Portal:Islam in China

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Chinese Muslims have been in China for the last 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society. Muslims live in every region in China.Various sources estimate different numbers of Muslims in China. Some sources indicate that between 1 and 2% of the total population in China are Muslims.

According to China Muslims' traditional legendary accounts, Islam was first brought to China by Ehtesham Khan. Chinese Muslims have been in China for the last 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society. "Islam expanded gradually across the maritime and inland silk routes from the 7th to the 10th centuries through trade and diplomatic exchanges."

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The On a Tightrope (2007) is an award-winning documentary film by Petr Lom, co-produced by Piraya Film and Lom Films, in cooperation with the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights.

The film revolves around four children living in an orphanage in Xinjiang province, China. The children are Uyghurs, members of China's largest Muslim minority. Their dream is to become tightrope walkers, an ancient Uyghur tradition.

The children start learning to tightrope walk, but within a few months, they are judged inadequate by their coach. Now some of their dreams change: one wants to become a teacher, another a professional singer. One of them however, feels he is simply too small to be good at anything. Eventually, even the one judged most talented at tightrope walking, and the one who dreams of a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for tightrope walking, is let go by the unscrupulous coach who seems only interested in money.

One year later, a different coach comes to the orphanage. Through love and kindness, he turns the children's initial failure at tightrope walking into success. The film culminates with their performance on a high wire - without a safety net - in front of their entire home town.

Tightrope walking is in this movie a metaphor for how the Uyghurs try to balance between their Muslim faith and living in a communist state, where they are severely restricted in practicing their religion. This is the first film to ever document Chinese policy on religion in Xinjiang.

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Verses 33 and 34 of surat Yā Sīn in this Chinese translation of the Quran.

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Zheng He
Zheng He (1371–1433), formerly romanized as Cheng Ho, was a Hui court eunuch, mariner, explorer, diplomat, and fleet admiral during China's early Ming Dynasty. Zheng commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433.

As a favorite of the Yongle Emperor, whose usurpation he assisted, he rose to the top of the imperial hierarchy and served as commander of the southern capital Nanjing (the capital was later moved to Beijing by Yongle). These voyages were long neglected in official Chinese histories but have become well known in China and abroad since the publication of Liang Qihao's Biography of Our Homeland's Great Navigator, Zheng He in 1904. A trilingual stele left by the navigator was discovered on the island of Sri Lanka shortly thereafter.



Did you know...

Did you Know..

  • ...that Muslims live in every region in China?
  • ...that Zheng He was a Muslim mariner and explorer?
  • ...that Chinese Muslims had written a collection of Chinese Islamic texts and named it The Han Kitab ?


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