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  Le Groupe de recherche "Science et Religion en Islam" est le fruit de la collaboration d’un certain nombre d’universitaires musulmans qui ont décidé de se mettre en réseau afin d’explorer les interfaces entre science et religion à partir de différents horizons disciplinaires. Nous voudrions contribuer à l’éclosion d’une dynamique de travail qui se place dans une double perspective, d’une part, celle d’une rationalité ouverte à des problématiques d’ordre métaphysique, spirituel et théologique et, d’autre part, celle d’une vie spirituelle, d’une conscience religieuse, d’une intériorité ouverte sur des problématiques philosophiques issues des investigations scientifiques contemporaines.   Cette double perspective est la nôtre dans la mesure où nous estimons que la science et la religion ont des choses à se dire. Mais cela suppose tout à la fois une grande clarté dans les intentions et une grande rigueur dans la méthode. La mise à plat, dans un « côte à côte » illusoire, ou une analogie fallacieuse, des données de la tradition religieuse islamique et des données de la science contemporaine, peut s’avérer décevante car, en méconnaissant les spécificités des deux domaines et la singularité des principes qui président à leurs mouvements propres, cette approche empêche en réalité l’émergence d’une véritable « confluence » entre science et religion. C’est pourquoi, à la différence d’une certaine lecture, plus ou moins dominante dans le monde musulman, nous ne croyons pas que ces deux sphères de la connaissance puissent sérieusement dialoguer directement, d’une façon immédiate. La qualité de la relation entre les deux nécessite, estimons-nous, le détour par une réflexion « en interne », de nature philosophique, théologique et spirituelle. Nous pourrions formuler ainsi le questionnement : qu’est-ce qui, à l’intérieur de la science, peut entrer dans un dialogue fécond avec l’univers de la religion musulmane ? Qu’est-ce qui, à l’intérieur de la religion musulmane, peut entrer dans un dialogue fécond avec l’univers de la science ?   Lorsque nous parlons d’islam, nous n’entendons pas seulement la composante proprement religieuse ; nous pensons que, pour favoriser l’émergence d’un dialogue sérieux entre science et religion dans la perspective de l’islam, il nous faut solliciter l’ensemble des dimensions du patrimoine issu de la civilisation qui s’est nourrie de cette religion. C’est l’une des raisons pour laquelle notre réseau de chercheurs comprend, non seulement des mathématiciens, des physiciens, des astrophysiciens, mais aussi des théologiens, des historiens, des philosophes. L’approche interdisciplinaire est un aspect important de notre travail : mettre en lien, dans le respect des règles d’exercice de chaque discipline, leurs résultats.   Le site science-islam.net veut être un forum de connaissance en vue de l’émergence d’une véritable modernité scientifique musulmane qui soit enracinée dans la conscience de valeurs intellectuelles, spirituelles et éthiques. A travers ses quatre rubriques (articles-études, brèves, références bibliographiques et liens), notre site entend mettre à portée du plus grand nombre les outils, les concepts, les méthodes , les thèses, les structures qui pourraient participer au « renouvellement » ou plus justement, à la « revivification », de la pensée islamique en s’appuyant sur la compréhension approfondie des enjeux et des pratiques en vigueur dans la science du 21ème siècle. 

The completion of the idea of dual loyalty towards China and Islam

Introduction

Sino-Muslims or Huizu must be an exceptional ethnic minority. In the turmoil of Chinese society in the twentieth century, they survived and even strengthened their ethnic identity as well as their ethnic political and economic rights in the nation-state of China. In the 1930s, influenced by the introduction of the notion of "race" and "nation" from Western languages, some Sino-Muslims began to call themselves Hui-zu or Hui nationality, instead of Hui-min. In Chinese, zu means lineage in general, but in modern times, it implied a collective ethnic group, which sometimes had some political rights, while min means "people". These Sino-Muslims perceived that they, as an entity, belonged to the same ethnic and religious group, different from the Han, even though they claimed rights as a political group within the framework of Chinese nation-state. While the others perceived themselves as an integral part of the Chinese nation or Zhonghua minzu with the same race, language, habits, and culture. They believed the only religious difference lay between the Han Chinese and the Hui Chinese. The two opposing groups of the Muslim people, however, held the same the point of view that China was their definitive homeland to be protected against aggressors.

One of the most important political legacies of Sun Yatsen, who died in 1925, was nationalism. After the completion of Northern Expedition in 1928, the political superiority of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kaishek), the successor of Sun, was assured and the establishment of patriotism was indispensable for nation building. Both political leaders of China in the first half of the twentieth century promoted nationalism and economic development as a mirror of imperialist intervention into China. Liang Qizhao borrowed the concept of minzu or "nation" from Japanese at the end of the nineteenth century1 That was one of the words that characterised modern China. The words and concepts of nation as well as race (renzhong, zhongzu), state, evolution, resolution, development, destiny, unification (hejun), mission, and glorification were introduced into Chinese written language, especially through periodicals. Periodicals for Sino-Muslims were no exception.2 From 1910 until 1949, more than sixty kinds of periodical for Sino-Muslims were printed and distributed in China.3 Reflecting the linguistic life of the Hui, most of them were written in Chinese or Hanyu. The most influential journal among them was no doubt the Yuehua, which was first edited as a bulletin of Chengda Normal School in Beiping in 1929 and gained readers all over the country. In this paper, spotlighting the Yuehua, I will discuss how Hui ethnicity was strengthened and how Sino-Muslim social status as a part of the Chinese nation became improved in the course of the what is variously called the "Islamic New Cultural Movement", the "Islamic Reform Movement", or the "Islamic Revival Movement".

