Watch: New Video Highlights Chinese Female Mosques and Imams
"Last Call to Prayer," produced as part of Asia Society's ChinaFile initiative, takes a look at the impact of China's Hui Muslim population on the spread of Islam, particularly through its all-female mosques and imams. The eight-minute video produced by journalist Kathleen McLaughlin and photographer Sharron Lovell explores the Hui Muslim culture through the story of one of its female imams, Guo Dongping.
The idea of female-run mosques and female imams is foreign even to other Muslims. Guo highlights the challenges female imams face, as well as the major responsibility they bear for the education of future generations of Hui women. "'Educate a woman' means educating a whole family," she says.
Professor Shui Jingjun, studying Hui culture and female imams at the Henan Academy of Social Sciences, is also featured in the video, discussing the implications of young women learning about religion, and how to speak Arabic, while at the same time they are unable to make a living as an imam.