Persisting in the direction of sinification of our nation's religions is the basic way of reconciling the new era of Islam and socialist society. This planning outline is drafted so as to implement the requirements of the 19th National Party Congress and General Secretary Xi Jinping for persisting in the direction of sinification our nation's religions, to lock in the achievements made in the sinification of Islam, to create a new overall situation, and to promote the healthy transmission and development of Islam.
I. Historical Experience and Current Trends
- After Islam was introduced into China,through a long integration, it has gradually become a uniquely Chinese Islam. During the Tang and Song Dynasties, through land ans sea silk routes, Chinese Muslim ancestors participated in trade and cultural exchanges, actively adapting to Chinese society, and studying Chinese culture. In the Yuan Dynasty. specialized bodies responsible for the management of Islamic affairs were set up in the central and local governments. In the Ming Dynasty, the formation of the Mosque communities (sifang) and the rise of the community education (jingtang) symbolised the formation of the unique features of Chinese Islam. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, "to use Confucianism to interpret Quran" was set up and gathered valuable experience for the sinification of Islam. Since modern time, the Islamic community in our country and the broad masses of the Muslim world have been holding high the banners of patriotism and their love for religion, devoting themselves to the achievement of the liberation of the Chinese nation and the great struggle of the national independence, thus making an important contribution. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, with the care, support, and help of the Party and the government, the Islamic communities actively adapted to the socialist society, led the believers to devote themselves to state building as well as building a dream of a strong nation, thus opening up a new area for the sustaining direction of the sinification of Islam in our country. It has been practically proven that the history of the development of Islam in our country is the history of the continuous sinification of Islam. The distinct Chinese virtues formed during the process of the sinification of Islam provided the world with a Chinese experience in the localisation of Islam.
- In recent years, under the complex and turbulent international environment, Islam in our country has in general maintained a harmonious and stable situation; however, there are also issues in some areas that cannot be neglected. Some places have been permeated with religious extremist thoughts, inciting Muslims who do not know the truth to participate in violent terrorist activities, thus harming the social stability and national security; some places blindly follow foreign style Mosques and some Muslims blindly imitate foreign clothing styles; the concept of "Islam" has also become generalised; some dismiss the orthodox Islamic thoughts of Chinese Islam and partially emphasise and follow foreign religious standards; there is an insufficient construction of a team of patriotic and religion-loving staff and the quantity, quality, structure, and trainings of talents cannot meet the demand of the contemporary time; educations in theology colleges, Mosques, and Arabic schools are disconnected and the cultural dispositions among the grass-root teaching staff are fairly low. The emergence of these problems severely harms the healthy development of Islam in our country and is not beneficial to the harmony of religious relations in our country. To better persist and continuously promote the sinification of Islam in our country is good for solving the salient problems that we currently have in Islamic regions, for mutual adaptation between Islam and socialist society, and for a healthy development of Islam in our country.
II. Guiding Ideology and Basic Principles
- Under the guidance of Xi Jinping's thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, conscientiously study and implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and the spirit of the National Religious Work Conference, and profoundly understand and thoroughly practice the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech on adhering to the direction of Sinification of religion in China; fully implement the newly revised "Regulations on Religious Affairs" (hereinafter referred to as "Regulations"), hold high the banner of patriotic and religious love, vigorously carry forward the fine traditions of Islam, inherit and develop the achievements of the Sinification of Islam, take socialist core values as the leading point, infiltrate with the good traditional Chinese culture, absorb the positive value concept and keep pace with the times, and inherit and promote the ideological and system construction of Islamic classics, cultural construction as well as talent construction, thus further demonstrating the Chinese characteristics of Islam in our country. It is necessary to adhere to the unity of patriotism and love of religion, adhere to the correct handling of the relationship between national law and religious rules, adhere to the principle of the awareness of the community of the Chinese nation, constantly improve the understanding and identity of the teaching staff and the Muslim masses in adhering to the direction of Sinification of Islam, constantly strengthen the recognition of the great motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Communist Party of China, and socialism with Chinese characteristics, and promote the mutual adaptation of Islam and socialist society in our country.