The idea of nationhood for the Hui and the theoretical revolution

1. Background

The Islamic Reform Movement was first initiated in the Middle East at the end of the nineteenth century. Scholars of Islamic modern history have proved that its scope covered the area from Morocco to Indonesia, including China. Sino-Muslim intellectuals were involved in the world-wide movement by visiting and staying in the Middle East. They would do this on their way to Mecca at the beginning of twentieth century, when prohibition against travelling abroad for people in China was abolished. Muslim intellectuals witnessed the reality of the movement and recognised the importance of the Islamic reform in China, since it had seemed to change its essential characters after having been separated from the world for centuries. After the massive immigration to China in the Yuan (Mongolian) period, (13th-14th centuries), Muslims in the Chinese imperial sphere were obliged to stay in China where the majority was non-Muslim. Even though they knew Islam was a religion that accepted the unity of religion and politics, it was impossible for them to implement the principle. Coexistence was the principle they implemented for centuries. If they did not strive to live together with non-Muslims, then they, as a minority, would be extinguished.

Reinterpreting the theology of the unity of being or wahdat al-wujud, which had prevailed in Islamic communities on the Eurasian Continent since the thirteenth century, a theology unique to Chinese society arose at the beginning of the seventeenth century. It asserted that Muslims in China should have dual loyalty both to Allah and to the Heavenly Mandate. Completing this theology, Wang Daiyu and Liu Zhi claimed, using the terminology of Confucian writings, there was no contradiction in obeying the order of the Heavenly Mandate, since his existence in this world was also the reflection of Allah. If a Muslim under the rule of the Heavenly Mandate lives a good and moral life, he/she would fulfil the life given by Allah and be able to return to the real essence of Allah after his/her death. They also asserted there was no contradiction between Confucian thinking and Islamic thinking. Both accepted human perfection in life. Their belief was later called "Gedimu" in Chinese, which was literally a corrupted form of qadim or "old" in Arabic, since the belief had been brought to China in earlier years. Because of this theory, Sino-Muslims with belief of Gedimu did not rebel against Qing dominance, even though Qing policy towards the Hui was sometimes harsh enough to exacerbate ethnic discrimination in the regional communities. When Hui rebellions initiated by Jahriya menhuan, a branch of a tariqa, took place in the Northwest in the middle of eighteenth and nineteenth century, most Gedimu Sino-Muslims distanced themselves from them. Some of them even participated in the efforts of the Qing court to suppress the rebellions.

Accumulating assets through commercial activities among Muslims and the other ethnic communities, some upper class Muslim families could afford to send their sons to study for the civil-service examinations. For the preparation of the examination, understanding of Confucian knowledge was considered to be so indispensable that it was compulsory for Sino-Muslim intellectuals to maintain the world-view that Confucian and Islamic knowledge did not contradict one another at all. Sino-Muslim literati were required to have knowledge of these two kinds of ethics to facilitate their lives in the Confucian society of China. However, at the turn of twentieth century, Qing imperial power and authority was shrinking, while Western and Japanese powers began to infringe on Chinese sovereignty in economic, political, and legal fields. If Sino-Muslims continued believing in the theory of dual loyalty, especially loyalty for the Heavenly Mandate, their existence would have been in peril in the event of the fall of the imperial authority.

2.Transformation of thoughts - From the old to the new - Theoretical changes in Islam in China

Since the mitigation of the prohibition of leaving the country in the late Qing period, a number of intellectuals in China gained opportunities to go abroad. It is widely known that there were two main destinations : Western countries and Japan. However, for Sino-Muslims, a more important destination was the Middle East. Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of five pillars for Muslims and Sino-Muslims were now permitted to fulfil this duty, finances allowing. Ahongs or religious leaders of the Muslim communities in China began to visit the Middle East.

1 - Ikhwani

Ma Wanfu was one of the most important ahongs who visited Arabian Peninsula in 1888. He initiated Islamic reform in China, since the implementation and interpretations of Islamic rituals and doctrines seemed to differ from the ones in the Ikhwan branch in Saudi Arabia. Called Xinxinjiao or Newest Sect, Ikhwani claimed to change the old way of Islamic interpretation into the new one in accordance with a more accurate understanding of the Qu’ran. Adapting aspects of a religious reformation, Ikhwani’s influence spread among the Muslims mostly in Northwest China by the beginning of the Republican era, though it had caused frequent frictions not only with existing Gedimu and menhuans but also the Qing regime.4 The Ikhwani felt that it was disgraceful to adhere to the old interpretations. Therefore, Islamic communities in China swayed between the old and new values brought from the Middle East. Retaining its fundamental characteristics, Ikhwani had to modify its more radical aspects in order to adjust itself to the changing reality of China, particularly after the beginning of Anti-Japanese War. In fact, Ikhwani’s and Gedimu’s philosophy and cosmology often merged during the Anti-Japanese War and Sino-Muslims even today cannot clearly make distinctions between the two major groups.

