ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN TAIWAN

      

General Information

Republic of China

National name: Zhonghua Minguo

Land area: 12,456 sq mi (32,261 sq km); total area: 13,892 sq mi (35,980 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 23,174,294

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Taipei, 7,871,900 (metro. area), 2,722,600 (city proper)

Other large cities: Kaohsiung, 1,514,900; Tai Chung, 1,069,900; Tainan, 755,800; Keelung, 410,500

Monetary unit: Taiwan dollar

Languages: Chinese (Mandarin, official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects

Ethnicity/race: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%

Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%

Literacy rate: 96.1% (2003)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $695.4 billion; per capita $30,100. Real growth rate: 5.7%. Inflation: 1.8%.

The Republic of China today consists of the island of Taiwan, an island 100 mi (161 km) off the Asian mainland in the Pacific; two off-shore islands, Kinmen (Quemoy) and Matsu; and the nearby islets of the Pescadores chain. It is slightly larger than the combined areas of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Taiwan was inhabited by aborigines of Malayan descent when Chinese from the areas now designated as Fukien and Kwangtung began settling it in the 7th century, becoming the majority. The Portuguese explored the area in 1590, naming it “the Beautiful” (Formosa). In 1624 the Dutch set up forts in the south, the Spanish in the north. The Dutch forced out the Spanish in 1641 and controlled the island until 1661, when Chinese general Koxinga took it over and established an independent kingdom. The Manchus seized the island in 1683 and held it until 1895, when it passed to Japan after the first Sino-Japanese War. Japan developed and exploited Formosa. It was the target of heavy American bombing during World War II, and at the close of the war the island was restored to China.

After the defeat of its armies on the mainland, the Nationalist government of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan in Dec. 1949. Chiang dominated the island, even though only 15% of the population consisted of the 1949 immigrants, the Kuomintang. He maintained a 600,000-man army in the hope of eventually recovering the mainland. Beijing viewed the Taiwanese government with suspicion and anger, referring to Taiwan as a breakaway province of China.

The UN seat representing all of China was held by the Nationalists for over two decades before being lost in Oct. 1971, when the People's Republic of China was admitted and Taiwan was forced to abdicate its seat to Beijing.

Islamic History and Muslims

Islam in Taiwan is a slowly growing religion (about 0.3% of the population, it could be higher if included nominally Muslims from Indonesia) with an estimated 100 converts annually. There are about 45,000 registered Muslims in Taiwan, as of 2007. There are 80,000 Indonesian Muslims working in Taiwan. There are six mosques throughout Taiwan, with the most notable being the Taipei Grand Mosque.

Islam originated in Hejaz and spread eastward to China as early as the 7th century AD. Muslim merchants married local Chinese women, creating a new Chinese ethnic group called the Hui people. Islam is known in Chinese as Huì Jiào (Religion of the Hui) though the term (Yīsīlán Jiào) is becoming more popular. In China, there are some 20 million Muslims and it is believed to have first reached Taiwan in the 17th century when Muslim families from the southern Chinese coastal province of Fujian accompanied Koxinga on his invasion of Taiwan to oust the Dutch from the southern city of Tainan in 1661. These people are believed to be the first Muslim settlers on the island. Their descendants however became assimilated into Taiwanese society and adopted the local customs and religions. According to Professor Lien Ya Tang in his book History of Taiwan (1918), there were few Muslims on the island most of whom were from other provinces in China. There was no spread of Islam and no mosques were built.

The second wave of Muslim migrants occurred during the Chinese Civil War in the 20th century when around 20,000 Muslim families fled mainland China with the Kuomintang to Taiwan in 1949. Many of them were soldiers and government employees at the time and came from provinces were Islam is strong such as Yunnan, Xinjiang, Ningxia, and Gansu (mostly southern and western regions of China). During the 1950s, contact between Muslims and Han Chinese were limited due to differences in custom. The Muslims were largely dependent on each other through the ummah (Islamic community) that met regularly in a house on Lishui Street in Taipei. However, by the 1960s when Muslims realized that returning to mainland China would be unlikely and out of professional need, contact with Han Chinese became more frequent though there was still a considerable degree of interdependence within the ummah. Since the 1980s, thousands of Muslims from Myanmar and Thailand have migrated to Taiwan in search of a better life. They are descendants of nationalist soldiers that fled Yunnan when the communists took over mainland China.

The majority of Taiwanese Muslims today are relatively recent converts, mostly women, who have married mainlander Muslims. Today there are some 53,000 Taiwanese Muslims and a further 80,000 Indonesian workers making the current total just over 140,000 Muslims living in Taiwan.

A directed study of the Muslim population of Taiwan by Jennan Al-Hamdouni will soon be attached to this document.