III. Deepen Education on Patriotism and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
Patriotism is the deepest and simplest feeling of the Chinese people towards the motherland, and is the unending source of energy for the Chinese people. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is a necessary route for realizing the great revival of the Chinese people. Patriotic education and education on Socialism with Chinese characteristics should be deepened, with religious professionals and the broad Muslim public upholding the tradition of patriotism and build a common ideal of Socialism with Chinese characteristics
- Launch a series of educational activities. Continue to advance mosque activities with the four inclusions：the national flag; the Constitution, laws, and regulations; the core Socialist values, and the outstanding traditional Chinese culture. Organize earnest study of Xin Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era. Lead religious professionals and the broad Muslim public to passionately love the motherland, to support the leadership of the Party, to support the Socialist system, to preserve the unity of the motherland, to preserve united destiny of the Chinese people, to feel gratitude to the Party, listen to the Party, and go with the Party, to struggle to bring about the Chinese Dream of the great revival of the Chinese people.
- Foster and practice the core socialist values. Through knowledge contest, Wa'z speech contest, study trainings and so on, study and practice the core socialist values; internalise the concepts of prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, rule of law, patriotism, devotion, and friendliness, and put them into practice. Actively explore values and ideas in religious principles and culture that are linked to the core socialist values; explain the elements that adapt to the national conditions, adapt to social development, and meet the needs of the masses, and further demonstrate the Chinese virtues and epochal values of Islam in our country.
- Launch education and study of the socialist rule of law. Extensively develop and promote education on the rule of law, further study the constitutional amendments, relevant laws and new amendments to the "Regulations"; educate and guide teaching staff and Muslim masses to firmly establish the consciousness of the rule of law, consciously respect the law, abide by the law, use the law, and correctly handle the relationship between national law and religious rules; insist on the separation between politics and religion, and not use religion to interfere with the functions of the state, such as administration, judiciary, and education. The educational administration shall be held in accordance with the law, and the teachings of the religious doctrines and religious activities shall be carried out within the legal scope.
IV. Deepen Efforts on Scriptural Explanation, Building Islam with Chinese Characteristics
The ideological construction of the Islamic thought with Chinese characteristics is the basic project for the sinification of Islam. Use the outcomes from the ideological construction to shape Muslims in our country to be patriotic and religion loving, have self-respect and self-confidence, to be rational and moderate, and have a positive outlook; build a firewall for Muslim masses to resist extreme thoughts.
- Thoroughly carry out exposition of scripture and religious rites. While maintaining the basic beliefs, the core doctrines, and the ritual system, correctly explain Quran and the holy scripture, publish the annotated version of Quran and "The Selection of the Holy Scriptures"; further explore the contents in the doctrines and religious rules that are beneficial to social harmony and the progress of the times, as well as those that are healthy and civil; demand the religious doctrines to be in line with the development and progress of contemporary China and interpret the doctrines in a way that are in line with the traditional Chinese culture; preliminarily form an Islamic thought system which conforms to the reality of our country and integrates into the connotation of Chinese culture in the new era.
- Continuously compile "The New Series of Wa'z Speeches". Summarise the working experience of interpreting the scriptures, focus on the similarities between socialist core values and the core teachings and traditional virtues of Islam, carefully design articles, extensively mobilise people force to participate in Wa'z' writing, continue to carry forward peace, patriotism, unity, advocate middle-way, be rational and tolerant, encourage pluralism, cooperation, integration, and oppose extremism, separation movement, and violence.
- Theming on practising the core socialist values and traditional Chinese culture, continue to hold the annual Wa'z speech contest as well as relevant teaching activities. Organise Wa'z speech tour, enhance trainings of the teaching staff, continuously improve the teaching staff's ability to explain and interpret the scriptures, and better preach the religious doctrines and principles.
