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Sub-anchor: Origins of Islam in China

11-07-2011 08:51 BJT

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For more on China’s Muslim population, we are joined by our reporter, Li Kefu.

Q1: Close to 14,000 Chinese Muslims have arrived in Mecca for this year’s ritual. So when did Islam come to China and where are Chinese Muslim communities found?

A1: Well, there is a substantial number of Muslims in China. Islam was introduced here in the mid 6th century, meaning Chinese Muslims have lived here for the last 1400 years. They are found in almost every region of China, from West to East. The highest concentration of Muslims is found in the northwest, in areas such as Xinjiang, Gangsu and Ningxia. In fact, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is so called because of its large number of Hui Chinese, one of China’s Muslim minorities. Among China’s 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities, ten are considered Muslim, which include the Hui, Uyghur, Kazakh, Uzbek and Tajik among others. There are more than 34 thousand mosques in China.

Q2: Can you give us more background of Hajj?

A2: Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is the sacred city of Islam in Saudi Arabia. It is considered the largest pilgrimage in the world. As a religious duty, it must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of an able-bodied Muslim. Attracting millions every year, it’s a pivotal event in the Islamic calendar. According to the Saudi government, last year nearly 2 million foreign pilgrims went to Mecca to perform Hajj. Because of the large number of participants, crowd-control techniques have become critical these years. Meanwhile, Chinese Muslims have attended Hajj in large numbers these years, typically in organized groups.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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