China’s Hui Muslims are unique in many respects. The country’s second-largest ethnic minority share linguistic and cultural ties with the majority in China that have allowed them to practice their religion with less interference and fewer restrictions than others, like Uighur Muslims and Tibetans. Outside of China, the Hui practice of installing women as the head of female-only mosques has been viewed with criticism and admiration. In this video, we look inside the lives of Hui women and what the practice, and the religion, means to them.
"We went looking for a story about ethnic minorities and religion in China and came away with a tale of feminism in Islam. China’s Hui Muslims and their female imams and all-women mosques create a strong sense of community and identity. The tradition is in danger of fading out after centuries of practice, not because of government restrictions on religion, but because economic development is luring girls away from the mosque and home to jobs in cities. Imam Guo Dongping told me [Kathleen Mclaughlin] of her commitment to continue the practice well into the future" - Kathleen Mclaughlin
*The Last Call to Prayer video originally appeared on The Asia Society / China File website