- Do a good job of research and compilation of the traditional texts. Inherit the good tradition of "to use Confucianism to interpret religious scriptures", organise the works of early Chinese Muslim scholars and use them as the foundational textbooks for the trainings of teaching staff and students from theology colleges. Edit and publish religious doctrines that persist in the middle-way thought and are suitable for the national conditions in China.
- Deepen Scriptural Ideology and theoretical research. Publish collections upholding direction the sinification of Islam. Organize experts and scholars, and representatives of Islam, to carry out seminars on topics such as scriptural doctrine and the core socialist values, Islam and tradition Chinese culture, and using both ethnic language and the nation's common language to preach;. summarizing and using the accomplishments of the sinification of Islam in our nation, solidifying adherence the theoretical and practical foundations for the direction of sinification of Islam, and enriching the content of Islamic scriptural ideology.
- Resolutely resist the ideology of religious extremism. In order to counter prevailing extreme thoughts such as "preaching violence", "rejecting pagan politics", "jihad" and "migration", which are highly demagoguery and harmful, edit and preach new targeting Wa'z to refute extreme thoughts; strike at the root of the evil, clear thoughts, educate and guide teaching staff and Muslim masses to correctly understand religious doctrines and principles; enhance their ability to recognise, be immune to, and object any forms of extreme and radical thoughts and behaviours; resist any illegal publications and online audios and videos that contain extreme thoughts. Cooperate with the government in preventing and cracking down any subversive, violent, terrorist, separationist, and religious extremist activities.
V. Improve Rules Systems and Regulate Self Management
Thoroughly implement the newly revised "Regulations", adhere to the principles of "protecting legality, halting illegality, curbing extremes, resisting infiltration, and cracking down on crimes," and guide teaching staff and Muslim masses to abide by the Constitution, laws and regulations, conduct teaching according to law, and standardise management.
13. Strengthen Training and Study. Strengthen the training of the "three teams" within the Iraqi Association, the monastery, and the teaching staff, and make the spiritual essence and main contents of the newly revised "Regulations" widely known through special lectures, regular studies, propaganda columns, posters, and so on, and enhance the awareness of carrying out activities within the limits permitted by law.
- Improve the system of rules. According to the newly revised "Regulations", combined with the reality of Islam in our country, complete the revisions of "Measures for the Democratic Management of Mosques", and "Measures for the Teaching Qualification of Islam", and "Measures for the Appointment of Main Teaching Posts in Venues for Islamic Activities", and formulate "Code of Conduct for Islamic Teaching Staff and "Measures for the Administration of Islamic Education". It is necessary to embody the basic spiritual concept of the core socialist values in the revision and improvement of rules and regulations.
- Launch a series of popular legal education activities. Organise "Religious Policy and Regulation Study Month'' annual event, carry out various activities that advocate for the study and popularisation of law; persist in the idea that national law outweighs religious doctrines; be a good Muslim but more importantly, be a good citizen; promote the law-abiding consciousness among the Islamic community, as well as their ability to utilise law to solve problems and to safeguard their own rights and interests.
- Oppose the use of religion to interfere with public life. Vigorously cultivate and promote a modern and civilised way of life. Conduct regular self-examination and self-correction to prevent religion from interfering with the implementation of the state administrative, judicial, educational and marriage systems; do not obstruct state functionaries from performing their official duties according to law in the name of religion; do not interfere with social production, market operations and personal interactions in the name of religion. Adhere to the separation of religion and education; do not recruit underage students in study classes, training courses, interest classes and so forth.
- Prevent the 'pan-halalism' phenomenon. Strictly limit the range halal food designations to food containing animal meats and their derivatives; foods that do not contain meat, animal oils, or dairy components must not be labeled as 'Halal', and the concept of 'Halal’ cannot be expanded to sectors others than food. The public's lives must not be disrupted nor marketplace order undermined, in the name of 'Halal'. Strengthen training of all area's Islamic Association organizations that participate in Halal food monitoring, carrying out self-inspections, and preventing the spread of the generalization of 'Halal'.
