A Study on the Muslim Community in Lungkang
There is still room for the development for the researches on Taiwanese Islam because Islam is not the mainstream religion in the Taiwanese society and there is a decrease in the number of Taiwanese Muslims, which makes it harder to conduct related researches. Yet, despite of the downturn trend, the Islamic mosques’community in Lungkang, Zhongli has been growing and has becoming the most active Muslim group in Taiwan, which is seen to be an Islam revival and is worthy of academic surveys. What is more interesting is that the majority of Lungkang’s Muslim community came from a group of Chinese-speaking Muslims originally, and the move was their second transnational immigration in more than one hundred years. Among the group, some of their forefathers had their roots in Yunnan, China, fled to Myanmar and Thailand during wartime, and became diaspora communities there. Since the 1950s, others came to Taiwan with the former KMT soldiers in which there were also a few Muslims. They settled in an area adjacent to Zhongli, and held their original religious beliefs. Due to these Muslims’complicated backgrounds and their identity of being the minority group, the study is to investigate two issues. Firstly, their identity: as a part of the Chinese, they were impelled to move from a Chinese nation to another non-Chinese one, and afterwards, they again returned to a country with a majority of the Chinese. Where is the homeland in their minds? What is their mother country? How do they stay in contact with their birthplace? Secondly, the religious localization: how do these Muslims with both Chinese backgrounds and origins in rural Myanmar and Thailand adapt themselves to Taiwan, where is heavily-urbanized, and keep hold of their sincere beliefs? The research is planned to explore these two issues mentioned above in the form of field work in two years respectively, four years in total, by means of participant observation, depth interview, oral history etc.
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