2 - Reformation of Gedimu

Maintaining the theology of dual loyalty as a necessity of survival, Gedimu was also facing the transition of the times. Generally speaking, some intellectual youth in China began to accept new thoughts and technologies from the West and Japan in order to challenge Chinese "feudal" society in the beginning of the twentieth century. Some Muslim youth who studied in Japan were among the groups who were eager for a Republican revolution. Some stayed in China, enthusiastically reading periodicals and newspapers written by reformists.5 Whether reformists or revolutionaries, or whether Han or Hui, most intellectuals then reached an agreement on acceptance of changes from the old to the new. They began to feel strong discontent with the interventions of Western imperialists and the repressive policies of the Qing government. As for Muslim intellectuals, they advocated that Muslims in China should maintain and even reinforce dual identity, i.e. identity of the Chinese nation and Hui Muslim. Advocating nationalism, they struggled to construct a wealthy and strong state that would accept not only modern education for children but also the preservation of the characteristics of each ethnic group. They also claimed that there was no contradiction between being a Chinese national and Hui Muslim, so they had to reform Islam and Muslim communities according to the modern trend.

The promotion of the Chinese nation-state was considered equivalent to the promotion of the religion, as the legacy of Wang Daiyu and Liu Zhi’s dual loyalty toward Allah and the Heavenly Mandate. Just before the establishment of the Republican regime, the latter loyalty was easily replaced by the concept of the emerging "nation-state". This kind of argument was first discussed in a journal named Xinghuipian as early as in 1908. This journal was published as a bulletin of the Sino-Muslim’s Association in Tokyo. Contributing to this journal, a Hui writer argued as follows : "Even though there are racial differences among the Han, Manchus, Mongolians, Hui and Tibetans, they should not fight each other. Since they are crews of the same state ship, those races should live in harmony. .... Religions always encourage people to do their best and are prime movers of the society. In accordance with the current of the times, we have to reform our religion." 6 When they were among other Han intellectuals, they behaved as ordinary citizens in China, while they recognised themselves as Muslims among the larger Muslim communities in the world.

3 - Orientations of Sino-Muslim intellectuals - The rise of nationalism and ethnicity

Sino-Muslim intellectuals took the initiative of formulating Hui identity in modern narratives and tried to gain some ethnic rights. They perceived that their unknown Hui brothers/sisters were living in China. Therefore, they attempted to reconstruct a unified Hui ethnic group, which could have a unified standpoint in relation to the Han majority. The activity of Sino-Muslim intellectuals became effective through the establishment of Islamic normal schools in the coastal region and the publication of various religious books and periodicals at the end of 1920s. Interestingly, the funds for these activities were supplied by Ma Fuxiang, one of the powerful Hui warlord families in the Northwest. Ma Fuxiang funded both the Yuehua and Beijing’s Xibei Gongxue (the Northwestern Middle School) for fostering patriotic Hui intellectuals who would contribute to nation-building and the development of the Northwest.

There was a serious problem in sustaining the Islamic revival, namely the shortage of people who were confident in teaching essential Islamic doctrine, which Sino-Muslim intellectuals depended on for the establishment of Hui identity. However, their knowledge of Islam was limited to the five pillars and simple recitation of Qu’ranic phrases in Arabic. Studying in Jingtang or madrasa attached to mosques, they managed to understand basic Arabic and Persian. And yet they could not understand the writings and teachings of the Qu’ran and the Hadith in the context of a rapidly changing modern Chinese society. It was compulsory for Sino-Muslim intellectuals to absorb new knowledge represented by democracy and science instead of traditional Confucianism. Acquiring not only new knowledge from the West but also new knowledge from the Middle East determined the character of those new Muslim intellectuals. Pointing out the mistakes of Arabic interpretations in the Northwest, Muslim intellectuals confirmed their superiority and legitimacy for leading not only Sino-Muslims but also Turkish Muslims in Xinjiang. Cities in the coastal regions such as Beiping, Jinan, Guangdong and Shanghai were centres of modern thought, but were inhabited by a small numbers of Hui. On the other hand, the Northwest preserved the Islamic traditions with a large Hui population. Ahongs and intellectuals in the coastal regions looked down on those in the Northwest, since the former represented "progress" and the latter were regarded as "backward".

