Adherence to the direction of sinification of our nation's religions is the basic path for reconciling of Islam and socialist society the new era. This planning outline is drafted so as to implement the 19th National Party Congress and General Secretary Xi Jinping's requirements for adherence to the direction of sinification of 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, after a long integration, it has gradually become a uniquely Chinese Islam. During the Tang and Song Dynasties, Chinese Muslim ancestors participated in foreign trade and cultural exchanges through land and sea silk routes, proactively adapting to Chinese society and learning 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) system and the rise of the mosque education (jingtang jiaoyu) symbolized the formation of the unique features in Chinese Islam. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the "use of Confucianism to interpret scripture" was implemented, thus gaining valuable experience for the sinification of Islam. In modern times, the our county's Islamic community and the broad Muslim public have held high the banner of loving the country and the faith, devoting themselves and making important contributions to the achievement of the liberation of the Chinese people and to the great struggle for national independence. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, with the care, support, and help of the Party and the government, the Islamic community actively adapted to socialist society, led the believers to devote themselves to establishing the nation, as well as to the dream of building a strong nation, thus opening up a new area for adherence to the direction of the sinification of Islam in our country. Practice has shown that the course of Islam's development in our country is the history of Islam's continuous sinification. The distinct Chinese character formed during the process of the sinification of Islam provides the world with a Chinese experience in the localisation of Islam.
- In the complex and turbulent international environment of recent years, Islam in our country has generally maintained a harmonious and stable position, but there are also issues in some areas that cannot be ignored. Some places have been permeated with religious extremist ideology, deluding and inciting Muslims who do not know the truth to participate in violent terrorist activities, and thus harming the social stability and national security; some places blindly imitate foreign styles of mosque architecture and some Muslim believers emulate foreign clothing styles; the concept of "Halal" has also become generalized; some negate the traditional theological ideology of Chinese Islam and give one-sided emphasis to following foreign religious standards; teams of religious professionals that love the country and the faith are insufficiently established, and their is a major gap between current demand and the quantity, quality, structure, and training of personnel; education in theology institutes, mosques, and scriptural schools is disconnected and the education and caliber of basic-level religious professionals is generally low. The emergence of these problems seriously endangers the healthy development of Islam in our country and is not conducive to harmonious religious relations in our country.
Better adherence to and continuous advancement of the sinification of Islam in our country is conducive to resolving the salient problems that we currently have the field of Islam, it is conducive to the adaptation of Islam to socialist society, and is conducive to the healthy development of Islam in our country.
II. Guiding Ideology and Basic Principles
- With Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guidance, earnestly 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 the "Regulations"), hold high the banner of loving the country and the faith, vigorously carry forward the positive traditions of Islam, take up and develop the achievements of the Sinification of Islam, be led by the Core Socialist Values in absorbing the exceptional traditional Chinese culture, take in the positive values of active improvement and keeping pace with the times, to promote the ideological, institutional, cultural, and personnel establishment of Islamic theology, and to further highlight the Chinese character of Islam in our country. Uphold the unity of love of country and of faith, upholding the correct handling of the relationship between national law and religious rules, and adhere to the principle of the awareness of commonality of the Chinese people, to constantly increase religious professionals' and the Muslim public's understanding and acceptance of the direction of Sinification of Islam, continuously strengthening affirmation of the great motherland, the Chinese people, Chinese culture, the Communist Party of China, and socialism with Chinese characteristics; and urging the adaptation of Islam in our country to socialist society.
III. Deepen Education on Patriotism and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
Patriotism is the deepest and purest feeling of the Chinese people towards the motherland, and is the unending source of energy for the Chinese people. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the necessary path 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 building a common ideal of Socialism with Chinese characteristics
- Launch a series of educational activities. Continue to advance the incorporation of the 'four inclusions' in mosque activities: the national flag, the Constitution, laws, and regulations; the Core Socialist values, and the exceptional 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 love the motherland, to love the people, to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, to support the Socialist system, to preserve the unity of the motherland, to preserve the common destiny of the Chinese people, to be grateful to the Party, listen to the Party, and walk with the Party, and to struggle to bring about the Chinese Dream of the great revival of the Chinese people.
- Cultivate and practice the Core Socialist Values. Hold knowledge contests, Wa'z sermon contests, study, trainings and so forth, to learn and practice the core socialist values; internalize and practice the concepts of prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, rule of law, patriotism, devotion, integrity, and friendliness. Actively explore values and ideas in religious principles and culture that are linked to the Core Socialist Values; explain the elements of adapting to national conditions, adapting to social development, and meeting the needs of the public; and further demonstrate the Chinese character and contemporary values of Islam in our country.
