Islam, China and the internet: Negotiating residual cyberspace between hegemonic patriotism & connectivity to the Ummah

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Abstract

While the predominant focus of the rise of cyber Islamic environments has been on the West and the Middle East, this article is an exploratory study of the emergence of the Chinese Islamic websites. With the rapid proliferation and usage of new informational and communicative technologies and the Chinese government's relentless policy in regulating the internet, this article put the peculiar situations of Chinese cyber Islamic environments in the political background of China's rise. On a patriotic note of Aiguo Aijiao (“love one's country, love one's religion”), Chinese digital Islam has transformed into the negotiating space between state's sovereign boundary in countering against javascript:void(0);separatist movements and the Sino-Muslims' imagined realm for connecting to the ummah, the solidarity with the global Muslim brotherhood. By considering a Chinese Islamic website in response to the Danish Cartoon Affair as an example, this article considers Sino-Muslims have been appropriating the residual cyberspace for re-imagining the global ummah through the loyalty to the political project of national integration. In the concluding remarks, the article suggests the importance of the rise of Chinese language as a global soft power, the status of Islamic authority as well as the sovereignty dilemma China's Muslims face in the future research of Sino-cyber Islamic environments. © 2010 Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-79
JournalJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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patriotism
virtual reality
Islam
Muslim
Internet
China
website
love
national integration
global power
brotherhood
cartoon
loyalty
Middle East
proliferation
government policy
solidarity
sovereignty
Religion
minority

Citation

Ho Wai-Yip (2010). Islam, China and the Internet: Negotiating Residual Cyberspace between Hegemonic Patriotism & Connectivity to the Ummah. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 30(1), 63-79. doi: 10.1080/13602001003650622