The Return of the Hui

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Razib Khan introduces the Hui, Chinese Muslims with a special legacy Beijing could take advantage of again.

…I believe the Chinese Muslims can serve as a model to Muslims around the world who are minorities, and who are making the transition from being in nations to being of nations.

Razib Khan introduces the Hui, Chinese Muslims with a special legacy Beijing could take advantage of again.

…I believe the Chinese Muslims can serve as a model to Muslims around the world who are minorities, and who are making the transition from being in nations to being of nations.

Intellectuals such as Tariq Ramadan are simply treading on the same ground Wang Daiyu and Liu Zhi did long ago, another instance of “it happened in China first.” Naturally the outcome will be different because Ramadan is a man of the West, and specifically the French intellectual world, which different tools and goals. But the principle is the same. Not only do Chinese Muslims serve as a model for how to exist within a plural society where Islam is not dominant, but it seems likely that within the next generation China will become the largest economy in the world and begin to reassert its conventional position as the preeminent power on this planet. Western Muslims are wont to assert that they have much to teach as members of the most dynamic contemporary societies, but it may be that in the 21stcentury Islam will start looking to the Far East. As Chinese geopolitical interests spread to the Middle East it would seem likely that just as Hui aided the expansion of the Manchu into Turkic Central Asia, so they would serve as intermediaries between Muslim nations and the Chinese government. Before the Asian Flu of the late 1990s Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed had given signals that perhaps the new developments in Islam would come from Southeast Asia. But while the economies of ASEAN are relatively quiescent China is a relative dynamo, and it will be interesting to see what changes are wrought among its Muslims, and these these Muslims might eventually shape the nature of the conversation in the Muslim world as a whole.

I also found another website, Islam in China.

Filed under: Central Asia, East Asia, Social Science Tagged: china, hui, islam, Middle East, muslims, prc, silk road, zheng he



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