Among Sino-Muslims, it was believed that only those who had both ethnic identity and national identity had a right to lead people in their homeland sacrificed by imperialists.7 Slogans such as "Chinese national mission", and "Save the country and save the nation",8 "Missions of Hui intellectuals"9 and "Solid convictions toward Muslims in China"10 were spread throughout Sino-Muslim society. It is important to point out that, by the end of the 1920s, Wang Jingzhai Ahong, who had visited Mecca, introduced a phrase from the Hadith : "Aiguo Aijiao", that is "Loving our country is equivalent to loving our faith".11 Even though it is still doubtful that whether or not this phrase was spoken by the Prophet Muhammad, it had been popular among Muslims in the Middle East by the end of the nineteenth century and provided a theoretical background for the anti-imperialist and nationalist movement there. The phrase was also repeated over and over again and spread to Muslim communities, not only by means of periodicals like Yuehua, but also on every occasion of modern ahong preaching.

The Yuehua and Islamic reform by intellectuals

1 - The background of the birth of the Yuehua

Well-known ahongs such as Wang Haoran and Wang Jingzhai visited Mecca and Egypt and witnessed the reality of Islamic reform in the Middle East in the 1900’s and 1920’s. Information they brought from the Middle East seemed to them to be absolutely correct, in terms of the strategy for anti-imperialism and nation building. They strove to acquire more accurate information on Islamic interpretations from the Middle East. Yuehua was published as a result. The Yuehua was first published as a bulletin of Chengda Normal School in Beiping in 1929, one year after the completion of the Northern Expedition, when China was unified under the rule of the Nationalist Party. The school was established in 1925 to foster Islamic promoters who would be religious leaders, principals of normal schools, and presidents of Islamic associations. Concerning the purpose of Chengda Normal School, Ma Songting writes as follows : "Fostering students through the study of foreign literature, we have to make them recognize Islam clearly. After graduation, they can lead Muslims and engage them in Islamic revival activities.... If those new graduates become ahongs in forty thousand mosques and lead Muslims, we can unite sincerely and achieve the great work of Islamic revival together. Having great power, not only the government but ordinary Chinese people will pay more attention to us."12 The proposal to publish was made by wealthy intellectuals such as Tang Kesan, the principal of the school, Zhao Zhenwu, Sun Youming and Ma Fuxiang.13 Wang Mengyang, one of the most important editors and contributors of the Yuehua, analysed the position as follows : "Waking up from their dreams, people recognised the importance of submission to national policy and achieving of its objectives. At the same time, they accepted Sun Yatsen’s democracy minquan zhuyi that asserted that people should be responsible for surveying political affairs. Everyone recognised national affairs as something related to everyone. People’s recognition and thoughts have changed accordingly. Therefore, publications of this era were influenced by circumstances."14

Thus the starting of the Yuehua was related to the birth of a unified China.

2 - Initial period of the Yuehua (1929-1930)

The purposes of the Yuehua drafted in the first edition were the promotion of Islam in China to adapt it modern trends. In order to implement the purpose, it was necessary to introduce Islam from outside China and promote the unification of Muslims in China. Education and improvement of livelihood were also proposed.15 It placed emphasis on Islamic reform in order to adapt the status of Muslim people to the new age. Sino-Muslim intellectuals were aware of the importance of the co-existence of Muslims and other ethnic and religious groups in the nation-state of China. Therefore, they had to install a new, united and positive position as an ethnic group of the Hui.

They hoped to communicate with Muslims dispersed all over China. At the same time, the more contributors sent modern discourses, the more their status in the modern nation-state would be improved. In this initial period, we can observe typical patterns of Islamic revivalism in China, i.e. Chinese nationalism, anti-imperialism, acceptance of modernism and Islamic reform including the promotion of Islamic culture and national education for Muslim youth. However, direct information from the Middle East was limited, because most of contributors lacked the possibility of traveling abroad and the necessary Qu’ranic background.

3-Second Period (1931-37), blooming of Islamic Reform in the Middle East

The Yuehua changed not only in format, from a newspaper style to a magazine style, but also in content after 1931.16 The editorial line became more academic. The most important transformation from the previous period was the acceptation of annotation of the Qu’ran and Hadiths (al-tafsir). Each volume had a column to explain the meaning of the phrases of the Qur’an. In relation to this change, four young students were dispatched from China to Al-Azhar in this year, in search of new and accurate Qu’ranic interpretations adapted to the reality of Islam in China. Muslim intellectuals were entrusted with the promotion of Islam with the new interpretation of the Qu’ran.17 We have to consider the reason for the transformation of editorial objectives in this year. Firstly, because of the development of communications, Islamic journals in the Islamic world became exchanged or were sometimes donated by visitors. The editors began to pick up information about Islam outside of China. They learned how to use the typical style of Islamic publications, which had its roots in al-Manar by Muhammad ’Abduh.

Secondly, 1931 was the year when Japan invaded the Northeast of China. This event resulted in the creation of Manchukuo the following year. In the face of Japan’s clear intention to invade the rest of China, Sino-Muslim intellectuals also had to discover clear theological interpretations as to why they had to oppose Japan.18 Direct information from Egypt began to be delivered and many important monographs and discussions in Nur al-Islam, the bulletin of Al-Azhar, began to be translated into Chinese by students of Chengda Normal School and Al-Azhar in this period. They searched its authority in the Middle East, Al-Azhar in particular. Reading many Arabic monographs on Nur al-Islam, Mujallah al-Azhar (former Nur al-Islam) and Al-Fathu and Arabic books such as Risalah al-Tawhid by Muhammad ’Abduh and History of Islam by Muhammad Khuzuli, they selected only those arguments which where consistent with their aims in China when they began the translation of Arabic texts.

