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Beyond Islam: Understanding the Muslim World – Seeds of Change: Muslims in China’s Reform Era

Author: Mary Cingcade

Source: World Affairs Council

Level: College

This unit takes a cultural approach to studying Muslims in China. Numbering approximately 20 million, Muslims in China make up a small percentage of China’s total population, but since the beginning of China’s reform era—which has ushered in rapid economic growth, increased standards of living, and growing awareness and connectedness with the outside world—Muslims in China have increasingly asserted their identities in the face of the Chinese state. China’s Muslim communities, virtually isolated from the outside world during the Mao era, have now taken opportunities to make connections with Muslims outside China and feel the impact of this exchange of ideas and resources as they have at many points in the long history of Islam in China. While Muslims in China may not play a large role in Chinese society as a whole, they are germane to global understanding of many issues, including the future of Islam in Asia, the fate of ethnic nationalism in the twenty-first century, and China’s participation in the war on terror. Throughout this unit, students will take an intimate look at a few Muslim communities and see how these larger issues play out in the lives of ordinary Muslims.

Seeds of Change: Muslims in China’s Reform Era


  1. China Resources
  2. Unit Preview
  3. Answer Key for Unit Preview
  4. China’s Muslim Community Slide Show
  5. China’s Muslim Community Slide Show Notes
  6. Tracing Muslim Roots
  7. Muslims in China: The History
  8. China’s Many Faces: Ethnic, Cultural, and Religious Pluralism
  9. Making, Marking, and Marketing Identity
  10. Dialogic Identities
  11. Islam in Xinjiang
  12. Factory Food, Modernization, and Race
  13. Consumption and Modernization
  14. Mosques, Qur’anic Education, and Arabization
  15. Brush with Islam
  16. Wedding Gowns and Modernization
  17. The US Commission on China Roundtable Quiz Competition


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