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From Holy Man to National Villain: Popular Historical Narratives About Apaq Khoja amongst Uyghurs in Contemporary Xinjiang

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image of Inner Asia

This paper explores contrasting attitudes of contemporary Uyghurs towards Apaq Khoja, a Naqshbandi Sufi leader who gained political control over much of present-day Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan) towards the end of the seventeenth century. In seeking to account for these widely diverging approaches, the paper analyses the key role of historical narratives about Sufism in the shaping of contemporary Uyghur ethnic identities.


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