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In order to promote the discipline in Hong Kong, the Research Institute for the Humanities (RIH) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) came to an agreement with the Islamic Cultural Association (Hong Kong) on 31 July 2013. With sponsorship provided by the latter under the agreement, RIH launched the ‘Islamic Studies Initiative’ (ISI) on 13 September 2013. On 12 May 2015, ISI was approved by the management of the university to become the Centre for the Study of Islamic Culture (CSIC).

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The Ban of Alcohol in Shadian: Limits of Ethno-Religious Belonging at the Intersection of Secular and Islamic Law in China

Release time:2016-12-8 11:30:56

Speaker: Mr. RuslanYusupov (PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, CUHK)

Date: 25 November 2016, Friday

Time: 4:30-6:00pm

Venue: YIA 201


Shadian(云南沙甸) is a town in southwestern Yunnan Province of China, where ninety-five percent of population are Chinese Hui Muslims. In 2008 Shadian Hui have banned the sale and consumption of alcohol. In 2014, however, shortly after Shadian became linked to the terroristic violence of the Kunming Railway Station Incident, prefectural government demanded local Muslims to lift the ban due to concerns of religious radicalism and fundamentalism breeding in town. The government that previously assisted local community in banning the alcohol now asserted that the ban is illegal. In this talk, I focus on three aspects of the ban. First, I will talk about how the ban happened. Then, I will map out multiple meanings of the ban. At the end, I will take up the problematic relationship between secular law and religious culture in China. The ban of alcohol, inextricably grounded in Islamic faith of a Hui ethnicity, should best be viewed as a sort of a local “social compact” which is specific to the local Hui conception of their national belonging. Contrary to the discourse that Shadian Muslims have crossed the boundaries of a permissible ethnic behaviour in China, I show that the ban is a collective product of historical legacies, state actors, and Shadian citizens.

About the speaker:
YUSUPOV Ruslan is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at CUHK. He is a recipient of Hong Kong PhD Fellowship. He has just finished his two years of fieldwork in Shadian. His dissertation thesis, entitled “Pious citizenship: Nationalism, Compliance and Minority Rights is a Chinese Muslim Town,” examines development of the Chinese State’s new disposition towards Islamic practice and a new type of ethno-religious belonging that this disposition produces.