- Launch education and study of the socialist rule of law. Extensively carry out publicity and educational activities on the rule of law; thoroughly studying the constitutional amendments, relevant laws, and new amendments to the "Regulations" to educate and guide religious professionals and the Muslim public in firmly establishing awareness of the rule of law; conscientious obedience, compliance, and use of the law; and the correct handling of the relationship between national law and religious rules; and also adhere to the separation of government and religion, so that religion must not be used to interfere with administrative, judicial, or education state functions. Persist in carrying out religious affairs in accordance with law, and staying within the scope of the law when following religious doctrines and carrying out religious activities.
IV. Deepen Efforts on Scriptural Interpretation, Building Islam with Chinese Characteristics
The establishment of an Islamic theology with Chinese characteristics with the theological ideological system is the fundamental project of the sinification of Islam. Use the accomplishments of constructing theological ideology to shape our country's Muslims' cultural character of loving the country and the faith, having self-respect and self-confidence, being rational and peaceful, and of active improvement; to build a firewall for the Muslim public's resistance of extremist thought.
- Thoroughly carry out exposition of scripture and religious rites. While maintaining the basic beliefs, core doctrines, and ritual systems, correctly explain the Quran and Hadith, publish the annotated version of Quran and "Selections from the Hadith"; further explore content in doctrines and religious rules that is beneficial to social harmony and contemporary progress, as well as that which is healthy and civilized; demand the religious doctrines to be in line with the development and improvement of contemporary China and interpret the doctrines in ways that are in line with exception Chinese traditional culture; thus preliminarily forming a system of Islamic thought which conforms to the actual conditions of our country and integrates into the meaning of Chinese culture in the new era.
- Continuously compile "New Collections of Wa'z Sermons". Summarize experiences in efforts to interpret scripture, focus on the similarities between the Core Socialist Values and the core teachings and traditional virtues of Islam, carefully design articles and widely mobilize forces to participate in Wa'z' writing; continue to carry forward peace, patriotism, and unity; advocate the middle path, rationality. and tolerance; encourage pluralism, cooperation, and intermingling; and oppose extremism, separatism, and violence.
- With practicing the Core Socialist Values and exceptional traditional Chinese culture as the theme, continue to hold annual Wa'z speech contests as well as relevant religious activities. Organize Wa'z sermon tours, strengthening the training of religious professionals, continuously improving religious professional's ability to interpret and explain scripture, and to better preach religious doctrines and principles.
- Do a good job of researching and compiling traditional texts. Take up the positive tradition of "using Confucianism to interpret scripture", organizing the works of Chinese Muslim sages and using them as the basic teaching materials for training of religious professionals and students from theological institutes. Edit and publish religious doctrines that persist in middle path thinking and are suited to the national conditions in China.
- Deepen Theoretical Research on Theological Ideology. Publish collections on adherence to the direction of the sinification of Islam. Organize experts and scholars, and representatives of Islam, to carry out seminars revolving around themes such as scriptural doctrine and the Core Socialist Values, Islam and traditional Chinese culture, and the use of both ethnic language and the nation's common language to preach; summarize and use the accomplishments of the sinification of Islam in our nation to solidify adherence the theoretical and practical foundations for the direction of sinification of Islam, and to enrich the content of Islamic theological ideology.
- Resolutely resist the ideology of religious extremism. To refute current extremist ideologies such as "calls for violence", "forcing out non-believers", "theocracy", "jihad" and "migration", which are highly beguiling and harmful, organize writing and preaching of targeted new Wa'z; carry out a complete overhaul and clear up thinking, to educate and guide religious professionals and the broad Muslim masses to a correct understanding of religious doctrines and principles; enhance their ability to recognize, be immune to, and oppose all forms of extremist and radical thought and behavior; and to resist all types of illegal publications and online audio or video that contains extremist thoughts. Cooperate with the government in tightly preventing and resolutely combating destructive, violent terrorist, separatist, and religious extremist activities that infiltrate and subvert.
V. Improve Rules Systems and Regulate Self-Management
Thoroughly implement the newly revised "Regulations" and adhere to the principles of "protecting legality, stopping illegality, curbing extremism, resisting infiltration, and fighting crime," to guide religious professionals and the Muslim public to abide by the Constitution, laws and regulations, to handle religious affairs according to law, and to standardize management.
- Strengthen Training and Study. Strengthen the force of training for the three teams within the faith: the Islamic Association, the Mosque Management Commission and religious professionals; using lectures on special topics, regular studies, bulletin boards, posters, and so forth to make the spirit and content of the newly revised 'Regulations' widely known, and to increase conscientiousness in carrying out activities within the scope permitted by law.