For example, they did not accept the major Egyptian interpretation of watan or state, according to which only Muslims could occupy leading positions. Accordingly, Christians, accounting for twenty percent of the population in Egypt, would be excluded.19 Sino-Muslim interpreted watan as their homeland China or the territory of Republic of China inclusively, where many ethnicities and religions co-existed20. Sino-Muslims were barely minorities in Chinese society at that time, though their population was believed to be fifty millions and represented one eighth of the total population of four hundred million according to statistics.21 Those who read Arabic fluently and translated Arabic articles into Chinese were young intellectuals such as Ma Jian and Na Xun who left for Al-Azhar in 1931 and 1934 respectively. In the wake of the loss of the Northeast, the GMD paid attention to the development of the Northwest where sufficient natural and human resources were available for the struggle against foreign intervention and for the achievement of national development. China’s Northwest was, they thought, equivalent to the New Continent and Africa that had served the economic and military expansion of colonisers.22 Therefore, the "training" of "backward" Muslim people had to be taken seriously. Sino-Muslim intellectuals felt responsible for this work through the spread of modern education and new Qu’ranic interpretations. At the same time, acquiring knowledge for the Sino-Muslim intellectuals in China was a form of struggle for establishing Hui ethnic identity. In his Three People’s Principle, Sun Yatsen said that the unification of regional lineages would lead the unification of the region, and also that the unification of regions would constitute national consciousness and national unification23 Instead of "regions", the Sino-Muslims thought in terms of religious identity, because they were always minorities in the regions.

A writer of the times stressed the point in the following way : "If Muslims in China could display their Islamic virtue of dual loyalty toward the Chinese nation and Islamic creed by implementing national unification and patriotism, then Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Hui, and Tibetan races in China would be unified. Then the Hui can play a leading part in achieving national unification, independence and the equal status of each race."24 Prior to the establishment of the National Convention, which was designated to allocate ethnic representatives only to the Mongolians and the Tibetans, Sino-Muslim intellectuals tried to have the Hui recognised as a "minzu" or a nationality, since only those who had "minzu" status had collective political rights equivalent to the Han.25

Political awareness was added to Hui consciousness based on religious and social identity, in spite of the past diversity of sects and schools. In particular, the differences between the Gedimu and the Ikhwani were partly overcome, which led to a closer relationship between them in political terms. Because of the national crisis caused by the Japanese aggression in Northeast China, Ikhwani changed its confrontational attitude to other schools and sects. The famous phrase of the Hadith, "Love for the fatherland is a part of the religious faith", was used over and over again during the Friday prayer, even by the ahongs in the Northwest. Improvement of Muslim political status was, they believed, indispensable in the Chinese nation-state.

4.Third period (1938-1942). Anti-Japanese War and anti-Japanese ideas

In the wake of the outbreak of the Anti-Japanese War in 1931, most Sino-Muslim intellectuals resisted the Japanese aggression. They escaped from the region occupied by Japan and reached Zhongqing, Guilin, or Yunnan. In particular, Guilin in the South was one of the most important strategic cities for the continuation of the resistance. It was also the base area of Bai Chongxi. Born into a Muslim family of Guilin, he seized the regional power in Guangxi and was promoted to vice-general of the GMD troops. Utilising his military power and political authority, he was able to present himself as a protector of Islam in China in order to facilitate the conduct of the war. Teachers, students, and members of the board of trustees of Chengda Normal School as well as other contributors to Yuehua immigrated from Beiping to Guilin in 1937 in search of shelter from the war. Given the GMD policy of resistance to Japan, they accepted the absolute authority of Jiang Jieshi’s leadership. For the implementation of the national salvation war, the GMD also needed to utilise the Muslim movement for fostering nationalism and patriotism. In retrospect, the Sino-Muslim movement for Islamic reform was initiated on a volunteer basis at the beginning of the twentieth century. Even though wealthy Muslim warlords and intellectuals supported it financially, the central government did not pay attention to it. However, in the context of the war which needed to mobilise all classes, all genders, all ages, all parties and all ethnic groups, their movement finally gained the support of the central government. Sino-Muslim intellectuals managed to turn their movement towards the national movement as a whole approved by central government. As a product of modernisation, Sino-Muslim intellectuals accepted the intervention of central government among the lower class of Muslim society and also welcomed unification of Islam according to their own interpretation. In other words, for Islam in China, the times changed from diversity to conformity. Their collective action was brought together in the face of Japanese aggression.

