay on culture and education in Hui Muslim communities.

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Islamic Arts

This section is divided into two subsections. The first deals with traditions of Islamic Architecture and Material Culture in China, while the second, Islam and Music, contains titles relating to musical traditions within Chinese Islam.

Islamic Architecture and Material Culture

A wave of publications on Islamic architecture and material culture has appeared during the reform era, authored by Han, Hui, and Turkic Muslim scholars. The list provided here is far from exhaustive. Yang 1981 focuses exclusively on Chinese mosques, discussing the origins of their names, history, architectural styles, functions, and the legends surrounding some of the older sites. It shows how, based on the construction date and distribution of the mosques, one can trace the historical development, and learn about the social environment, within Muslim communities. Section 3 of Yibulaxin and Zhang 1993 considers selected examples of Islamic architecture in China. Liu 1985 provides more detailed examples of mosque buildings, jingtang (经堂 scripture halls), and tombs. The age, history, and architectural features of each site are verified with reference to inscriptions, books, chronicles, and other documentary evidence, and each description is accompanied by a building plan, profile mapping diagram, or photograph. Jiabuliaier 1992, authored by a Uyghur scholar, presents thirty pages on Islamic architecture as well as shorter sections on architectural ornamentation, metalwork, glassware and ivory, ceramics, polychrome paintings, and carpets. Ding 2003 contains sections on Islamic dress, food culture, and the arts, in addition to the main section on architecture. Zhang 2009 is an atlas of Islamic architectural designs, one of a suite of publications released by Xinjiang-based publishing houses with the aim of fostering the “continued transmission and radiance” of all ethnic cultures. It may well have been produced in response to the ethnic riots that took place in the regional capital Urumchi (乌鲁木齐) in July that year. Making a strikingly different contribution to the literature is Loubes 2001, which analyzes sinicized representations of Islamic architecture in Xinjiang.

  • Ding Mingren (丁明仁). Yisilan wenhua zai Zhongguo (伊斯兰文化在中国). Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2003.

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    Details the introduction of Islam to China, and subsequent spread of Islamic culture, including language and script, architectural styles, spiritual life, clothing, food culture, the arts, music, dance, and sports. Contains four pages of color plates.

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  • Jiabuliaier Mande’er (加布里埃尔·曼德尔). Translated by Chen Weiping陈卫平]. Yisilan yishu jianshang (伊斯兰艺术鉴赏). Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 1992.

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    A volume dedicated to Islamic arts in China, with color plates, diagrams, and explanations. Shows how Islamic architecture fuses together a variety of artistic styles, including ceramic tiles, glassware, furniture, jewelry, weaponry, carpets, calligraphy, and carved details.

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  • Liu Zhiping (刘致平). Zhongguo Yisilanjiao jianzhu (中国伊斯兰教建筑). Urumchi, China: Xinjiang renmin chubanshe, 1985.

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    A comprehensive, systematic account of Islamic architectural styles, features, building materials, and technologies in China from the Tang-Song period up to the present. Based on field research conducted at more than two hundred sites in Muslim areas of China in the early 1960s.

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  • Loubes, Jean-Paul. “The ‘Rectification’ of Documents of Architecture: The Afâq Khwâja Sufi Complex in Kashghar.” In Special Issue: Saints and Heroes on the Silk Road. Edited by Thierry Zarcone, Ekrem Icin, and Arthur Buehler. Journal of the History of Sufism 3 (2001).

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    Article discussing attempted state co-optation of Islamic architecture in Xinjiang. Part 1 of the special issue contains ten articles on Sufism in Xinjiang.

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  • Yang Yongchang (杨永昌). Mantan qingzhensi (漫谈清真寺). Yinchuan, China: Ningxia renmin chubanshe, 1981.

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    Comprehensive analysis of mosques located in Hui areas, based upon specific architectural examples. Heralded in China as opening up a new area of scholarship within the field of Islam in China. Frontispiece carries twenty-two pictures of mosques.

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  • Yibulaxin (易卜拉欣), and Zhang Huicheng (张会成). Yisilan wenhua zai Zhongguo: jianben (伊斯兰文化在中国: 简本). Beijing: Minzu chubanshe, 1993.

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    Volume on Islamic culture in China. Dedicated to the International Islamic Trade conference held in Beijing in 1993. Contains a section on Islamic architecture in China, accompanied by four pages of color plates.

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  • Zhang Shengyi (张胜仪). Xinjiang chuantong jianzhu tuji (新疆传统建筑图集). Urumchi, China: Xinjiang keji weisheng chubanshe, 2009.

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    A pictorial collection of Islamic architecture in Xinjiang, released to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the PRC.