- Improve the system of rules. On the basis of the newly revised "Regulations", combined with the actual conditions of Islam in our country, complete revisions to the "Measures on the Democratic Management of Mosques", and the "Measures for the Certification of Islamic Religious Professionals", and "Measures for the Appointment of Primary Religious Professionals at Sites for Islamic Religious Activities", and formulate a "Code of Conduct for Islamic Religious Professionals" and "Measures for the Administration of Islamic Mosque Education". The basic spiritual concept of the Core Socialist Values should be embodied in efforts to revise and improve rules and regulations.
- Launch a series of popular legal education activities. Organize annual activities for "Religious Policy and Regulations Study Month''; carrying out rich and exciting activities for legal study and popularization of law; persist in the idea that state law is greater than religious doctrine, of not only being a good Muslim but also a good citizen; and promote the conscientious obedience to law in the Islamic community, looking to the law when in need, relying on the law to solve problems, and using the law to preserve rights and interests.
- Oppose the use of religion to interfere with societal life. Vigorously cultivate and promote modern and civilized ways of life. Conduct regular periodic self-examinations and corrections to prevent religion from interfering with the implementation of state systems such as the administrative, judicial, educational and marriage systems; state employees' lawful performance of their official duties must not be obstructed in the name of religion; and societal production, market business ,and personal lives and interactions must not be disrupted in the name of religion. Persist in the separation of religion and education; students who are minors are not to be recruited for any type of study, training, or elective course that is held.
- Prevent the phenomenon of the Prevent the generalization of the concept of "halal". Strictly limit the range of 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 each area's Islamic Association organizations that participate in the supervision of halal food production; carry out self-inspections, and prevent the generalization of the concept 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 scriptural schools (classes) are not to use materials containing extremist 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 of Islam in Our Nation
Strengthen the establishment of Islamic culture, making Chinese aesthetics and Chinese elements appear more in Muslim religious and cultural activities, solidifying Chinese Muslims' self-confidence in their faith and culture.
- Study the exception traditional Chinese culture. All areas should organize study of the "Opinions on the Implementation of the Development Project of Picking up the Exceptional Chinese Traditional Culture" issued by the General Offices of the Party Central Committee and State Council, to make the exceptional traditional Chinese culture an important part of education in theological institutes, further education courses for Imams, and mosque education. Hold a series of lectures on the exceptional traditional Chinese culture.
- Implement the spirit of "Minutes of the Symposium on Mosque Architectural Styles". The renovation, construction, and expansion of mosques must be carried out in accordance with laws and regulations; it is to persist in the unity of religiousness, ethnicity, localization, and modernity; and persist in frugality and practicality; and should be suited to China's characteristics, highlighting Chinese elements; and not chasing after the big and exotic or using foreign architectural styles as the standard.
- Embody Chinese character and style in areas such as Muslim dress and religious ceremonies; standardize Muslim attire for the Hajj and correct the mistaken practice of some groups deliberately imitating foreign dress.
- Spread the use of the nation's common language in preaching and evangelism.
- Advocate open-door religious activities. Mosques and all local Islamic associations may hold open day activities to welcome visitors from all backgrounds, explain positive Islamic tenets such as patriotism, the middle path, tolerance, craving knowledge, rewards in this world and the next, and respect for women; to promote exchanges and interactions between those of different faiths and ethnicities.
- Tell the story of Sinification well. Give full play to the role of media such as "Chinese Muslim" magazine and the China Islamic Association's website and phone APP, "Chinese Muslim Portal", in guiding and leading public opinion; write more columns on the direction of the Sinification of Islam, and tell the story of the Sinification of Islam well. Carry out a series of interviews on the direction of the Sinification of Islam, uncover positive achievements of Islam integrating into the exceptional Chinese traditional culture in the history of our nation's development. Publicize Chinese Muslims' contributions to the great motherland, vigorously carry forward the patriotic sentiment of Chinese Muslim sages, put Islamic architecture and other cultural heritage that is full of Chinese characteristics on full display, and fully present Muslim clothing, diet, religious affairs and ways of life that are rich in Chinese style.
- Persist in friendly foreign exchanges. Continue to hold exhibitions and performances of Chinese Islamic culture, displaying the achievements of our nation's sinification of Islam. Grasp the principles of prioritizing oneself and benefiting oneself in continuing to do a good job foreign affairs visits and receiving guests. Strengthen exchanges on "de-radicalisation" efforts in diplomatic interactions, especially communication and cooperation with Central Asian and neighboring countries, and draw lessons from the experience and practices of foreign countries in preventing the infiltration of extremist thought.