Sino-Muslim intellectuals revived the publication of the Yuehua in Guilin in April 1938. Chengda Normal School in Guilin was raised to national school status in 1941. Leaders of the GMD expected it to foster intellectuals who would promote national unification and the protection of China. Characteristics of the Yuehua in this period were the justification of the national salvation war and the theoretical justification of Muslim participation in the war, as well as the acceptance of GMD policy on national unification. Despite the pressure of Japanese military intervention, delegations of Sino-Muslim intellectuals were dispatched not only to Mecca and Egypt but also to India. They were successful in representing Chinese statehood and also in reporting on the progress of Islamic reform in China.26 Twenty-eight members who participated in the pilgrimage in 1938 explained the consequences of the japanese invasion for Muslims in China and appealed for the solidarity of Muslims all over the world.27 Consequently, Middle Eastern countries recognised the Zhongqing government as the legitimate government of China and denounced the evils of Japanese imperialism and militarism. They also expressed compassion with China, since the Middle Eastern and other Islamic regions faced the same situation to a greater or lesser degree. Favorable attitudes towards China were spread among Muslims in the Middle East. China was a struggling state where Muslims were bravely fighting against their aggressors. These endeavors produced fruitful results in the opening of a Chinese consulate in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in September of 1939.28

Sino-Muslim anti-Japanese activities were justified by various interpretations of the Qu’ran and Hadith. Translations from Egyptian writings and the Qur’an supported propaganda in favour of a holy war (jihad) against Japanese aggressors. Generally speaking, the Zhongqing government lacked a clear explanation as to why Chinese people had to fight Japanese aggressors. Confucian morality had been often utilised in the New Life Movement since 1934 and one of the most popular slogans was Zhongdang Aiguo, i.e. "Loyalty to the Party is equivalent to love for the nation". Another popular slogan was the revival of li (propriety), yi (righteousness), lian, and zhi (sense of honor and shame), which were seen in the writings of Confucius and Mengzi. Jiang Jieshi commented that the revival of those four virtues would make Chinese people recover Chinese pride, which could bring the glory of Chinese civilisation to a point equivalent to or even superior to Western civilisation. These ideas of the so-called New Life Movement seemed to be effective in inciting people to develop Chinese national consciousness. However, they did not indicate any concrete foundation for their activities for the fight against japanese agression. Confucian morality was only utilised to stress obedience to the Party based on the Three People’s Principle, the sacred norm for the Chinese nation by this time. Sino-Muslim intellectuals also had tried to find a link between the Islamic and Confucian virtues through the authoritative New Life Movement.29 Moreover, it was considered as a privilege and a "mission" for them to discover a more comprehensive and persuasive theoretical basis for the war from the interpretations of the Qu’ran and the Hadith. The Sino-Muslim movement was involved in the inclusive anti-Japanese movement, but it was more vigorous than the rest the GMD in terms of taking concrete action in the fight struggle against the Japan30. The outbreak of the Anti-Japanese War brought another new phase to the Sino-Muslim movement. Official financial assistance was provided by the Zhongqing government, which helped to bring about an authorised association to encompass all Muslims in the legitimate territory of China. This was the Islamic Association for Chinese Salvation.

5. The Islamic Association for Chinese Salvation

In May 1938, appointing Bai Chongxi as the Chairman of the directors, the Islamic Association for Chinese Salvation was established to organise all Muslims in China. After the occupation of Wuhan, it moved to Zhongqing in the autumn. The goals of the association were almost the same as those of the Yuehua. They were the promotion of Islamic reform and the spread of modern education to Muslims in China, as well as the unification of Muslims and their participation in the national salvation movement31. In the course of the war, this association became the biggest legal Muslim organisation. Concretely, it was involved in various activities such as fostering anti-Japanese sentiment among ordinary Muslims through ahong preaching, the sending of delegates to the Northwest in order to preach Muslim duties in this difficult period, the promotion of harmonisation between the Han and Muslims, the implementation of modern religious education, and the fulfilment of relief work for war victims. Additionally, members of the association were responsible for taking a national census of Muslims in China. This activity was a part of the duties of the GMD during the period of tutelage. This also meant the association was a part of various sub-institutions designed for national unification and nation building.

Most of executives of this official and nation-wide association were the editors and contributors of Yuehua. The principal of Chengda Normal School, Tang Kesan, was appointed vice-chairman, and Sun Shengwu was one of the directors. Both of them had been appointed as members of the Committee for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs. The board of the directors also included Wang Mengyang, Li Tingbi, Xue Wenbo Wang Cengshan, Ma Tianying, and Ma Zongrong,32 all of whom had been important contributors to Yuehua. Thus the Chengda School group theoretically dominated this nation-wide association of Muslims. Facing Japan, their activities through modern education and promoting Islam through the periodical Yuehua since the 1920s won official approval for the promotion of both the Chinese nation and Islam.33 Staying close the GMD, the desire of Sino-Muslim intellectuals for minzu status in the Chinese nation-state had not been fulfilled. Under the pressure of the GMD claim that, in China, there should be only one minzu, i.e. the Chinese nation, Sino-Muslim intellectuals had to wait until the coming to power of the CCP in 1949.

