Ho Wai-Yip from the City University of Hong Kong, who has participated in the panel called "New Media in the Middle East Revisited: Networked Audiences & Digital Communities" organized by me and Gary R. Bunt at WOCMES 2010, has published an interesting article about Islam, China, and the Internet.

Abstract

While the predominant focus of the rise of cyber Islamic environments has been on the West and the Middle East, this article is an exploratory study of the emergence of the Chinese Islamic websites. With the rapid proliferation and usage of new informational and communicative technologies and the Chinese government's relentless policy in regulating the internet, this article put the peculiar situations of Chinese cyber Islamic environments in the political background of China's rise. On a patriotic note of Aiguo Aijiao (“love one's country, love one's religion”), Chinese digital Islam has transformed into the negotiating space between state's sovereign boundary in countering against separatist movements and the Sino-Muslims' imagined realm for connecting to the ummah, the solidarity with the global Muslim brotherhood. By considering a Chinese Islamic website in response to the Danish Cartoon Affair as an example, this article considers Sino-Muslims have been appropriating the residual cyberspace for re-imagining the global ummah through the loyalty to the political project of national integration. In the concluding remarks, the article suggests the importance of the rise of Chinese language as a global soft power, the status of Islamic authority as well as the sovereignty dilemma China's Muslims face in the future research of Sino-cyber Islamic environments.

Publication Data

Wai-Yip Ho. Islam, China and the Internet: Negotiating Residual Cyberspace between Hegemonic Patriotism and Connectivity to the Ummah. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Volume 30, Issue 1 March 2010 , pages 63 - 79. ISSN 1469-9591

The article can be dowloaded from the journal website.