Fragmented yet Associated: ‘Waqf’ Activities in an Urban Hui Muslim Internet Community

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Masashi NARA


This paper examines how Islamic revival has progressed in China since economic reform by focusing on the activities of an urban Hui Muslim Internet community in Yunnan province. Since the late 1970s, there have been two clear tendencies in Hui society. One is the rise in secularization amongst many Hui Muslims through social change; for example the dissolution of traditional Hui communities and intensified interaction between Hui and Han Chinese in daily life. Another is Islamization amongst certain Hui, brought about through a relaxation of religious policies. These contrasting trends mean that many Hui people do not share a sense of religiosity. Seemingly, they lack a point of contact. However, the Hui Muslim Internet community connects them through diverse activities and intents, from meeting prospective marriage partners to the doctrinal development of Islam. Additionally, Hui Muslims associated via the Web engage in Islamic revival movements such as establishing Waqf (Muslim endowments). This suggests a new comprehension of Islamic revival, one which does not reduce such movements to a sense of religiosity. As the new associations connect diverse Hui Muslims, the Islamic revival movements develop in entanglements of both the Islamic and the secular and not from mere Islamization alone.


Article Details

Author Biography

Masashi NARA, University of Tsukuba (Japan)


Doctoral Program in History and Anthropology

Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science