Paul O'ConnorSep 20, 2013
Islam in Hong Kong
Muslims and Everyday Life in China's World City
Hong Kong University Press 2012
What does the everyday experience of Muslim minorities look like? We have often heard about what Muslims deal with in the West. But what about Muslim minorities in the East? This was one of the questions Paul O'Connor, professor in the Anthropology department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, explores in the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong. In Islam in Hong Kong: Muslims and Everyday Life in China's World City (Hong Kong University Press, 2012), O'Connor provides an ethnography of everyday life for the various Muslim communities in this modern city. He outlines institutions and organizations in the religious landscape of permanent Muslim minority communities. He explores the meaning of various spaces in the urban environment, such as home, school, mosque, and public spaces like malls or the Chungking Mansions. He also examines the dynamics of food and language in shaping everyday practices and relationships. In our conversation we discuss changes occurring after the end of colonial power, multilingual opportunities, halal food, religious and secular education, racism, Indonesian foreign domestic workers, Muslim youth use of urban public and online spaces, Muslim minority experiences in East and West, and everyday hybridity.