Chinese Muslims to Shine in Turkey Expo
   2012-08-22 14:23:00    Xinhua      Web Editor: Liuyuanhui
Chinese Muslims will bring their unique culture to Turkey in an Islamic cultural pageant to be held in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, on Aug. 31, according to the Islamic Association of China (IAC).

The China-Turkey Islamic Cultural Expo and Performances 2012, jointly organized by China's State Administration for Religious Affairs and Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs to mark the China-Turkey Cultural Year, will include an exhibition of Chinese Islamic culture, Quran chanting, a symposium on China-Turkey Islamic exchanges, and Islamic singing and dancing shows, according to Zhang Guanglin, deputy secretary-general of IAC.

According to Zhang, the highlight of the show will be Chinese variants of Islamic culture, including a combination of Chinese calligraphy with Arabic and Uyghur handwriting, ancient Chinese Muslims' articles of religious and daily use which date back to the 14th century, artistic shows presented by Chinese Muslims, and most importantly Chinese transcripts of the Quran.

This will be the first time that foreign countries will host Chinese ancient transcripts of the Quran, some of which are valuable cultural relics with a history of around 300 years. The event will also showcase Quran copies made by modern Chinese Muslims, including a 208-meter-long paper-cut Quran, and copies engraved in jade and printed on silk.

Quran transcripts have played an important role in China's Islamic history, according to Zhang. Quran transcripts in Chinese language allowed Islamic preaching to reach the masses in China 300 years ago and facilitated the development of the then repressed religion. Today, China encourages the development of Islamism. Zhang said China has translated and published the Quran in languages including Chinese, Uyghur, Kazak and Kirgiz, and such translations will also be showcased in Istanbul.

"Our Quran transcripts will give the world a glimpse of China's Islamic history and Chinese Muslims' devotion to Quran teachings," said Zhang.

During the symposium on China-Turkey Islamic exchanges, Chinese speakers will introduce Islamic history in China, the reality of Islamism in China today, the unique culture of Chinese Muslims, as well as the life of modern Chinese Muslims.

"We will show the world the unique and splendid culture of Chinese Muslims," said Zhang, adding that the event is also a move to boost religious exchanges between China and Turkey.

"It will be a good opportunity to display the splendid Islamic cultures of the two countries, promote the Islamic spirits of peace, tolerance, moderation and cooperation, enhance friendly relations between the two countries, and promote the diversity of human culture," according to the IAC deputy secretary-general.

Zhang also mentioned that discussion is under way between China and Turkey covering cooperation in areas such as Quran printing and student exchange programs, as part of efforts to implement the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2011.

China has 23 million Muslims, living mainly in its northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Gansu Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Qinghai Province.
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