- Resolutely resist foreign infiltration. Each mosque and religious professional should resolutely resist the infiltration activities of illegal organizations such as the Tabligh Jamat 'missionary group'. Regular scripture schools (classes) are not to use materials containing radical ideology, and are not to hire foreign teachers. Mosques accepting donations are to strictly perform approval formalities in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. Resolutely keep guard against and actively clean up illegal religious publications.
VI. Strengthen Cultural Construction, Increasing Cultural Self-confidence in Our Nation's Islam.
Strengthen the establishment of Islamic culture, making Chinese aesthetics and Chinese elements appear more in Muslim religious and cultural activities, firming up Chinese Muslims self-confidence in their faith and culture.
- Study the excellent traditional Chinese culture. All localities should organise and study "Opinions on the Implementation of the Development Project of Inheriting Traditional Chinese Culture" issued by the State Office of the Central Office of the People's Republic of China, employ traditional Chinese culture as important content for educations in theology college and Akhond programme. Hold a series of lectures on traditional Chinese culture.
- Implement the spirit of "The Summary of the Symposium on the Architectural Style of Mosque". The restoration, construction, rebuilding, and expansion of mosques must be carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations; persist in the unity of religiosity, nationhood, regionality and modernity; persist in rugality and practicality, be in accordance with Chinese characteristics, highlight Chinese elements; do not blindly hanker after what is big and foreign, and not follow the standard of foreign architectural style.
- Manifest Chinese character and style in areas such as Muslim dress and religious rites, standardize Muslim dress for the Hajj and correct the mistaken practice of some groups deliberately copying foreign dress.
- Spread the use of the nation's common language in preaching and religious publicity.
- Advocate open-door religious activities. Mosques and local Islamic associations can hold open days to welcome visitors from all backgrounds, explain good Islamic virtues such as patriotism, the "mid-way", tolerance, crave for knowledge, auspiciousness, and respect for women, and promote exchanges and interactions between different faith and ethnic groups.
- Do a good job of telling the story of Sinification. Give full play to the guiding role of media such as "Chinese Muslim" magazine, China Islamic Association website, and "Chinese Islam" phone application; increase editorials on the direction of the Sinification of Islam, and tell good stories about the Sinification of Islam. Carry out a series of interviews on the direction of Sinification of Islam, and excavate the positive achievements of integrating Islam into traditional Chinese culture in the development history of our country. Publicise the contribution of Chinese Muslims to the great motherland, vigorously carry forward the patriotism of Chinese Muslim ancestors, fully display Islamic architecture and other cultural heritage full of Chinese characteristics, and fully present Muslim clothing, diet, educational administration and ways of life with Chinese style.
- Persist in friendly external interactions. Continue to hold exhibitions and performances of Chinese Islam, displaying the successes our nation's sinification of Islam. Grasp the principles of prioritizing oneself and benefiting oneself in continuing to do a good job of external visits and receiving guests.
Strengthen the work exchanges on "de-radicalisation" in diplomatic interactions, especially those with Central Asia and neighbouring countries, and draw lessons from the experience and practices of foreign countries in preventing the infiltration of extremist ideas.
VII. Actively Engage in Public Interest Charitable Activities, Work Hard to Serve Society
Carrying out public interest charitable activities is an obligation of the Islamic community in performing social responsibility and carrying forward good traditions, and is a positive practice for persisting in the direction of our nation's Sinification of Islam, and is a necessary requirement for playing a positive role in the great revival of the Chinese people.
- Actively participate in the poverty alleviation struggle. Fully support the battle against poverty; carry out accurate support for the target group of poverty alleviation; mainly support the poverty alleviation work highlighted by the United Front Work Department of CCP Central Committee in the Sandu Autonomous County of Shui Ethnic group in Guizhou Province; make a positive effort to ensure that deprived areas and people living in poverty join the people of the whole country into a moderately prosperous society.
