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The Culture of ‘Associational Leadership’ in the Hui Muslim Women’s Mosques of Central China

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Women’s mosques and female Ahong (religious leaders) and their ‘Associational leadership’ style have made great contributions to Islamic religious practices and more generally Muslim communities in central China for over 300 years. This article investigates these issues through understanding the biographies of two leading female Ahong and considering their modes of operation and the relationships that they have with their community. New religious trends and a more open political context has allowed these religious leaders to develop and re-shape their authority. Importantly, female Ahong operate in distinctive ways through the cooperation with women’s mosque managers and committees to create and develop a unique female collective and ritual space for religious expression.

Affiliations: 1: Henan Academy of Social Sciences, China ; 2: University of Oxford


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