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Islam and Music

This section deals with the musical traditions of the Turkic Muslims of Xinjiang. A core area of research has been the musical suite known as the Uyghur Twelve Muqam (مۇقامى ئىككى ئون ئۇيغۇر; 维吾尔十二木卡姆), a suite of melodic formulas used to guide musical improvisation and composition. Four works address this topic, three of them in some detail. Xinjiang Weiwu’er zizhiqu shi’er mukamu yanjiu xuehui 1992, penned by twenty Uyghur and six Han contributors, contains a series of Chinese-language essays on a variety of subtopics, ranging from mutual influences between the Uyghur and Arab music cultures to the historical origins and development, melodic structure, lyrical content, and philosophical outlook of the Uyghur Twelve Muqam (including the Dolan muqam مۇقامى دولان; 刀郎木卡姆). Chapter 6 of Tuoheti 1995, which focuses on the Yarkand Moghul khanate (叶尔羌汗国1514–1678), contains a short section on the Twelve Muqam. Two English-language monographs deal with the relationship between Islam, music, and identity politics in Xinjiang. Light 2008 characterizes the Uyghur Muqam cultural canon as a “great tradition” invented by modern Chinese and Uyghur canonizers, who reject connections to Arabic and Persian culture and the improvisatory creation of songs. It shows how, by contrast, traditional performers created Muqam songs as oral versions of written texts, constituting an act of Uyghur self-definition. An interdisciplinary work, Harris 2008 combines musicological, historical, and social approaches in search of an understanding of the Twelve Muqam as both musical repertoire and field of discourse. Beyond these, Ding 2003 contains a general discussion of music and dance in Chinese Islam. Finally, an article jointly authored by a British musicologist and a Uyghur anthropologist from Xinjiang University explores the functions of music in Uyghur social, cultural, and religious practice. Describing how Uyghur peasants map out a “sacred landscape” as they perform annual pilgrimages to the shrines (mazar) of Islamic saints, Harris and Dawut 2002 interrogates the social, ritual, and cathartic meanings of musical performances at shrine festivals (the Muqam suites, drum-and-shawm dance music, Sufi zikr rituals—namely, recitation of short devotional phrases).

  • Ding Mingren (丁明仁). Yisilan wenhua zai Zhongguo (伊斯兰文化在中国). Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2003.

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    An overview of Islamic culture in China. Contains a section on music and dance in Chinese Islam.

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  • Harris, Rachel. The Making of a Musical Canon in Chinese Central Asia: The Uyghur Twelve Muqam. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008.

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    Monograph on the Uyghur Twelve Muqam. Of interest to scholars of Uyghur studies, musicologists, ethnologists, and students of cultural studies. Draws on Uyghur- and Chinese-language publications, and interviews with musicians and musicologists as well as field, archive, and commercial recordings.

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  • Harris, Rachel, and Rahilä Dawut. “Mazar Festivals of the Uyghurs: Music, Islam and the Chinese State.” British Journal of Ethnomusicology 11.1 (2002): 101–118.

    DOI: 10.1080/09681220208567330Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses the role of music in popular Islam across Central Asia, and Chinese Communist Party strategies to control and manipulate popular religion, in terms of the contestation of symbolic landscape and soundscape.

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  • Light, Nathan. Intimate Heritage: Creating Uyghur Muqam Song in Xinjiang. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2008.

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    Analysis of the historical production of the Central Asian Turkic poetry performed within the Uyghur Muqam. Revised, published version of the author’s PhD dissertation, “Slippery Paths: The Performance and Canonization of Turkic Literature and Uyghur Muqam Song in Islam and Modernity” (Indiana University, 1998).

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  • Tuoheti, Mozhati (拓和提莫扎提; Mujat Tokhti). Weiwu’er lishi wenhua yanjiu (维吾尔历史文化研究). Beijing: Minzu chubanshe, 1995.

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    Monograph written in Chinese by a Uyghur scholar on selected aspects of Uyghur history and culture. Contains six pages of color plates.

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  • Xinjiang Weiwu’er zizhiqu shi’er mukamu yanjiu xuehui (新疆维吾尔自治区十二木卡姆研究学会). Lun Shi’er Mukamu (论十二木卡姆). Urumchi, China: Xinjiang renmin chubanshe, 1992.

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    State-sanctioned edited volume on the Uyghur Twelve Muqam. Foreword written by Tiemu’er Dawanmaiti (Tömür Dawamat, then chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). Contains two color plates and a number of musicological diagrams.

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Islam and Politics in China

The size of this section reflects the historical importance and contemporary relevance of links between Islam and politics in China, a country where Muslims constitute a small minority within the overall population. It is divided into subsections dealing with State and Media Representations of Muslims in China, Chinese State Policies toward Muslim Minorities, Accommodation of Muslim Minorities in China, Political Islam in China, connections between Sufism and Politics in China; Islam and Globalization in China, and patterns of Islamic Renewal in China.