- Continue to do a good job of the 'Ramadan Good Deeds' compassion program. Local Islamic associations and Mosques should widely carry out public charity activities, focus on building a "good Ramadan" love action public welfare brand. Through Ramadan speech, expand the scale of charitable activities, enrich the content of activities, strengthen means such as propaganda and news reporting, enrich the connotation of Ramadan life of Muslim people, and highlight the good deeds of Islamist circles and Muslims. And take this as the call, promote the Islamist community and the Muslim masses to act actively and participate extensively in the works of public charity.
- Give play to the functions of the China Islamic Association's public interest charity commission. Fully utilise the committee as "a bridge to heart", "a strong adhesive" and "a drive", integrate the valuable resources of public welfare philanthropy into the Islamist circles of our country, enhance the professionalism and influence of public welfare charity work, and take the initiative to integrate into the torrent of public welfare charity in our country.
- Innovate new methods and means. Local Islamic associations and Mosques should play an active role in improving people's livelihood, helping out students with their study, building infrastructure, alleviating poverty as well as other social and public services. Make use of major festivals such as Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr and Gulbang, organise and carry out the theme "Wa'z" speech, hold symposiums as well as various forms of charity events, and build a series of brands of public welfare and charity activities in Islamist circles.
VIII. Innovate New Methods of Training, Cultivating High Caliber Talent that Loves the Nation and Faith
Innovate the training mode, widen the training channel, preliminarily form the layouts of theological colleges, Mosque education, and Quran schools that complement each other and that are also most suitable for the reality of our country, improve the quality of teaching, and provide a solid talent support for the direction of the sinification of Islam.
- Improve the level of education at the China Institute of Islamic Theology Continue to expand the scale of schools. Expect the scale to reach 350 students by 2020; carry out multi-level means of running schools; do a good job in teaching Bachelor level classes, Xinjiang classes, imams classes as well as master's degree classes; meanwhile carry out short-term and long-term training for imams. Continuously improve on the level of management in teaching, strengthen the construction of a group of teaching staff, make full use of the cultural and educational resources in the capital, and employ teachers from other colleges and universities to teach relevant non-religious courses. Carry out the study of the ideological construction of Quran; turn Chinese Islamic colleges into the high ground for Islamic talent training in China, a research centre for Islamic Confucian Scholarship, as well as a training base for patriotic Islamic teaching staff.
- Ten theological colleges work together to implement the work plan for religious education. Give play to the leading role of the committee of the Chinese Islamic Education Association, cooperate and divide the work with the ten theological colleges across the country, revise and improve state-complied textbooks, and manifest the direction of the sinification of Islam in the editing process of these textbooks. Build mechanisms for further education for junior teaching faculties in ten theological colleges, steadily improve the quality of teaching staff. Inherit tradition, keep pace with the times, adjust the curriculum of theological college, optimize the curriculum structure, and use the national language and the language of the local ethic group to study the religious doctrines. Enhance the sinification of Islamic classics, and strengthen courses on history and culture of China, contemporary Chinese society, and issues regarding Chinese religion and so on. Improve the quality of schools, focus on the effect of classroom teaching, and gradually improve the degree system of national and local Islamic institutions. Further clarify the direction of schooling in Islamic theological colleges, and train more Islamic talents who are patriotic, love their religion, and meet the needs of the times.
- Increase the level of scripture hall education. Education in Mosques must be improved and developed in accordance with the requirements of the times. In order to meet the needs of the development of the sinification of Islam in the new era, set out "Methods for the Management of the Islamic education in Mosques", and guide traditional education in Mosques. Introducing teaching materials on Muslim patriotism, traditional Chinese culture, as well as courses on the core socialist values, Chinese Studies, Chinese history, and geography into education in Mosques, better students' knowledge structure, improve the quality of the teaching staff in Islamic education, and enhance the students' ability to guide the Muslim masses to be honest and act correctly. Make efforts to bring new vitality into Mosque education in the new era, and let it continue to play an important role in the direction of the sinification of Islam.
China Islamic Association