Conclusion

In Mashi Zupu (Ma Family Lineage Record), Ma Fuxiang described the position as follows : "Our family members are believers in Islam. We observe Islamic proprieties and behave in good faith. Believing in Allah, cultivating our minds and disposition, we aim to be good human beings. In particular, it is important to be respectful in the implemation of our prayer and our family members ought to observe the rules of prayer."34 If Muslim faith in Islam was perfect, he believed, then Sino-Muslims could avoid conflicts with others and lead peaceful lives to fulfil human goals. In order to pursue an ideal Islamic way of life, i.e. human perfection, it was necessary for him to improve the lot of other Muslims. He wrote as follows : "If Muslim people do not change their mind in spite of the changes of social conditions, and if we supplement Islamic courtesy and law without explaining and advertising real Islamic beliefs at the same time, then it is impossible to save the minds of the people."35

As a Sino-Muslim intellectual, he felt responsible for guiding the ordinary Muslim people. Fortunately, he had both authority and economic power. It was natural for him to be an initiator of the Islamic Movement. Other Sino-Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders also participated in the movement and played important roles. Islamic reform and revival as well as the establishing of Hui identity were their supreme goals. Muslims had to survive in changing modern society and it was important for them to adjust themselves to the new trend.

Yuehua was the most influential periodical in Sino-Muslim society. The existence, wide circulation and continuation of the journal indicate the strong desire for the Islamic reform. Involved in the Chinese political arena during the Anti-Japanese War, Muslims succeeded in claiming their own position not only in the nation-state of China but also in the whole Islamic community in the world. They contributed to widen not only the Sino-Muslim point view but also the thoughts ordinary Chinese people in a changing global system. Considered as pioneers of the theory of multiculturalism, Sino-Muslim intellectuals completed a theory suitable for modern society.

The slogan of "Aiguo Aijiao", that is "Loving our country is equivalent to loving our faith", has been used until now. Every mosque in China has this inscribed on a plate or pennant on the wall. As long as Muslims claim dual loyalty toward the nation and Islamic faith, their position as an ethnic minority would be assured. This is another manifestation of the theory of dual loyalty, and this legacy of Wang Daiyu and Liu Zhi lingers on to this day.

Notes

1- Dikötter, Frank, The Discourse of Race in Modern China (London : Hurst & Company, 1992), pp. 108-110

2- For example, see the following article of the Yuehua,. Zhiwu, "Huijiao duiyu shehui jinhua shang de gongxian" (Islamic contribution to the social evolution), Yuehua, I, No.6, Dec. 25, 1929. Bao Cunming, Ma Xinmei, "Shiyi Gaixin Zhongguo Huijiao xianzhuang fangce" (Plan to reform Islam in China),Yuehua, VII, No.31, 32, 33 (Nov. 30, 1935).

3- Li Xinhua and Feng Jinyuan, Zhongguo Yisilanjiaoshi cankao shiliao xuanbian 1911-1949 xia (Yinchuan : Ningxia Renmin Chubanshe, 1985), appendix pp. 1819-1824.

4- Ma Zhanbiao, "Yihewani jiaopei yu Ma Wanfu" (Ikhwani and Ma Wanfu), In Xibei Huizu yu Yiselanjiao (Yinchuan : Ningxia Renmin chubanshe, 1994), pp. 353-362.

5- See Wang Jingzhai, "Wushi nian qiuxue zishu shu" (Memoir of my 50-year study), Li Xinhua and Feng ed., op.cit., pp. 622-623.

6- Cai Dayu, "Liutong Qingzhen Jiaoyuhui xu" (Introduction for Sino-Muslim’s Educational Association in Tôkyô), Xinghui Bian, 1908, (Ningxia Renmin chubanshe, reprinted 1992), p 85.

7-(Wang) Mengyang, "Huijiao yu Zhongguo" (Islam and China), Yuehua, I, No.1 (Nov. 5, 1929).

8- Liu Zhou, "Zhongguo Huimin yiju guojia zhi guannian"(Sino-Muslims’ view on the state), Yuehua, I, No.2 (Nov. 15, 1929).

9- Ma Xiang, "Zhongguo Huijiao zhi xianzhi yu jianglai" (The present and the future of Islam in China), Yuehua, Vol.7, No. 16 (June 10, 1935).

10- Xian Mei, "Yuehua de zhuiyan"(The Yuehua’s words), Yuehua, Vol.1, No.5(Dec. 15, 1929)

11- Wang Jingzhai "Jinshou Huijiao yu aihu guojia" (The preservation of Islam and the protection of the state),Yuehua, Vol.2, No.3 (Jan. 25, 1930).

12- Ma Songting, "Zhonghua Minzu de Huijiao wenti" (The Chinese nation’s Islamic problem), Tujie Vol.4, No.2 (February 15, 1937).

13- In particular, Ma Fuxiang donated fund of one hundred yuans every month until his death in 1932. See, Ma Songting, "Wunian yilai zhi Yuehuabao" (Five years of the Yuehua), Yuehua, Vol.6 ?No.28, 29, 30

14- Wang Mengyang. "Yuehua shinian Huisu" (Memoir of the Yuehua’s ten years), Yuehua, Vol. 11, No.31-33 (Nov.. 25, 1939).

15- Yuehua, Vol. 1, No.1 (Nov. 5, 1929).

