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China’s Favored Muslims? The Complex Relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the Hui Ethnic Group

In: Sociology of Islam
Author:
Erik Durneika University of South Florida, edurneika@mail.usf.edu

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The People’s Republic of China remains a multinational unitary state, where the prc Constitution expressly guarantees freedom of religion and fair treatment of ethnic minorities. The Chinese Communist Party (ccp) retains ultimate authority regarding internal and external affairs, including the selective enforcement of constitutional rights. Various ethnic groups, such as the Turkic Uighurs, have long been perceived as rebellious, while the Muslim Hui have often been treated favorably, with laxer enforcement of laws and more religious autonomy. Many attribute this “model minority” perception of the Hui to cultural similarities shared with the Han. Although the ccp continues to allow religious freedoms to the Hui, the trajectory of persecution has slightly increased due to threats of global Islamist insurgencies. Leadership under President Xi Jinping seeks to maintain its power by combating “foreign infiltration” of Islam. Party officials allow Hui to interact with Muslim countries internationally under one circumstance—beneficial business transactions.

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