chapter  4
Hui Communities under Manchu Rule
Pages 14

In most historical accounts of the Manchu or Qing dynasty (16441911), the Hui are usually defined only in terms of conflicts with their Manchu rulers, including the rebellions of the early Qing, the major and well documented risings of the eighteen-sixties! and the less well documented ones of 1895 when China was more preoccupied with its first major conflict with an Asian nation powerful enough to challenge its supremacy in the region - the 1894-5 war with Japan. For the nineteenth century in particular, the term rebellion or rising that is usually used is quite misleading as it suggests a concerted and united struggle by the Hui against the Manchu Qing government. Part of the violence was certainly directed against the Qing rulers, but it was also partly a result of internal conflict within the Hui community. There were labyrinthine disputes between factional religious groups within the Hui communities as well as conflict between the Hui and the Han and between the Hui and other Muslim communities in China. As far as the turmoil of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is concerned, the interactions and clashes between groups on the basis of ethnicity, class and affiliation to sect or menhuan are complex indeed and are best understood as outbreaks of widespread intercommunal violence similar to those which devastated the Indian sub-continent in 1947-8 during the period of independence and partition.