Cornell University

Halal and/or Qingzhen: A Historical Process and Recent Policies of Sinicization of Islam in China”

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 12:00pm

Virtual Event

Talk by James D. Frankel

Islam arrived in China during the 7th century as a foreign religion. Yet, once the first Muslims settled permanently there, Islamic religious and cultural traditions were gradually influenced by the norms of Chinese culture and society. This process of naturalization and localization sometimes referred to as “Sinicization”, continued apace for nearly a millennium before historical circumstances accelerated it during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The vicissitudes of modern Chinese history have led to varying official governmental and societal attitudes towards Islam and Muslims and concomitant adaptations of identity and expressions of religiosity by Chinese Muslims. Most recently, the government of the People’s Republic of China is pursuing its own policies of decreasing foreign religious influences in the country in the name of combatting “extremism and separatism.” These have included official regulations aimed at “sinicizing” Islam in China, leading Muslims into a new wave of adaptation for their survival.

 

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