The Muslim Minority Nationalities of China: Toward Separatism or Assimilation?

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University
Wadha Alnuaimi, Texas A&M University
Li Zhang, Virginia Commonwealth University

We examine social and demographic issues of China’s Muslims. We inquire whether Chinese Muslims could ever have the national and international impacts of Muslims elsewhere in the world, or will they remain separated. Will Chinese Muslims impact demographically and politically China, the East Asia region, and the world in the same manner as, say, Muslims in Iraq or in Iran, have had impacts? We argue they will not. In our paper we also discuss the history of Islam in China. And we address some of the problems in counting the number of Muslims in China. We focus on China’s two largest Muslim groups, the Hui and the Uygur. We show that they and the other Muslim groups are far more different than similar, and this has profound implications regarding the impacts of Chinese Muslims worldwide, as well as the country’s government policy towards Muslims.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 3