Where do the Hui come from? Why do they enjoy, unlike their co-religionists Uyghurs, this relative freedom of worship? What relations do they have with the Muslim world and the various Chinese powers?
It is at the western border of the Middle Kingdom, on the Silk Road, in Lanzhou, Linxia, and Yinchuan, that we decided to explore this region and its people. These central Chinese cities which proudly display magnificent mosques in Chinese, Persian, Turkish and Arabic styles are all key stages in meeting the Hui people: the majority Muslim ethnic group in China.