Date 2014-05-08
Time 13:00 - 14:30
Tel 29486632
Venue Room B2-LP-23, Lower Podium Floor, Block B2, HKIEd Tai Po Campus


Between Sacred and Secular Education:

What Hui Muslim Parents Want for Their Children

in Northwest China?


Dr Hong Yanbi


Sociology Department

Southeast University, Nanjing


Date:      8 May 2014 (Thursday)

Time:     1pm to 2:30pm

Venue:   Room B2-LP-23,

              Lower Podium Floor, Block B2

              HKIEd Tai Po Campus




In the post-9/11 era, the religious education of Muslims was widely deemed the breeding ground for the values and ideologies of terrorism. However, the large number of Muslims who coexisted with non-Muslims with a long history are relatively ignored. This paper aims to analyze how the Hui Muslims in Northwest China make decisions regarding their children’s education and their underlying perceptions. Based on ethnographic fieldworks, I found that, for local Muslims, religious education and public secular education are essentially complementary and are both important for pursuing a good life. On the one hand, basic public education is becoming important preconditions for many young Muslims to be migrant workers in other parts of China. On the other hand, religious education still plays a crucial role in local Muslims’ identities and daily lives. However, in local parents’ minds, the main purpose of religious education has transferred from ahong (imam) training to Islamic essential knowledge learning. Both education forms composed inseparable core parts in local Hui Muslims’ good life pursuit. Their Arabic and Chinese names in schools and communities further illustrated the local binary world. This also sheds lights on China’s ethnic policies, particularly in Xinjiang where religious education is seriously restricted and the terrorist attack problem becomes more pressing.


About the speaker

Dr. Hong Yanbi got his Bachelor degree from Sociology Department of Renmin University of China, the Sociology Master degree from Sociology Department of Peking University, and the Ph.D. from Faculty of Education of Hong Kong University. His current research interests lie in China’s educational stratification and inequality, the formation of Chinese middle class, and the interactions between ethnic inequality and ethnic relations. He has published several journal papers in Sociological Studies, Chinese Journal of Sociology, and Chinese Education and Society both in Chinese and English.


All are welcome!


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