Muslim Ink presents a special issue of its monthly magazine: Muslims in China.
In Chinese language, Islam is called Yisilinjiao, which literally means “Pure Religion.” Muslims have lived in China for nearly 1400 years and played an important role during critical times of the country’s history. At their peak in the 18th century, Muslims numbered over 400 million in population.
Today, China is home to 60-80 million Muslims with about 11 million living in the Xinjiang province, where China has locked down over one million people. Muslims of Xinjiang province, popularly known as Uyghurs, are ethnically Turks and have lived under an “autonomous” rule within China. The semi-autonomous region has seen a few separatist movements and incidents of ethnic violence in the recent past.
The communist regime of China alleges that Xinjiang province is a potential bed of separatism threatening Chinese “unity” and “sovereignty.”
Muslims as minorities have lived dutifully and peacefully under many governments. China is not oblivious to this fact. Muslims have been a critical pillar of support for various Chinese dynasties in the last 1370 years. In fact, the current ruling Communist Party came to power with the support of Muslims after promising them the freedom of religion.
Yet many Muslims around the world are unaware of this story. In our magazine’s special issue of Muslims in China, we go into the details of our history in China.