Thursday, 16 September 2004

Islam in China

The BBC had an interesting story today on Islam in the Ningxia province, “the heartland of Islam in China.” Chinese Islam is, according to the story, more progressive than the variety found in the Middle East. There are even a few female imams.

Beijing's tight control over religious practice means Chinese Muslims have been isolated from trends sweeping through the rest of the Islamic world.

According to Dr Khaled Abou el Fadl from the University of California in Los Angeles, that means that ancient traditions like female jurists – which have been stamped out elsewhere – have been able to continue in China.

“The Wahhabi and Salafis have not been able to penetrate areas like China and establish their puritanical creed there,” said Dr Khaled Abou el Fadl.