On a recent Friday, the holy day of Islam, crowds swelled inside the antique Jaman Mosque, the largest in this ancient town in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, home to the nation’s small but restive Muslim minority.
The turbaned and bearded clerics who preached to the gathered faithful had all been vetted for their political beliefs by local Chinese authorities, who determine what sermons they can give, what version of the Koran they may use, and where and how religious gatherings can be held.
The Chinese government forces all Muslims in China to adhere to a state- controlled version of their religion, and banners placed around town warn locals not to stray from the official faith. The imams are not even allowed to issue the call to prayer using a public address system. [Full Text]
– Listen to an interview with Jehangir Pocha on CDT’s ChinaCast.