State and Media Representations of Muslims in China

One topic that has attracted scholarly attention is state (and state-controlled media) representations of Muslims, which have frequently been negative. Gladney 1994 famously theorizes that majority Han culture and identity requires a juvenilized, exoticized, and feminized minority “Other” in order to posit itself as developed, modern, and superior (a thesis that has prevailed). Blum 2001 categorizes the Hui as “Resistant, Disliked Ethnic Others” (chapter 8) in this study of Han popular stereotypes of minority peoples (themselves influenced by state and media representations). This theme has also been picked up with regard to the Uyghurs, particularly since the Chinese government announced its own “War on Terror” following the events of 11 September 2011 in the United States. Millward 2004 counters the subsequent official and media representations of Uyghurs as “international terrorists” and “jihadists,” arguing that resistance to Chinese rule has been discontinuous and characterized by several ideologies, of which Islam is just one. Kaltman 2007 finds that negative stereotypes of Uyghurs are widespread among Han people, which provides at least partial motivation for Uyghur prejudice—and crime—against them. Three works constitute interesting acts of counterrepresentation. Gladney and Ma 1989 deserves special mention because it communicates to an English-speaking audience the perspective of Hui scholars writing since the 1950s, when the state made a formal distinction between Chinese- and Turkic-speaking Muslim nationalities. Through Gladney’s translation, Ma Shouqian criticizes the arbitrary conflation of the terms Hui religion (Huijiao 回教), conceived as an ideology, and Hui nationality (Huizu 回族), conceived as an ethnic community. A pictorial volume, Ting 1985, in contrast to official and media discourses, represents Chinese Muslims as studious, hard-working, devout, and dedicated to family and society. As such, it constitutes a positive Muslim self-representation or counterstereotype. Finally, Thum 2014 provides a novel take on the assumption of religious syncretism in Chinese Muslim communities by demonstrating that for the Turkic-speaking peoples of the Altishahr (southern Xinjiang), Islam was “not in China.” Rather, they conceived China as a “distant and distasteful power,” characterized by its rejection of Islam, while yet vulnerable to conversion by charismatic Sufis.

  • Blum, Susan D. Portraits of “Primitives”: Ordering Human Kinds in the Chinese Nation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

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    The book considers questions of identity, alterity, and self in the context of a complex nation-state. Treats Han attitudes toward, and stereotypes of, minority nationalities, but also constitutes a study of Han-ness, the construction of a majority identity in the 1990s. Employs analytical methods from linguistic, cultural, and psychological anthropology.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. “Representing Nationality in China: Refiguring Majority/Minority Identities.” Journal of Asian Studies 53.1 (1994): 92–123.

    DOI: 10.2307/2059528Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Shows how the state employs representational strategies of juvenilization, exoticization, eroticization, and feminization, for the purpose of confirming minority group inferiority and majority Han superiority.

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  • Gladney, Dru C., and Ma Shouqian (马寿千). “Interpretations of Islam in China: A Hui Scholar’s Perspective.” Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs 10.2 (1989): 475–485.

    DOI: 10.1080/13602008908716134Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Dru C. Gladney’s English-language translation of an article published by Professor Ma Shouqian in 1979, which sought to clarify the origin of the Chinese-language terms for the Hui nationality. Includes an introduction and commentary by Gladney.

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  • Kaltman, Blaine. Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2007.

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    Ethnographic study of attitudes, behaviors, and interactions of Uyghurs and Han Chinese, based on covert interviews with Uyghur respondents located in ethnic enclaves in Han-dominated cities of Xinjiang and China proper.

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  • Millward, James A. Violent Separatism in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment. Washington, DC: East-West Center, 2004.

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    Surveys open sources and internal Chinese documents on violent separatist/terrorist events and groups to reveal problems with the media and official representations of Uyghurs.

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  • Thum, Rian. “China in Islam: Turki Views from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” In Special Issue: Islam in China/China in Islam. Edited by John Lie and Sungtaek Cho. Cross-Currents E-Journal 12 (September 2014).

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    Challenges dominant understandings of the relationship between China and Islam by outlining the perception of China held by Turkic-speaking Muslims of the Altishahr. The special issue stems from a conference, “The Everyday Life of Islam: Focus on Islam in China,” held at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2012.

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  • Ting, K. H. A Collection of Painting and Calligraphy Solicited for Charity in Aid of the Disabled. Beijing: China Islamic Association, 1985.

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    Pictorial produced to raise money for charity. Contains alternative images of Chinese Muslims to those generally circulated by the state and the majority Han ethnic group.

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Chinese State Policies toward Muslim Minorities

Chinese state policy toward minority nationalities has drawn considerable attention. Dreyer 1976 outlines five policy periods since 1949 to show that shifts in CCP minority policy (like those occurring in other areas) were closely linked to left–right policy swings at the center. Especially valuable is its analysis of the attacks on minority religions that took place during the Cultural Revolution. Newby 1988 considers the newly conciliatory policies toward Chinese Muslims of the 1980s, but concludes that these were unlikely to last. In doing so, it anticipated the return of illiberal religious policies in the 1990s (elaborated in Fuller and Lipman 2004). Heberer 1989, while more of a generalist work, includes useful sections on the history of minority nationalities policy, population and birth-control policies (a sensitive issue within Muslim communities), and policies toward religious practice. Three works provide important analyses of the dynamic relationship between policy and minority identity. Gladney 1991 treats the “dialectics” of state nationalities policy and Hui identity; Cao 1999 deals with the effects of the state’s secularizing policies (chapter 4); and Dillon 2004 considers CCP policies to contain political and religious Turkic nationalism (Part 2). Finally, Sautman 1998 is unique in evaluating China’s affirmative action policies toward minority nationalities, including preferential family planning. The author’s conclusion that these have created greater social equity and eased ethnic relations in Xinjiang does not, however, sit easily with Han resentment, which has been articulated increasingly openly in recent years.

