chapter  11
Hui Communities in Contemporary China
Pages 20

Muslim communities suffered, in common with other ethnic and religious minorities such as the Tibetans and Mongols, from the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) desire to impose ethnic uniformity and use only the term, Zhongguo yen 9=tOOA. ('Chinese' in the sense of citizen of the PRC) instead of the plethora of existing ethnic minority group names. In many ways this was a continuation of practices followed under the empire and the Republic. The hostility of the CCP to religion also meant that not only were religious groups hindered and suppressed, but that no reliable figures are available for the number of Muslims or other believers in China. However, policy towards ethnic minorities has varied substantially in different periods of the People's Republic, and at times ethnic minorities have benefited from a degree of positive discrimination. In the early nineteen fifties, some waqfiyya land owned by mosques and Sufi orders was confiscated during the Land Reform programme, but the authorities were relatively tolerant of religious belief and did not seek to suppress Islam in general although they did move against radical menhuan, which were treated in a similar way to Daoist and Buddhist secret societies and were outlawed if they appeared to pose a threat to the security of the new state.