An imam walks inside the main Hui mosque in the Xinjiang capital Ürümqi. PHOTO BY COLIN MACKERRAS.
The Hui are among the most populous, as well as the most widely distributed, of China’s fifty-five minority groups. Mostly concentrated in the northwest Chinese autonomous regions of Ningxia Hui (which is named for them) and Xinjiang Uygur, and the provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi, the Hui are mainly Sunni Muslims. Often persecuted during China’s Cultural Revolution, there has