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date: 19 August 2022

Chinese Mosque Architecture 

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World: Digital Collection
John L. EspositoJohn L. Esposito

Mosques stand in every province and autonomous region of China. In 2010 China’s 23,308,000 Muslims were served by nearly 40,000 mosques. In China as elsewhere, the mosque is the center of communal religious life, Muslim education, and socialization. Fewer than one-quarter of one percent of China’s mosques, about seventy in all, retain buildings from the eighteenth century or earlier. The old mosques, our subject here, exist alongside Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian religious architecture, with few exterior features to indicate their purpose, much less their original building dates. China’s architectural tradition makes this possible. One reason mosques have survived is because their architecture necessitates so little that is not available in the Chinese building system. The second is because practicing Muslims continue to use them.... ...

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