Anti-muslim sentiment on social media in China and Chinese Muslims’ reactions to hatred and misunderstanding

Rose L W LUQIU*, Fan Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study documents the extensive online anti-Muslim sentiment in China as well as the use of social media by Chinese Muslims from various backgrounds to engage with the online public sphere and respond to this hostile discourse. We analyzed more than 10,000 social media posts on Weibo relating to Muslims and Islam and conducted in-depth interviews with 34 Chinese Muslims who were active users of social media. Our findings reveal an anti-Muslim online frame, and we detail the ways in which Chinese Muslims have sought to influence public policy in order to protect their rights. The participants in this study responded to hateful posts and worked to increase the understanding of their religion and culture by providing glimpses of their daily lives and by discussing Islam. Nevertheless, owing to government censorship and to the prevailing Han-centric discourse, Chinese Muslims continue to face numerous risks and challenges, particularly in coping with the ideological conflict between their religion and the atheistic ruling party.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-274
Number of pages17
JournalChinese Journal of Communication
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • censorship
  • Chinese Muslims
  • Han-centrism
  • Islamophobia
  • public sphere
  • social media

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