  • Cao Hong (曹红). Weiwu’erzu shenghuo fangshi —-you chuantong dao xiandai de zhuanxing 维吾尔族生活方式—有传统到现代的转型. Beijing: Zhongyang minzudaxue chubanshe, 1999.

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    Monograph by a mainland Chinese scholar focusing on the Uyghurs’ modernization and cultural transition.

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  • Dillon, Michael. Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Far Northwest. London: Routledge Curzon, 2004.

    DOI: 10.4324/9780203166642Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A political history, drawing on a range of documentary data to document separatist disturbances in Xinjiang and state reactions. Analyzes Chinese and international news reports, interviews with Chinese officials, Chinese scholarship, and Uyghur émigré reports.

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  • Dreyer, June Teufel. China’s Forty Millions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976.

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    A balanced, chronological analysis of changes in CCP policy toward China’s minority nationalities between 1949 and 1975. The first book-length work in this field.

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  • Fuller, Graham E., and Jonathan N. Lipman. “Islam in Xinjiang.” In Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland. Edited by S. Frederick Starr, 320–352. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2004.

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    A multidisciplinary study of the modalities and problems arising from the integration of Xinjiang into the modern Chinese state. Analyzes state policies of control and government, and the reactions of the indigenous populations to those policies. Includes a chapter on policies toward Islam.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.

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    An anthropological study of Hui identity and state policy, based on three years of fieldwork conducted in China during the 1980s.

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  • Heberer, Thomas. China and Its National Minorities: Autonomy or Assimilation? Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1989.

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    A revised, English translation of a German-language volume published in 1984. Contains a section titled “Religion, Religious Policy and Ethnic Minorities.” Aimed at the nonspecialist, it is thematic and contains useful statistics, tables, and illustrations for the undergraduate student.

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  • Newby, Laura. “‘The Pure and True Religion’ in China.” Third World Quarterly 10.2 (1988): 923–947.

    DOI: 10.1080/01436598808420088Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An analysis of the relationships between ethnic groups within China’s Muslim community and between China’s Muslims and the Chinese state in the post-1978 reform era.

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  • Sautman, Barry. “Preferential Policies for Ethnic Minorities in China: The Case of Xinjiang.” In Special Issue: Nationalism and Ethnoregional Identities in China. Edited by William Safran. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 4.1–2 (1998): 86–118.

    DOI: 10.1080/13537119808428530Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A detailed analysis of the preferential policies established for ethnic minorities in China, including in the areas of family planning, university admissions, hiring and promotion, financing and taxation of businesses, and regional infrastructural support.

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Accommodation of Muslim Minorities in China

Considerable research is available on processes of accommodation, in the sense both of voluntary adaptation by Chinese Muslims in specific areas so that they could peacefully coexist with non-Muslim Han and of state co-optation of those aspects of Islam that can potentially be molded to the Communist Party line. Voll 1985 and Voll 1987 argue that older assumptions of the absolute incompatibility of Islam and communism must be reconsidered; rather, the combination of mediating structures—informal devotional groups and tarīqahs (طريقة, Sufi orders) and “official” establishments (China Islamic Association)—made Muslim minority life in a communist society possible without resort to jihad (holy war), hijrah (migration), or secret belief. Gladney 2003 posits that Muslim accommodation to minority status in China was not only possible but even successful because Sino-Muslims had been willing to reconcile the dictates of Islamic culture to their host culture. Frankel 2008 notes that Sino-Muslims have often downplayed the political (and sometimes militant) emphasis of “normative” Islam, even as they participated in the political life of Chinese society. They responded to competing pressures to assimilate or resist by accommodating Islam to local contexts while asserting a distinct Muslim identity. All three works challenge the opposite view (see Israeli 2002, cited under General Overviews: English-Language Works; Dillon 2004, cited under Chinese State Policies toward Muslim Minorities) that Islam in the region is unavoidably rebellious and Muslim minorities inherently problematic. Approaching the idea of accommodation from the opposite direction, Erie 2014 discusses how the China Islamic Association has tried since 2001 to co-opt Sharia law by expounding those revealed sources of Islam that are congruent with Chinese socialism and nationalism.

