All Photographs by Lili Almog
MUSLIM WOMEN IN CHINA
Islam reached China in 651 C.E., just 19 years after the death of Muhammad, when a maternal uncle of the Prophet was sent as envoy to the Tang emperor Gaozong. Over the next 1,400 years, the fortunes of the religion varied widely, although it never became a principal faith of the 92-percent majority Han people. With the Communist victory in 1949, Islam was disparaged, like all other religions, by Maoist who viewed it as part of the pernicious “olds” (old ideas, old culture, old customs, old habits) to be eradicated to make way for the secular, enlightened future. Freedom of religion did not return officially until 1978, under Mao’s economically liberal successor, Deng Xiaoping. At present, Islam is practiced by about 27 million people, 2 percent of China’s population, mostly from ethnic minorities.
A Mosque of Their Own
Below please enjoy excerpts from Kathleen McLaughlin's article.
For the entire article click here.
Packed into this town are six mosques run by women, whose congregants are all female, and only five headed by men—an imbalance the women point out with pride, and a rarity among Muslim communities in China, let alone the rest of the world.