16- Ma Songting, "Wunian yilai zhi Yuehuabao" (Five years of the Yuehua), Yuehua, Vol.6 ?No.28, 29, 30.

17- Ma Songting, ibid.

18 "Anti-Japanese declaration by the Islamic Students’ Association", Yuehua, Dec. 15, 1931.

19- Ma Zishi, "Aiji Huijiaotu Huijiao yundong" (Egyptian Muslims’ Islamic Movement), Yuehua, Vol.5, No.26 (Sept. 15, 1933).

20- For detailed discussion, see Matsumoto, M. "Rationalising Patriotism among Muslim Chinese", In Kosugi, Y. ed., Manar, the Lighthouse of Islam, Kegan Paul International, London, forthcoming.

21- Sino-Muslims were sometimes believed to have a population of fifty million. Some articles even claim eighty million. For example, see Yuehua, Vol. 8, No.20 (July 20, 1936).

22- "Xibei Gonxue zhi mudi"(Objectives of the Northwest Middle School), Yuehua, Vol.6, No.23-24 (Aug. 31, 1934). Later, intellectuals believed that China had the second largest Muslim population in the world. See, "Fukanci" (Address of the reissue), Yuehua, Vol.10, No. 38 (April 1938).

23- Sun Zhongshan, Sun Zhongshan Quanji, Vol.6, p.56 ; Vol.7, p. 76.

24- "Zhongwei Ceng Kuoqing zai Xi’an Huijiao Gonghui Guoshutuan chengli dahui yanci, (Opening address at the Xi’an Islamic Association’s for the National Studies), Yuehua, Vol.7, No.25, 26, 27 (Sept. 30, 1935).

25- For example, see (Jing) Jitang "Guan yu guomin daibiao dahui" (On the National Convention) Yuehua, Vol.8, No.16 (June 10, 1936), as well as Kexing "Pingdeng de zuihou huyu" (The final appeal for the equality), Yuehua, Vol. 8, No.20 (July 20, 1936). Anonymous, "Lun Guomin Huiyi tesu suanjufa zhi shiyong fanwei", Tujie, Vol.3, No.8 (Aug., 15, 1936).

26- Ma Jigao, "Honghai Xi’an de youqing"(Friendship with the West coast of the Red Sea), Yuehua, Vol.10, No.7 (June 5, 1938). Ma Tianying, "Zhongguo xianzai zhi jushi yu Zhongguo zhi Huijiao" (The situation of China and Islam in China, presentation in July, 27 ,1938 in Calcutta, translation from Urdu), Yuehua, Vol.10, No.22-24. Ma Jigao (tr.), "Zhongri zhanzheng yu Oumei guguo" (The Anti-Japanese War and European nations, translation from Weekly Egyptian Education), Yuehua, Vol. 11, No.7-9. Ma Tianying, "Fendou de Zhongguo" (China in struggle, presentation at the Anti-Racism Youth Conference at Cairo, April 12, 1938), Yuehua, Vol. 11, No. 1-3 (Jan. 25, 1939). Abbas Aqad (trans. by Na Xun) "Yazhou Neimo" (Inside of Asia) (Majallah al-Azhar, Vol.11 No.7), Yuehua, Vol.13, No. 4-9 (March 25, 1941).

27- Zhonghua Mingguo Huijiao Chaojin tuan, "Gao shijie Huijiao dongbao shu" (Appeal to Muslims in the world) originally written in Arabic, carried by Arabic newspapers), Yuehua, Vol.11 No.4-6, February 25, 1939.

28- Editorial, "Jida sheling"(Consulate in Jedda), Yuehua, Vol. 11, No.28-10, October 25, 1939.

29- Tang Wenyan, "Xin Shenghuo Yundong yu Huijao jiaoyi" (The New Life Movement and Islamic Education), Tujie, Vol.2, No.7 (July, 1935).

30- Anonymous, "Kanzhan yilai Zhongguo Huijiao zhi fazhan" (Development of Islam in China after the beginning of the Anti-Japanese War), Yuehua, Vol. 10, No.14-16 (Sept. 9, 1938).

31- "Zhongguo Huimin Qiuguo Xiehui Zhangcheng"(Challenge of the Association for Sino-Muslims’ National Salvation), Yuehua, Vol. 10, No. 21-24 (Nov. 25, 1938).

32- Zhongguo Huijiao qiuguo xiehui diyiju quanti huiyuan daibiao dahui tekan (Special volume of the first Convention for the delegates of the Salvation Association for Muslims in China), August 10, 1941.

33- Anonymous, "Kangzhan yilai Zhongguo Huijiao zhi fazhan" (Development of Islam in China after the breakout of the Anti-Japanese War, Yuehua, Vol. 10, No. 14-16 (Sept. 5, 1938).

34- Ma Fuxiang, "Jiali", In Mashi Zupu, Vol.1, Ningxia, 1948.

35- Ma Fuxiang, "Jiali", In Mashi Zupu, Vol.1, Ningxia, 1948.

35- Ma Fuxiang, "Jiali", In Mashi Zupu, Vol.1, Ningxia, 1948.

Etudes orientales Nos 21/22 (2004)