A Chinese Life Of Islam : The Search for Identity
Most Malaysian Muslims of Chinese descent today are converts to Islam. They are a legacy of their own, having no ancestral links to any Islamic roots in China. Malaysian Chinese who come to Islam are from all kinds of backgrounds. Some received their education in Chinese, some in Malay, and some in English. Some have lifestyles influenced by their Chinese heritage, while some lean more towards the Malay culture, and some towards the Western way of life. It is therefore hard to characterize their Chinese Muslim Identity. They want to be Muslim, remain Chinese, appear Malaysian, and accept what may best contribute to the well-being of their Muslim identity, including from the West. Being a group of Muslims who are Chinese yet Malaysian but with no ancestral roots of Islam in Chinese, the Malaysian Chinese Muslims are faced with the task of carving their identity in this country. They are faced with this question: How am I a Muslim, yet Chinese. And appear Malaysian?