Political Islam in China

Much of the work on political (politicized) Islam in China centers on the Northwest. Lindbeck 1950 is an early article that argues that the region occupied a strategic position at the nexus of Russian, Chinese, and pan-Islamic interests, and notes the state’s need for the loyalty of the Muslims there. More recently, Shichor 1994 highlights the struggle in the 1990s for control of Xinjiang, identifying a number of factors as underlying rising Uyghur separatism. Two works are important in countering suggestions that “radical Islam” has taken root in contemporary Xinjiang. Castets 2004 argues that PRC state rhetoric on Uyghur international “terrorism” in fact masks a sociopolitical malaise linked to Han migration and local opposition to Chinese colonialism (inspired by the earlier Jadid—Muslim modernist—reform movement in Central Asia). Millward 2004 proves decisively that violent episodes actually decreased from the late 1990s on, despite the state’s rhetoric of Muslim extremism. Each concludes that the Chinese state has instrumentalized the events of 9/11 and the global War on Terror in order to repress Uyghur advocacy. Three works demonstrate the potential impacts of Muslim reform movements on Islam and politics in China. Gladney 2007 discusses Muslim responses to Chinese cultural practices since the import of new waves of Islamic reformist thought (post-1978); the author finds opposing trends of Arabification/purification, on the one hand, and acculturation, on the other. Gladney 2008 discusses the Wahhabi-inspired Ikhwani (Yihewani 伊赫瓦尼) reform movement among Hui Muslims in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Salafi (沙拉菲) influence in the Northwest from the 1930s. Both stressed modernist reform through education, veneration of the scriptures, and a purified form of Islam while opposing Sufism and cultural syncretism. Armijo 2008 considers external influences on Chinese Islam, including Wahhabist (瓦哈比) reformism and Sufi orders in Central and South Asia. Finally, Gladney 2009 details the unintended effects of heavy state policing on identity politics among Chinese Muslims.

  • Armijo, Jacqueline. “Islam in China.” In Asian Islam in the 21st Century. Edited by John L. Esposito, John O. Voll, and Osman Bakar, 197–228. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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    Chapter on contemporary external influences on Chinese Islam, included in a collection of essays focusing on religion and politics (the successor to Esposito’s Islam in Asia: Religion, Politics and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987). The volume has two sections, one dealing with Muslim minority populations.

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  • Castets, Remi. “Opposition politique, nationalisme et Islam chez les Ouïghours du Xinjiang.” Les Études du CERI (Centre d’études et de recherches internationales) 110 (2004).

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    A discussion, in French, about the relationship among political opposition, nationalism, and Islam among the Uyghurs of Xinjiang.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. “Cyber-Separatism, Islam, and the State in China.” In Identity Conflicts: Can Violence Be Regulated? Edited by J. Craig Jenkins and Esther E. Gottlieb, 93–112. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction, 2007.

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    Explores the integration and nonintegration of Muslims in China, their identity conflicts, the challenges of self-preservation they face, and recent expressions of violence among certain groups.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. “Islam and Modernity in China: Secularization or Separatism?” In Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation. Edited by Mayfair Mei-hui Yang, 179–205. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

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    Examines Islamic religiosity and identity among different Muslim communities in China, and illustrates their contrastive responses to secular state rule in the context of a vigorous contemporary revival of religious life.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. “Islam in China: State Policing and Identity Politics.” In Making Religion, Making the State: The Politics of Religion in Modern China. Edited by Yoshiko Ashiwa and David L. Wank, 151–178. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.

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    Chapter on Islam, included in a reference book for students of Chinese religion and politics. The volume seeks to analyze the negotiation of religious spaces in modern China by a variety of actors from the late 19th century to the present.

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  • Lindbeck, John M. H. “Communism, Islam and Nationalism in China.” Review of Politics 12.4 (1950): 473–488.

    DOI: 10.1017/S003467050004715XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Early article about the concentration of Muslim communities in northwestern China and state strategic concerns over their political orientation.

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  • Millward, James A. Violent Separatism in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment. Washington, DC: East-West Center, 2004.

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    An overview of anti-state organizations and violent resistance among Uyghurs and other peoples in Xinjiang, including domestic and international groups and activities. Begins with a historical survey of resistance in Xinjiang from the Qing period until 1990.

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  • Shichor, Yitzhak. “Separatism: Sino-Muslim Conflict in Xinjiang.” Pacifica Review 6.2 (1994): 71–82.

    DOI: 10.1080/14781159408412784Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Article by an Israeli scholar documenting violent incidents that erupted between Han Chinese and Muslim (primarily Uyghur) minorities in Xinjiang before and after the Communist takeover in 1949. Highlights an upsurge in such incidents since the 1980s.

