chapter  13
33 Pages

Islam in Xinjiang

Northeast of the great oasis entrep6t of Kashgar, on the edge of the poplarlined irrigated fields, among the mud-walled village courtyards and new strip malls of shops, lies a complex of old buildings that the guidebooks call "Apak Khoja and Fragrant Concubine Tomb." Its orderly, well-tended flower gardens, preserved and restored facades, and carefully penned explanatory signs-in Chinese, Uyghur, and English-mark it as a significant and government-approved attraction. The main building resembles other Central Asian Sufi tombs in its green tiles, towers, and dome, though it does not appear still to be a site for Sufi rituals as it once was. Inside are arranged over forty coffins, large (male), medium (female), and small (child), each with a trilingual label identifying its occupant as a member of the Khoja family.