Mosques

There are a total of six mosques throughout Taiwan:

* Kaohsiung Mosque
* Long Gang Mosque, in Jhongli
* Taichung Mosque
* Tainan Mosque
* Taipei Cultural Mosque, owned by the Chinese Muslim Youth League
* Taipei Grand Mosque, owned by the Chinese Muslim Association

History of Taipei Grand Mosque

The Taipei Grand Mosque is Taiwan’s most important Islamic structure, and the center of the Muslim faith on Taiwan. At the time of its construction, Taiwan enjoyed frequent exchanges with a number of Middle Eastern allies. Built according to a proposal by then Minister of Foreign Affairs Ye Gong-chao and through joint funding by several friendly Muslim countries, it was designed by the architect Yang Chuo-cheng. A number of Muslim leaders and foreign dignitaries from countries around the world have worshipped here when visiting Taiwan. It stands as a unique cultural landmark of Taipei.
This mosque reflects the special cultural features and the spirit of Islam. Its exterior design incorporates such architectural elements as the traditional dome, colonnade and minaret. The building’s layout includes a reception hall, prayer hall, side arcades, offices, library, ablution hall and gardens. The expansive prayer hall, with an interior height and width of 15 meters, can accommodate a large congregation.
 

Taipei Grand Mosque

  Islamic Centers and Organizations

Grand Mosque, Taipei, tip
URL: http://www.taipeimosque.org.tw/   Phone: 02-2720-1234

Kaohsuing Mosque, Taipeh
URL: http://www.masjid.org.tw/  

Kaohsiung Mosque, Kaohsiung
Phone: 07-749-6812

Taipei Grand Mosque, Taipeh, Taiwan
URL: http://www.taipeimosque.org.tw   Phone: 02-23948390,23219445

AI's BEEF NOODLES, Taipeh
Phone: 27318550

ALI BABA'S INDIAN KITCHEN, Taipei
Phone: 25677163

ALI BABA'S INDIAN KITCHEN, Taipeh
Phone: 25677163

BAMBOO HOUSE, Taipei
Phone: 02-23682527

Maggie Young English Classroom, Yunlin
Phone: 886-958373929

Long Gang Mosque, Jungli City, Taoyuan
URL: http://www.formmit.org   Phone: 03-4561234


  CHINESE ISLAMIC CULTURAL & EDU. FOUNDATION, Taipeh
  CHINESE MUSLIM YOUTH LEAGUE, Taipeh
  Forum Silaturrahim Muslim Indonesia Taiwan - FOSMIT, Chung-li
  Ikatan Muslim Indonesia Taiwan - IMIT, Taichung
  ISLAMIC CULTURAL INSTITUTE, Taipeh
  IWAMIT (Ikatan Warga Muslim Indonesia di Taiwan), Kao-hsiung-second Harbor
  Maggie Young English Classroom, Yunlin
  Majlis Taklim Yasin Taipei, Taipeh
  MASYARAKAT MUSLIM INDONESIA, Taipeh
 
THE CHINESE MUSLIM CULTURAL & FATERNAL ASSO., Wan-chia

  Silat Mubai International, Taichung

Grand Mosque, Taipei
  Kaohsiung Mosque, Kaohsiung
  Kaohsuing Mosque, Taipeh
  Long Gang Mosque, Jungli City
  Taichung Mosque, Taichung
  Tainan Mosque, Tainan
  Taipei Cultural Mosque, Taipei
  Taipei Grand Mosque, Taipeh
 
Taipei Grand Mosque, Taipei

   Muslim Owned Business

  Aaleja, Taipei
  AI's BEEF NOODLES, Taipeh
  Ai's Beef Noodles, Taipei
  ALI BABA'S INDIAN KITCHEN, Taipeh
  ALI BABA'S INDIAN KITCHEN, Taipei
  BAMBOO HOUSE, Taipeh
  BAMBOO HOUSE, Taipei
  BETRA INDUSTRIAL CO.,, Taipeh
  British Language School, Taipeh
  British Language School, Taipeh
  British Language School, Keelung
  CHUNGKUO BEEF RESTAURANT, Taipeh
  CHUNGKUO BEEF RESTAURANT, Taipei
  Date Palm Food House, Taipei
  Halal Butcher, Taipei
  Hola Mexican Burritos, Kao-hsiung-shih
  INDOJAYA, Taipeh
  Islamiccomunity in taipei, Taipeh
  ISMEIL'S CAFE, Taipei
  ISTANBUL RESTAURANT, Taipei
  ISTANBUL RESTAURANT, Taipeh
  KUNMING YUAN, Taipei
  KUNMING YUAN, Taipeh
  Lahore Restaurant, Kao-hsiung Shih
  Madina resturant, Hualien
  PEIPING VEGETARIAN PASTRY, Taipeh
  PEIPING VEGETARIAN PASTRY, Taipei
  SHIN SHIN RESTAURANT, Taipei
  TAIWAN PLASTIC MACHINERY CENTER, Taipeh
  THAI EMPEROR RESTURANT, Taipei
  THAI EMPEROR RESTURANT, Taipeh
  THAI FOOD HOUSE, Taipeh
  THAI FOOD HOUSE, Taipei
 
Toko sari, Taipeh

References
Islam in Taiwan ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Taiwan  , September, 2008).
Info please ( http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108020.html ,  September, 2008).
Islam Finder ( http://www.islamicfinder.org/cityPrayerNew.php?country=taiwan  , September, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Taiwan, September 2008.