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Discovering China’s Islamic past in Beijing, Xi'an

Ary Hermawan

The Jakarta Post

Beijing/Xi’an  /  Mon, September 23, 2019  /  05:11 pm
Discovering China’s Islamic past in Beijing, Xi'an

Glorious red: Niujie Mosque, Beijing’s oldest and largest mosque, incorporates both Islamic and Chinese artistic and architectural elements. (Courtesy of M. Nurul Hudha/-)

The Chinese embassy in Jakarta invited a group of social media influencers and The Jakarta Post to visit Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai  from Sept. 2 to Sept. 8. The trip was organized by Tenggara Strategics.   Shortly before departing for Beijing, I bought George Quinn’s The Bandit Saints of Java: How Java’s Eccentric Saints Are Challenging Fundamentalist Islam in Modern Indonesia at the airport. The book proved to be more than just fascinating; it turned out be a perfect companion for my trip. Few people go to China in search of its Islamic past, let alone to find a connection between China's history and the spread of Islam in Indonesia. As one of the world’s oldest civilizations, China has many great historical sites, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Te...