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Source: Index >> Culture History >> Religions

Being Active in the Construction of New China
(Tianshannet) Updated: 2010-August-4 17:57:11

After New CS-iina was founded in 1949, Chinese Muslims of all ethnicities acquired equal political rights and religious freedom, which were written into the constitution. The people's governments in all areas attached great importance to protecting religious sites such as mosques and mausoleums and respecting Muslims' faith and their habits and customs when they undertook to stabilize the social order and restore the economy. For example, the stipulation issued by the State Council concerning the minority groups' holidays and festivals prescribes that Muslims of all ethnicities enjoy days off on the occasions of 'Id al-Fitr (Festival of Fast-Breaking) and 'Id al-Kurban (Festival of Sacrifice). The State Council also issued an order that the sheep and cattle used by Muslims of all ethnicities for their three major festivals are exempt from slaughtering tax. The Ministry of Finance sent out a notice that all land used to build mosques and mausoleums are exempt from land tax. The State Council instructed local governments that if names given to certain minority groups in history, or names of certain places and steles and inscribed boards concerning minority groups contained an indication of discrimination or insult towards minority groups, they should cease using them, or be corrected or sealed up. In places where Muslims lived in compact communities, the system of regional autonomy of ethnic minorities is practiced and people's governments at all levels were set up, like the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (established on October 1, 1955), the Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang (established on November 27, 1954), the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (established on October 25,1958). the Zhangjiachuan Hui Autonomous County in Gansu (established on July 1, 1953), the Menyuan Hui Autonomous County in Qinghai (established on December 19, 1953), the Hualong Hui Autonomous County (established on March 2, 1954), and Dachang Hui Autonomou Region in Hebei (established on December 7, 1955). Thus, Muslims of all ethnicities became the masters of their own life, and started to manage all their own affairs.

As their fortunes radically changed, Chinese Muslims started a new life. They devoted themselves with full enthusiasm into the great cause of the socialist construction and reformation of New China, and contributed their bit to restoring the state economy and accomplishing the First 5-Year Plan.

In 1950, a nationwide campaign to "Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, Protect Home and Defend Country" was launched in China. Responding to the call of the state, Muslims of all ethnicities did their best to increase production and practice austerity. They were very active in patriotic activities such as saluting the voluntary army and contributing planes and artillery.

Muslims in the countryside were not satisfied only with their rebirth in political life. Inspired by land reform in Han areas, they also wanted to carry out land reform, to realize real self-liberation and develop the countryside economy. Responding to the request of Muslims, the people's government systematically launched land reform in line with the local situation in places where Muslims were comparatively concentrated. After the land reforms were accomplished, Muslims of all ethnicities came to take part in the cause of the socialist reconstruction and made great efforts to strengthen ethnic unity and develop the minority groups' economy, and accomplished tasks to restore the state economy as a result.

(SOURCES:China Intercontinental Press)Editor: zhaoqian
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