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Editorial Introduction

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image of Inner Asia

The contributions to this issue of Inner Asia are all concerned, in one way or another, with historical narratives and representations of the past. The first section includes two papers that deal in very different ways with the portrayal of Sufi Islam and its relationship with China. Edmund Waite explores the way in which the seventeenth century Sufi religious leader Apaq Khoja is represented very differently by various sections of the Uyghur public in Xinjiang today. The miracle-working Apaq Khoja was the most famous of a line of Naqshbandi Sufi ‘masters’ (khojas) who gained widespread religious devotion and, with the military support of the Zhungar Mongols, who came to control the entire Tarim region. After the Manchu conquest of the region Apaq Khoja’s descendants remained a focus for resistance to the Qing until the annexation of Xinjiang as a province of China in 1884.


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