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Sufism and Politics in China

The issue of Sufism in China is drawing increasing scholarly attention. Among the available works, several deal with the links between Sufism and politics, past and present. Dillon 1999 contains a section on the role of Sufi orders in establishing Hui identity in northwestern China. Lipman 1997 explores the connections between the global revival of Sufism and Islam in China. Armijo 2008 similarly discusses the influence on Chinese Islam of external Sufi orders in Central and South Asia. Zarcone 1999 illustrates the potential impact of such influence through a case study of the Afaq Khoja (خوجا ئاپاق; 阿帕克和卓) tomb in Xinjiang. Describing the tomb as a sanctuary of political legitimacy and a symbol and catalyst of political Sufism, the author compares this case to similar phenomena found in Turkey, Pakistan, and Central Asia. Most recently, Wang 2014 focuses on the Sino-Muslim uprising in Yunnan in the 19th century to illustrate how orthodox Sunnis criticized Shi’ism and its followers—the shaykhs within the Sufi orders. It explains this intolerance partly in terms of the perceived need for Sino-Muslims to unite against Han dominance. Part 1 of Zarcone, et al. 2001–2002 contains three articles focusing on the veneration of saintly tombs in Xinjiang as pilgrimage centers, including Hamada (in French) on two thousand years of history of the tombs; Zarcone on the “cult” of Sufi saints since 1949; and a report from the field by Sawada. One reviewer has commented, however, that this collection did not fully address the organizational, ritual, and political activities of the Sufi brotherhoods. On the other hand, Papas 2005 does explore political Sufism, spirituality, and power through an original analysis of unpublished manuscripts.

  • Armijo, Jacqueline. “Islam in China.” In Asian Islam in the 21st Century. Edited by John L. Esposito, John O. Voll, and Osman Bakar, 197–228. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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    Chapter on the influence of Sufi orders located beyond China’s borders, included in a collection of essays focusing on religion and politics (the successor to Esposito’s Islam in Asia: Religion, Politics and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987). The volume has two sections, one dealing with Muslim minority populations.

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  • Dillon, Michael. China’s Muslim Hui Community: Migration, Settlement and Sects. London: Routledge Curzon, 1999.

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    Comprehensive history of the Muslim community known today as the Hui. Contains a major section on the emergence of Sufism in China during the period of the Qing dynasty.

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  • Lipman, Jonathan. Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.

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    History of the Muslims of northwestern China, situated at the intersection of the Mongolian-Manchu, Tibetan, Turkic, and Chinese cultural spheres. Uses primary and secondary sources in several languages.

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  • Papas, Alexandre. Soufisme et politique entre Chine, Tibet et Turkestan: Étude sur les Khwajas Naqshbandis du Turkestan oriental. Paris: Jean Maisonneuve, 2005.

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    Relates the history of the Naqshbandi khwajas—the Samarqandi Sufi masters who set up “saintly dynasties” in southernmost Xinjiang (Yarkand) starting in 1680 and lasting until the Qing reconquest in the 19th century.

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  • Wang, Jianping. “The Opposition of a Leading Akhund to Shi’a and Sufi Shaykhs in Mid-Nineteenth-Century China.” In Special Issue: Islam in China/China in Islam. Edited by John Lie and Sungtaek Cho. Cross-Currents E-Journal 12 (September 2014).

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    Essay on the role of Ma Dexin, Hui scholar and imam, in the Muslim uprising in Yunnan (1856–1873), and on Sunni opposition to Shi’ism and Shi’a influence among Sufis. The special issue stems from a conference, “The Everyday Life of Islam: Focus on Islam in China,” held at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2012.

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  • Zarcone, Thierry. “Quand le saint légitime le politique: Le mausolée de Afaq Khwaja à Kashgar.’” Central Asian Survey 18.2 (1999): 225–241.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634939995696Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examination of how Sufi saints may legitimize political actions, with regard to the Afaq Khwaja tomb in southern Xinjiang.

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  • Zarcone, Thierry, Ekrem Icin, and Arthur Buehler, eds. Special Issue: Saints and Heroes on the Silk Road. Journal of the History of Sufism (2001–2002).

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    Part 1 contains ten articles on Sufism in Xinjiang, including three that deal with pilgrimage to the tombs of Sufi saints.

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Islam and Globalization in China

The impact of globalizing flows on Islam in China has been growing as an area of research since the late 1990s. Within this field, discussions include whether globalization will lead to radicalization of Islam in China. Gladney 1999 shows how the Salafiyya Movement in the Northwest appeared as a nonpolitical group headed by returned hajjis (pilgrims to Mecca). While this group advocated purification and rejection of “Chinese Islam,” it was a sociocultural rather than a political movement and was later complicated after an internal split led to government support of one faction. Waite 2006 reports a similar split within contemporary Uyghur communities in Kashgar following the import of Muslim reformist ideologies in the 1990s; these pose a challenge to the traditional transmission of religious knowledge by Islamic elders, with reformers labeled “Wahhabis” by those whose practices are permeated by Sufism. Mackerras 2001 acknowledges that religion-based and ethnically based external forces to the west of China may have given new impetus to ethno-nationalism in Xinjiang, but suggests that most Uyghurs continue to seek a nonreligious, peaceful route to change. In Mackerras 2003, the author considers globalizing trends in Xinjiang and concludes that radical fundamentalist Islam is unlikely to emerge, being hostile to liberal forms of globalization. This view has been challenged by one reviewer, who points to the economies of Saudi Arabia and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to suggest that economic liberalism does not necessarily contradict religious fundamentalism. Two studies look at the impact of the mass media on Islam in China. Smith Finley 2007 explores the role played by imported Islamic materials, pilgrimage, study abroad, and especially images broadcast by the domestic and international mass media in creating a sense of “global Islamic solidarity” among some Uyghurs, conceived in relation to stateless Muslim nations such as Palestine and Chechnya. Gladney 2004 provides a useful study of Chinese Muslim responses to news broadcasts of world events (see chapter 14 on Hui and Uyghur intellectuals’ views of the Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003). On a different note, Erkin 2009 argues that globalization has had a positive effect on traditional Uyghur culture, transforming it into a thriving modern culture expressed through popular consumption and preserving its distinct cultural, religious, and linguistic elements. Finally, Ho 2010 is an interesting study of how “Chinese Islamic cyber-environments” negotiate the state’s sovereign boundary through patriotic slogans even as Sino-Muslims connect to the global ummah.