VII. Actively Engage in Public Interest Charitable Activities, and Strive to Serve Society
Carrying out public interest charitable activities is an obligation of the Islamic community in performing social responsibility and carrying forward positive traditions; it is a good practice for adherence to the direction of Sinification of Islam in our county; and it is a necessary requirement for playing an active role in the great revival of the Chinese people.
- Actively participate in the battle to eliminate poverty. Fully support the battle to vanquish poverty; carry out focused support for the targets of poverty alleviation; emphasizing support for the poverty alleviation efforts in the Sandu Shui Autonomous County of Guizhou Province indicated by the United Front Work Department of CCP Central Committee; and make an active effort to ensure that impoverished areas and peoples join all of the nation's people in a moderately prosperous society.
- Continue to do a good job of the 'Ramadan Acts of Kindness' compassionate action. Local Islamic Associations and mosques should widely carry out public interest charitable activities, emphasizing building a public interest brand of the “Ramadan Acts of Kindness” compassionate action. Enrich the connotation of the Muslim people's life at Ramadan, and highlight the Islamic community and Muslim people's acts of kindness and benevolence through tactics such as Ramadan speeches, expanding the scale of charitable activities, enriching the content of activities, and strengthening publicity and reporting. And also use this as the call to drive the Islamic community and Muslim people to take action and widely participate in public interest philanthropy.
- Give play to the functions of the China Islamic Association's public interest charity committee. Give play to the committee's functions as "a bridge between hearts", an "adhesive" and a "drive", to consolidate our nation's Islamic community's precious charitable resources, and enhance the professionalism and influence of public interest charity work, proactively adding to the surge of public interest charity in our country.
- Innovate new methods and means. Each local Islamic association and mosque should play an active role in social and public services such as improving people's livelihood, contributing student aid, building infrastructure, and alleviating poverty. Make use of major holidays such as Jum'ah, Eid al-Fitr and Corban Festival, to organize and carry out thematic "Wa'z" sermons, convene symposiums, and hold various forms of compassionate actions; to build a series of brands of public interest charity activities in the Islamic community.
VIII. Innovate New Training Methods and Cultivate High Caliber Personnel that Love the Country and the Faith
Innovate training methods, expand training channels, and preliminarily form mutually complementary educational models for theological institutes, mosque education, and scriptural schools that are suited to the our country's realities and have a reasonable structure; improve the quality of teaching, and provide a solid personnel 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 teaching to reach 350 students by 2020; carry out education at multiple levels, doing a good job in teaching national bachelor's level classes, Xinjiang bachelor's levels classes,and Imam bachelors level classes as well as master's graduate courses; and concurrently carry out combined short-term and long-term training for Imams. Continuously improve on the level of management in teaching, strengthen the establishment of faculties, 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 research on the establishment of theological ideology; turn Chinese Islamic theological institutes into the high point for training Islamic personnel in China, a research center for Islamic theological ideology, as well as a training base for patriotic Islamic religious professionals.
- The ten theological institutes are to work together to implement the religious education work plan. Give play to the leading role of the Chinese Islamic Association's education committee, cooperating and dividing the work with the nation's ten theological institutes across the country to continue to revise and improve the common curriculum teaching materials, and adhere to the direction of the sinification of Islam during efforts to edit the teaching materials. Build mechanisms for further education of junior teaching faculty in the ten theological institutes, steadily improving the quality of teaching staff. Keep traditions, but keep pace with the times; adjusting the curriculum of theological institutes and optimizing course structures, use the national language and the local ethic language to study the religious doctrines. Expand the curriculum on the sinification of Islamic classics, and strengthen courses on Chinese history and culture, contemporary Chinese society, and the Chinese religious situation. Forcefully improve the quality of schools, focusing on the efficacy of classroom teaching and gradually improving the degree system for national and local Islamic institutions. Further clarify the direction of schooling in Islamic theological institutes, and cultivate more Islamic personnel who love the country and the faith, and meet current demand.
- Increase the level of mosque education. Mosque education must improve and develop 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, draft "Methods for the Management of the Islamic Mosque Education" to guide the standardization of traditional education in Mosques. Introduce teaching materials on Muslim patriotism, exceptional Chinese traditional culture, Core Socialist Values, language arts, history, and geography into mosque education, to improve students' knowledge structures, increase the quality of student in mosque education, and enhance students' ability to guide the Muslim public in proper faith and action. Strive to bring new vitality into mosque education in the new era, and have it continue to play an important role in the direction of the sinification of Islam.
China Islamic Association