Islam in China: An update

Type Journal Article - Religion, State and Society: The Keston Journal
Title Islam in China: An update
Volume 13
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1985
Page numbers 152-155
This article updates the situation of Muslims in China as described in an
RCL article in 1982 (Peter Humphrey, "Islam in China Today", Vol. 10,
No. 2, pp. 168-77). That article referred to the census of the population
which commenced in 1982 and was expected to last five years. Some results
have now been published. According to the census, there are nearly
15 million Muslims in the People's Republic of China (see Table 1).
Islam first appeared in China during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). It
was brought by Arab merchants from Central Asia. The Hui people are
the largest minority group professing Islam. They generally speak
Chinese, although many know some Arabic. Racially they are little different
from the Han Chinese. Their mosques are often built in pure
Chinese style. There are nine other distinct minorities who profess Islam,
each racially distinct and with their own language. The largest group is the
Uighurs (Uygurs) who number nearly six million, and inhabit the Xinjiang
Uighur Autonomous Region. The Kazakhs number nearly one
million, and many of them still lead a nomadic life in Xinjiang and other
north-western provinces of China. The remaining seven Muslim
minorities total about half a million people, and again are concentrated
mainly in Xinjiang.

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