  • Erkin, Adilä. “Locally Modern, Globally Uyghur: Geography, Identity and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Xinjiang.” Central Asian Survey 28.4 (2009): 417–428.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634930903577169Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Produced by a US-born Uyghur postgraduate student, who conducted ethnographic research in the Uyghur district of Urumchi. Articulates the transformation of the traditional Uyghur culture into a popular contemporary Uyghur culture that thrives on processes of globalization.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. “The Salafiyya Movement in Northwest China: Islamic Fundamentalism among the Muslim Chinese?” In Muslim Diversity: Local Islam in Global Contexts. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies 26. Edited by Leif O. Manger, 102–149. Richmond, UK: Curzon, 1999.

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    Chapter on the Salafi reform movement among Hui communities in northwestern China, included in a collection of case studies describing local responses to the effects of globalization and migration in the Islamic world.

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  • Gladney, Dru C. Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities and Other Subaltern Subjects. London: Hurst, 2004.

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    Considers the status, representation, and diversity of China’s Muslims (Hui and Uyghur). Chapter 14 considers how transnational communications and knowledge of events happening elsewhere in the Islamic world may contribute to Islamic revivalism in China.

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  • Ho, Wai-Yip. “Islam, China and the Internet: Negotiating Residual Cyberspace between Hegemonic Patriotism and Connectivity to the Ummah.” Journal of the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs 30.1 (2010): 63–79.

    DOI: 10.1080/13602001003650622Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Exploratory study of the emergence of Chinese Islamic websites. Considers ways in which Sino-Muslims have appropriated cyberspace to reimagine the global ummah (Islamic community) through the lens of political loyalty to China. Uses a Chinese Islamic website created in response to the Danish cartoon affair as a case study.

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  • Mackerras, Colin. “Xinjiang at the Turn of the Century, and the Causes of Separatism.” Central Asian Survey 20.3 (2001): 289–303.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634930120095321Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Inquires into the causes for the increase in Uyghur separatism in Xinjiang and evaluates the extent of the link between religion and separatism in the context of religious renewal in the region. Outlines the political exclusion of minorities and documents recent examples of anti-civilian violence occurring since the 1990 Baren riots.

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  • Mackerras, Colin. China’s Ethnic Minorities and Globalisation. London: Routledge Curzon, 2003.

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    A synthetic and didactic work addressed principally to students and the general reader. Focuses predominantly on the two regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

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  • Smith Finley, Joanne. “Chinese Oppression in Xinjiang, Middle Eastern Conflicts and Global Islamic Solidarities among the Uyghurs.” Journal of Contemporary China 16.53 (2007): 627–654.

    DOI: 10.1080/10670560701562333Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the nature and source of the current Islamic renewal in Xinjiang, which has been partly enabled by globalizing dynamics, including increased cross-border trade, pilgrimages from China to Mecca, an increase in China’s Muslims studying abroad, and international communication achieved via the mass media (e.g., television).

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  • Waite, Edmund. “The Impact of the State on Islam amongst the Uyghurs: Religious Knowledge and Authority in the Kashgar Oasis.” Central Asian Survey 25.3 (2006): 251–265.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634930601022534Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes how the imposition of socialist rule in 1949 and secular appropriation of the modern education system and print media, combined with political restrictions on foreign travel, impacted on the transmission of religious knowledge within a community in rural Kashgar, southern Xinjiang. Draws on fieldwork conducted in Kashgar, southern Xinjiang, in the late 1990s.

