Guided and motivated by the China Islamic Association and local Islamic associations throughout China, Islamic dignitaries and the Muslim masses have been active in the socialist construction for modernization since the 1980's, and made great contributions to the development of the state economy. And in the mean time governments and departments at all levels pay much attention to fostering Muslim professionals. In the last 20 years, the literacy rate of Chinese Muslims has continued to rise. At present, there are 21 colleges and universities with 30,000 students in Xinjiang, and 7 colleges with nearly 10,000 students in Ningxia, of which Muslim students account for a considerable percentage. There are a great number of Muslims working in various fields such as high technology, industry, agriculture, education and medicine.
Muslims in Beijing have advantage in developing the third industry - individual commerce and township enterprises.
Muslims in the Northwest have achieved considerable development in food and other growing industries such as clothing, embroidery, food processing, flock and herd breeding, transportation, electrical equipment, tourism and real estate, and certain products of theirs have entered the international market. They also take advantage of their friendly contacts with Arab Islamic countries to develop foreign trade, open markets in Western and Central Asia, and attract foreigners to travel and invest in China to improve the development of the economy and culture in ethnic-regions.
As the state economy and Muslims' living standard continue to develop. Islamic dignitaries and the Muslims masses have shown unprecedented enthusiasm towards the construction of a socialist spiritual civilization.
Since the reform and the policy of opening up to the outside world were put into practice in 1987, there have been a considerable number of Muslims representatives from minority groups working in government, the people's congress and the political consultative conference at all levels, discussing state matters, participating in the administering and supervising of state affairs along with representatives elected by the people of all ethnicities throughout the country. Vice chairman of the National People's Congress of China Tiemu'er Dawumaiti, state councilor Simayi Aimaiti, vice chair of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Bai Lichen all are Muslim. Statistics shows that there are 101 Muslims among the representatives of the National People's Congress and 64 among the members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Due to correct and comprehensive implementation of the policies on religion and ethnic affairs and education aimed at promoting patriotism and against ethnic separatism and religious extremism, unity among the ethnic groups and Islamic sects has improved a great
as "Model Mosque" or "Model Imam". The China Islamic Association chose through public appraisal 100 mosques as "Model Mosques", it has motivated Islamic circles throughout the country to make more of a contribution to the construction of the two socialist civilizations.
Sponsoring education is a fine tradition of Islam. Everywhere in the country, Islamic organizations and Imams (Mullahs) have always been active in contributing money to primary and secondary schools and running nurseries, kindergartens, ethnic primary schools and girls' schools, motivating Muslim youths to attend school and become useful people for the construction of ethnic regions.
To spread the Islamic spirit of "ordering people to do good and stopping people from doing evil" is another fine tradition of Islam, and also an important act to guide Islam to adapt itself to socialist society. Particularly in recent years, people of insight in Chinese Islamic circles have tried to make explanations concerning Islamic doctrine and scriptures that are in line with the times. They have begun with writing and preaching new al-Wa'z (sermons) and have achieved delightful effects.
What is worth mention is that the China Islamic Guidance Committee was established on April 23, 2001. It is composed of 16 patriotic and faithful Imams and Mullahs, who are of noble character, with high prestige and in possession of rich Islamic knowledge. Imam Chen Guangyuan was elected as its chairman. The purpose of the Committee is to offer explanations on religious and social problems facing Muslims in contemporary times,
opposing religious extremism, maintaining the purity of the Islamic faith, and motivating Islam to adapt itself to socialist society. After a year's hard work of investigation, research, writing, revision, trial preaching and seeking opinions, the "Collection of New al-Wa'z" (first volume) was published in Chinese and Uighur languages as a model for Islamic sermon by the Religious Culture Press in early August of 2001. The Committee presented 120,000 copies of this book (both Chinese and Uighur language versions) to Islamic circles in Xinjiang to regulate the contents of sermons in mosques there. At the same time, it motivated key provinces such as Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan to carry out the large-scale work of training Islamic workers. At present, the second volume of "Collection of New al-Wa'z" is being compiled. The commitment of the China Islamic Guidance Committee has become a positive force in promoting social progress, making Islam accepted and understood better in the broader socialist society, and laying a solid foundation both theoretically and practically for the further nationalization of Islam.
To run Islamic colleges and schools of various kinds well and foster qualified Islamic workers is also a great job which determines the future of Chinese Islam. Starting with compiling teaching material, the China Islamic Association positively seeks reform to the teaching methods in Islamic institutes. In late May 2001, it held a conference in Beijing to coordinate compiling the unified teaching material for Islamic institutes in all places and all levels. It is the first specialized meeting held by a nationwide religious organization for comprehensive study on compiling religious teaching material, and also a milestone-like fundamental construction program in the history of Chinese Islamic education. As part of the program, it has begun to compile 6 textbooks both in the Chinese and Uighur languages designed for students of grade one and two: "A Concise Course on Qur'an", "A Concise Course on Hadith", "A Concise Course on Islamic Doctrine", "A Concise Course on Islamic Law", "A Concise Course on World Islamic History", "A Concise Course on Chinese Islamic History". Moreover, it also has been listed in the program to compile "Basic Arabic" (first 4 volumes), "Holy Qur'an Recitation" and "Arabic Calligraphy". Furthermore, the State Religious Affairs Administration is currently organizing a compilation of a 6-category and 10-volume textbook for political education that will be commonly used by all religious colleges and schools. It will help to foster a contingent of religious workers who love both the country and their religion.