Searching for Quingzhenjiao, the (re)integration of Chinese Muslims with the global Ummah
In the course of the thesis, I illustrate how Chinese Muslims were historically characterized by their Islamic identity, but underwent a process of ethnicization of during much of the PRC era. The reform period (post-1979) has brought unprecedented change to the lives of Chinese Muslims, who have begun to reassert an Islamic identity as their primary form of self-ascription. In this work, I explore how this Islamic identity is inextricably linked to Chinese Muslims' connection to their understanding of a worldwide Muslim brotherhood, the global ummah. However, integration with the Islamic World is not without its difficulties, as tensions are created between the unique Islamic tradition of Chinese Muslims and those Islamic traditions they encounter in the greater Islamic World. Furthermore, Chinese Muslims experience alternating support for and resistance to integration from the Chinese state. Thus, the process of Chinese Muslims' reintegration with the Islamic World is highly nuanced.