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Islamic Renewal in China

In the context of the worldwide Islamic revival, re-Islamization in China is an important field of research. Waite 2006 shows how political restrictions imposed on foreign travel under Chinese socialist rule had historically stifled the import and dissemination of new Muslim ideologies, before going on to consider the ideological and social implications of increased transnational ties for Islam in Kashgar, southern Xinjiang. Two studies highlight the revival of Chinese Islam during the 1980s. Ma 1986 finds a resurgence of mosques and hajj traffic, an increase in scholarly exchange (learning of Arabic; growth of Islamic studies), and a growth of Muslim enterprise in the post-1978 reform era. The author (a Hui Muslim scholar) makes a surprisingly forthright statement in the article’s conclusion: “The Chinese Muslims firmly support Palestinian and Afghanistan Muslim brothers in their just struggle to restore their lost territories and safeguard their sovereignties” (p. 382). On a similar note, Alles, et al. 2003, after pondering the basis for the opening of relations with the Muslim world since 1978, asks how far the notion of “unity of all Muslims within Islam” had prevailed during the 1990s. Several studies analyze the revival of orthodox religious practice in Xinjiang during the 1990s. Rewaidula and Rewaidula 2004, penned by two Uyghur scholars, gives an early glimpse into the trend of “Arabization” emerging in Xinjiang, including among some formerly secular Uyghur intellectuals. Haider 2005 demonstrates how relationships between Uyghurs and Pakistani traders in Xinjiang have recently become a source of friction in Sino-Pakistan friendship. Smith Finley 2007 demonstrates how some Uyghurs are demonstrating symbolic resistance to the state through Islam. While the author acknowledges diverse reasons for the revival, the article focuses on Islam as a vehicle for symbolic opposition to perceived Muslim oppression. Hann 2010 shows how the Chinese state has attempted to appropriate and exploit popular religion for the purposes of tourism, then contrasts this “thin” religiosity with the “thick” sacred canopy created by contemporary Uyghurs, one that interweaves ethno-national belonging and Islamic identification. Finally, Caffrey 2014 shows how the contemporary renaissance of religious movements in China (in this case a Hui religious revival) can erode the “social glue” that once held ethnically varied populations together.

  • Alles, Elisabeth, Leïla Cherif-Chebbi, and Constance-Helene Halfon. “Chinese Islam: Unity and Fragmentation.” Religion, State & Society 31.1 (2003): 7–35.

    DOI: 10.1080/0963749032000045837Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A survey of developments in Chinese Islam since the reform and opening policies of the 1980s.

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  • Caffrey, Kevin. “The Case of the Disappearing Altar: Mysteries and Consequences of Revitalizing Chinese Muslims in Yunnan.” In Special Issue: Islam in China/China in Islam. Edited by John Lie and Sungtaek Cho. Cross-Currents E-Journal 12 (September 2014).

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    Story of a disappeared altar in a Himalayan valley, presented as revelatory of contradictions within the mechanics of a Hui Muslim revitalization project. The special issue stems from a conference, “The Everyday Life of Islam: Focus on Islam in China,” held at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2012.

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  • Haider, Ziad. “Sino-Pakistan Relations and Xinjiang’s Uighurs: Politics, Trade, and Islam along the Karakoram Highway.” Asian Survey 45.4 (2005): 522–545.

    DOI: 10.1525/as.2005.45.4.522Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An analysis of how politics in Xinjiang, combined with trade and movement along the Karakoram highway, have affected China’s foreign relations with Pakistan.

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  • Hann, Chris. “New Combinations of the Religious, the Secular, and the (Ethno-)National after Socialism.” Cargo 1.2 (2010): 4–26.

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    Investigates links between the religious and the secular in group classifications and identifications following the demise of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist socialism. Brings diverse examples of the “nationalization” and instrumentalization of Islam in different macro-regions of contemporary Eurasia.

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  • Ma, Ibrahim Zhao‐chun. “Islam in China: The Internal Dimension.” Journal of the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs 7.2 (1986): 373–383.

    DOI: 10.1080/13602008608715991Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The first article in English published in a foreign publication by a Chinese Muslim (the author was the then deputy director of research for the China Islamic Association in Beijing). Outlines the historical background and general situation of Islam in China and considers some new developments.

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  • Rewaidula, Dulikun, and Alifu Rewaidula. “Islamic Culture and the Uyghurs.” Translated by Joanne N. Smith. China Study Journal 19.1 (2004): 28–31.

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    Translated from the original Chinese-language version, this article discusses the trend toward Arabization of different aspects of contemporary life in Xinjiang, affecting both the layperson and the intellectual. This forms part of the bigger picture of Islamic renewal among the Uyghurs since 2000.

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  • Smith Finley, Joanne. “Chinese Oppression in Xinjiang, Middle Eastern Conflicts and Global Islamic Solidarities among the Uyghurs.” Journal of Contemporary China 16.53 (2007): 627–654.

    DOI: 10.1080/10670560701562333Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the nature and source of the current Islamic renewal in Xinjiang, conceived (though not exclusively) as a vehicle of symbolic opposition to perceived Muslim oppression at both national and global levels.

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  • Waite, Edmund. “The Impact of the State on Islam amongst the Uyghurs: Religious Knowledge and Authority in the Kashgar Oasis.” Central Asian Survey 25.3 (2006): 251–265.

    DOI: 10.1080/02634930601022534Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes how political restrictions on foreign travel imposed under socialist rule after 1949, together with the secular appropriation of the modern education system and print media, impacted on the transmission of religious knowledge within a community in rural Kashgar, southern Xinjiang.

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