Reviews

Insisting on the Chinese Muslims’ history of accommodation of Islam to varying local contexts, the author of this study notably casts light on the role played by the Islamic Association of China and by the registered religious personnel of Islam in the People’s Republic in the constant effort at integration through de-politicisation of religion. In a period when we are permanently bombarded with stories on the politicisation of religion, J. D. Frankel endeavours to demonstrate that, for Chinese Muslims, it has not been an option: In the course of history, on the contrary, they have been affirming their religion’s apolitical nature, even though they have been constantly involved in politics (notably through the promotion of the community’s economic interests). So doing, the author also shows that Islam is an Abrahamic tradition with deep roots in the East ― in this case, in Chinese culture and political civilisation ―, and that “to uphold the idea of an immutable polarity between an Occidental Self and Oriental Other (or vice versa) is to return to the paradigm of a flat Earth.”

The Redaction
CER: II-4.3.E-421