Reviews

The famous Naqshbandi shaykh Apaq Khoja (1626-94) is a highly controversial figure in present-day Xinjiang.  After having presented his historical impact, the author details the contrasting approaches towards him and towards Sufism in general through several contemporary Uighur narratives.  Writers like Ibrahim Niyaz or Nizamüddin Hüsäyn considered the Sufi leader as the puppet ruler of a chaotic state, representing one of the darkest periods of the Eastern Turkistani history.  A more recent official discourse consists in emphasising his relationship with the Qing empire, although this version is sometimes perceived by the Uighurs as a collaboration with Chinese oppressors.  Despite all these attacks—as E. Waite clearly points out—a traditional devoutness to Apaq Khoja remains as it is manifested by the cult on his mausoleum near Kashghar.

Alexandre Papas, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.E-512