Panel: East Asian Islam in the 19th/20th Centuries and its Discovery as a Political Factor

Zeitplan

Raum: Kath Theol II, Hochparterre, Johannisstraße 8-10
Tag Zeit    
Di 09:00-09:30 Brandenburg Perceptions of Chinese Islam: Between Pan-Islamism and the “Yellow Peril”
Di 09:30-10:00 Jost Religious Charisma and Rebellion: The Chinese Ḥajjīs Ma Mingxin 馬明心 (1719-1781) and Ma Dexin 馬德新 (1794-1874)
Di 10:00-10.30 Yamazaki Japan’s Islamic Campaigns and Their Global Network: Focusing on the Relationship between Abdürreşid İbrahim and Chinese Muslims
Di 10:30-11:00 Pause
Di 11:00-11:30 Ando Japanese Occupation and Chinese Muslims in North China in the Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945: Collaboration, Negotiation, and Resistance
Di 11:30-12:00 Cwiklinski Searching for Allies: The Japanese Islam Policy in the 1930s and the Turko-Tatar diaspora - Abgesagt
Di 11:30-12:00 Drewes Support, Ignorance, Restriction – Chinese Policies Regarding Islam since the end of the Cultural Revolution till now

Panelleiter:

Selçuk Esenbel, Junichiro Ando

Beschreibung des Panels:

Taking Japanese propaganda activities among Chinese Muslims in the 1920s and 1930s as a point of reference, the panel aims at a discussion of the political role which was attributed to Islam in East Asia since the second half of the 19th century. We ask how from different points of view connections were or are made between Islam as a religion and the field of politics, and to what kinds of action this perceived political importance gave rise throughout time.

Sektionen:

Interdisziplinär (Islamwissenschaft; Turkologie und Zentralasienkunde; Sinologie; Japanologie)

Abstracts der Vorträge:

Ando, Junichiro: Japanese Occupation and Chinese Muslims in North China in the Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945: Collaboration, Negotiation, and Resistance

In a few months after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the Japanese Army quickly occupied a large area of North China and founded a puppet regime to keep the region under perpetual control. As an important part of the occupation policy, Japan actively tried to co-opt various social groups such as secret societies, religious communities, and ethnic minorities. Local Chinese Muslims became one of the main targets of this policy, since they were the second-largest non-Han ethnic groups in the region Moreover, they were considered “useful” to the to the Japanese Army for creating footholds to advance into the Northwest China provinces where the “Muslim Warlords” were holding power.

In fact, the “co-opting campaign” ended unsuccessfully. The majority of Muslims ultimately did not take sides with the occupation regime and many among them even participated in the anti-Japanese resistance directly or indirectly. Yet, this campaign did have a strong impact on the local Muslim communities and once generated a trend of “collaboration”, forming a site of complex interactions between the Japanese schemes and the Muslim side’s strategies, as well as between the power structures under the occupation regime and the intricate ethno-cultural politics surrounding Muslims (at both the local and the national level).

This presentation primarily examines the structure and processes of such complex interactions mainly focusing on the activities of the All China Muslim League (中國回教總聯合會), the “official” ethnic organization which was established in February 1938 as a framework to integrate and represent “all the Muslim population” in North China. Secondly, it briefly discusses the context which led Japan’s ultimate failure to win over the Muslims.

Brandenburg, Ulrich: Perceptions of Chinese Islam: Between Pan-Islamism and the “Yellow Peril”

The second half of the 19th century saw a growth in research on Chinese Islam, triggered by the rebellions in East Turkestan, Gansu, and other regions of China, which made the existence of Chinese Muslims known internationally. From the very beginning, this interest was accompanied by deliberations about the geopolitical significance of this Muslim community. As Yakub Bey (1820-77), temporary ruler over East Turkestan, had sworn allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan, fears of the Chinese – symbolized in the idea of the “Yellow Peril” – could easily mingle with fears of pan-Islamism. Constituting a link between Muslim and non-Muslim Asia, Chinese Muslims could therefore be perceived as being of key importance in designs to rule Asia.

My paper intends to trace outside perceptions of Islam in China from the late 19th century via the Boxer Rebellion and the Russo-Japanese War until the heyday of Japanese Asianist policies in the 1930s and 1940s. The aim is to better understand how Chinese Muslims’ political role was assessed, how their importance was constructed discursively, and what shifts are discernible through time.

