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Islam in China

Though diverse, the Muslim community in China is quite large. According to reasonably accurate estimates based on the 2000 national census of China, the Muslims of China total 20.3 million, or 2% of the population. Since the census registered people by nationality and ethnicity, not religious affiliation, the exact number of Muslims in China is still unknown. Ties to global Islam were truncated by half a century of self-imposed isolation under Mao, but this abruptly changed with Mao's death in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping's “open door” policy in the 1980s. Non-Uyghur Muslims travel fairly freely on the hajj to Mecca (Makkah) and engage in cross-border trade with coreligionists in Central Asia, the Middle East, and increasingly, Southeast Asia. There are few Han converts to Islam ...

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