Hui Body 1st Draft

On a global scale, the Chinese Muslims received an opportunity to speak their voice in 1989. Two great incidents occurred that year. With 1989 came the Salman Rushdie affair. A controversial book, The Satanic Verses, was published and inflamed the international Islamic community and the Hui came out to protest. Because of the Salman Rushdie affair and the reaction from Muslims world wide, Chinese Muslims found their voice. Salman Rushdie may have affected the international community, but something like it affected the Hui very strongly.
On a national level, the book Sexual Customs appeared in a Chinese newspaper. The book, according to Gladney, “compared minarets to phalli, Muslim tombs and domes to the ‘mound of Venus,’ and the Meccan pilgrimage to orgies, which were an excuse, the book claimed, for homosexual relations and sodomy, with camels, no less.” (2) Salman Rushdie was just one of issues in 1989 that affected the Hui.
On a national scale, the Tianamen square attack happened. While thousands of students gathered in Beijing to protest the government, the military attacked, killing people. The face of China throughout the world was stained with the protester’s blood. Because the Muslim protests were considered legal, they escaped such brutality.
One source, He Keming worked with traditional Chinese lanterns. He is a Muslim but also practices traditional Chinese ancestor “worship”. His profession is a way for Keming to channel out his religion daily without expecting a reward, he says. When a crackdown on religious, or more traditional Chinese art was banned, he was pressed to commit suicide by jumping off a building. Keming lied that he was using his art for the greater good of the Cultural Revolution, and that to push him off would counter that. So he survived because “Allah protected me” (117) He resorted to other crafts when he had to but went back to work, often doing dragons, doing what he can do to survive, but remaining true to his ancestors and to his God.
Another source of note is Yang Dexin an open communist and a “friend” of Gladney. He worries about the prospect of his daughters, who are to almost inevitably marry away into the Han culture. He decided to have a conversation with the ahong, or imam, about it. What likely happened next for Dexin did happen with a different couple. The family was firmly religious and had an appointment with the ahong. The ahong said he was willing to marry them only if:
1. They recognize Allah as the one and only God
2. They practice the lifestyle of God’s Prophet Muhammad
3. Obey the Islamic marriage laws
4. Refer back to the Holy Qur’an as the ultimate and divine Guide
The Hui know very well that they are isolated and they want to preserve the rituals of their culture.
Gru Gladney found a third local obstacle to the Hui from the Han – the ignorance of the lifestyle. A truck driver made the following derogatory slur:
Monkey for a brother
Dog for a grandmother
A pig for his
Ancestral tablet
This is apparently a reference to the known Hui custom of the refusal to eat pork, China’s main meat. The Han believe (wrongly) that the Hui worship pigs. In fact the Hui worship none other than Allah. Pigs are filth.
In continuation, any Hui in the end rally to defend their faith, Islam. According to James Frankel, who appears to be in alignment with Gladney, “sentiments expressed quietly by some Muslims in the wake of the Danish cartoons controversy suggest this. With access to international media, via the internet and satellite television, one young Muslim said, ‘We knew about the cartoons and felt furious’, adding rhetorically, ‘But how could we go and demonstrate?’” The theme of Frankel’s writing is the concept of apolitization of Chinese Muslims, and the point is that most Hui view themselves as Chinese and Muslims.
Chinese Islam seems to be its own brand of the faith. In Apolitization: One Facet of Chinese Islam by Frankel:
The Han Kitab presents Islam as an ethical and philosophical teaching, akin to the Dao, or way, of Confucianism. The Prophet Muhammed is portrayed as a Sage, rather than as a prophet in the Semite tradition, with the idea of divine revalation being downplayed.
In Chinese culture, the concept of a one being who is the master of the universe, is unorganized, but the forces of nature are not. Here is very strong syncronization between the Chinese religious views on the way of life and the understanding of Islam based on that very mind set. That is not to say that they all do not care much about Islam, but they treat it differently based on their understanding of Islam.