Drewes, Frauke: Support, Ignorance, Restriction – Chinese Policies Regarding Islam since the end of the Cultural Revolution till now

After the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and in the course of the following reform policies, religions all over China re-emerged. Islam has been no exception from this development – an enormous amount of mosques were (re)opened, Imams were trained and rehabilitated, and the number of hajjis (pilgrims to Mecca) from Chinese Muslims rose to more than 13,500 in 2010.[1] Instead of trying to suppress religions, as it had been the case during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese leadership has now taken on new policies in dealing with Islam, or, mainly, in dealing with its “Muslim” ethnic minorities – among which Hui and Uyghurs are the largest and most prominent groups.

In presenting some major results of my dissertation, I will give a glimpse of the complex relationship between Muslims and the state in present-day China. Also by letting Muslims and Non-Muslims from China speak in the form of interviews, I will try to demonstrate how state policies vary according to economical, political and strategic interests and to ethnic statuses. The examples presented not only highlight the well-known differences between Hui and Uyghurs, but also show the impact of policies such as the general preferential treatment of ethnic minorities, support of Muslims or Islam for political and economic reasons, as well as the perceived taboo of discussing Islam.

[1] Source: http://www.arabnews.com/largest-ever-number-chinese-pilgrims-coming-haj-year (04-11-2013).

Jost, Alexander: Religious Charisma and Rebellion: The Chinese Ḥajjīs Ma Mingxin 馬明心 (1719-1781) and Ma Dexin 馬德新 (1794-1874)

After the collapse of the Mongol empire not many large Muslim communities in the world were more isolated from the heartlands of Islam as the Chinese. The trade network of the Silk Road disintegrated and the formerly great role Chinese Muslims played in the Indian Ocean trade declined. In the following centuries the millions of Muslims remaining in China underwent numerous processes of cultural adaptation to their Chinese host society without ever actually losing their group identity. One of the few connections to the rest of the Islamic world was held up by the few pilgrims who undertook the long journey of the Ḥajj. When during the 19th century the world’s travelling infrastructure was strengthened and the ability of the Qing government to control its boarders weakened, the number of Ḥajjīs rose with remarkable effects on the character of Islam in China, such as an increasing politicization and a much stronger orientation on religious developments in the Arabic World. One of the two early Pilgrims introduced in this study is Ma Mingxin 馬明心 (1719-1781). After he came back from Mecca, he founded the powerful Jahriyya Sufi Order and became a crucial character for the Rebellion of the Salar in Gansu in 1781. Another one is Ma Dexin 馬德新 (1794-1874). When returned to China from his Pilgrimage, he first became one of the spiritual and military leaders of the devastating Panthay Rebellion in Yunnan. After signing a peace treaty with the Qing government, he turned to become one of the most influential thinkers and writers propagating a harmonic integration of Islam into the Confucian order.

Yamazaki, Noriko: Japan’s Islamic Campaigns and Their Global Network: Focusing on the Relationship between Abdürreşid İbrahim and Chinese Muslims
Japan’s Islamic Campaigns which were promoted in the first half of the twentieth century and were characterized by conciliatory measures towards Muslims abroad required foreign Muslim collaborators with global Muslim networks. One of the Muslims who contributed to expanding Japan’s Islamic network was Abdürreşid İbrahim (1857-1944), an eminent Tatar Muslim ulema (scholar) from Russia. He visited Japan during his journey across Eurasia from 1907 to 1909 and got on friendly terms with Japanese Pan-Asianists, military officers and politicians. He had great expectations that Japan, as a rising country which defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, could support the Islamic world’s liberation from European imperialism. He visited Japan again in the 1930’s, playing an important role in gathering foreign Muslims’ attention to Japan.
Japan focused on their attention on China, where millions of Muslims lived and it was expected to become an anti-Russo corridor. In this paper, I investigate how Japan established a global Muslim network and its historical significance, focusing on the relationship between İbrahim and Chinese Muslims by using periodicals and books written by both of them.
My analysis has led to the following conclusions. Firstly, İbrahim succeeded in enjoying Chinese Muslims’ favor during his visit to China in 1909 and invited them to Japan in the 1930’s, allowing Japan’s Islamic Campaigns to get a foot in the door in China. Secondly, increasing interest in Chinese Muslims prompted Japanese scholars to do research on Islam in China and had a great influence on Japanese recognition of Islam and the Sino-Japanese relationship.