The problem of Sinicizing Beijing's mosques

Ridgeon, L. (2020) The problem of Sinicizing Beijing's mosques. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 40(4), pp. 576-596. (doi: 10.1080/13602004.2020.1836595)

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The “Sinicization of religion” that is being implemented in China since 2016 has not only adversely affected the practice of Islam by Hui Muslims but it has also impacted upon the architecture and decoration of mosques where Hui communities live. This article argues that the politics of Sinicizing religious spaces is inherently problematic; it involves issues of what exactly constitutes “Sinicization”, and assumptions behind the choices that Muslims make regarding mosque architecture and decoration. To illustrate the intricacies of the matter, this article compares two large mosques in Beijing. The Niujie mosque is an example of an old and traditional “Chinese” Muslim place of worship, and as such, may be classified as “Sinicized”, and approved of by the Chinese state. In contrast, the large, modern Doudian mosque, with its “Arab” style tall minarets and bulbous domes might be considered alien to Chinese tastes, however, such suppositions gloss over its hybrid architectural and decorative features and the multiple reasons for choices made in its design.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ridgeon, Dr Lloyd
Authors: Ridgeon, L.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Journal Abbr.:JMMA
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9591
Published Online:04 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs
First Published:First published in Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 40(4): 576-596
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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