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Chinese Muslims to shine in Turkey expo

(Xinhua)

16:28, August 22, 2012

Beijing, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Muslims will bring their unique culture to Turkey in an Islamic cultural pageant to be held in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, on Aug. 31, according to the Islamic Association of China (IAC).

The China-Turkey Islamic Cultural Expo and Performances 2012, jointly organized by China's State Administration for Religious Affairs and Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs to mark the China-Turkey Cultural Year, will include an exhibition of Chinese Islamic culture, Quran chanting, a symposium on China-Turkey Islamic exchanges, and Islamic singing and dancing shows, according to Zhang Guanglin, deputy secretary-general of IAC.

According to Zhang, the highlight of the show will be Chinese variants of Islamic culture, including a combination of Chinese calligraphy with Arabic and Uyghur handwriting, ancient Chinese Muslims' articles of religious and daily use which date back to the 14th century, artistic shows presented by Chinese Muslims, and most importantly Chinese transcripts of the Quran.

This will be the first time that foreign countries will host Chinese ancient transcripts of the Quran, some of which are valuable cultural relics with a history of around 300 years. The event will also showcase Quran copies made by modern Chinese Muslims, including a 208-meter-long paper-cut Quran, and copies engraved in jade and printed on silk.

Quran transcripts have played an important role in China's Islamic history, according to Zhang. Quran transcripts in Chinese language allowed Islamic preaching to reach the masses in China 300 years ago and facilitated the development of the then repressed religion. Today, China encourages the development of Islamism. Zhang said China has translated and published the Quran in languages including Chinese, Uyghur, Kazak and Kirgiz, and such translations will also be showcased in Istanbul.

"Our Quran transcripts will give the world a glimpse of China's Islamic history and Chinese Muslims' devotion to Quran teachings," said Zhang.

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