This article traces the intellectual evolution of Zhang Chengzhi (b. 1948), a contemporary Chinese poet, novelist, essayist, archaeologist, and ethnographer, from Mao-era radicalism to Islamic internationalism. Allegedly the inventor of the term “Red Guard” in the context of the Cultural Revolution, he has remained an unapologetic defender of Mao and of the “Red Guard spirit” since the 1960s. In 1987, meanwhile, Zhang converted to an impoverished and ascetic sect of Chinese Islam, the Jahriyya, and since the 2000s he has become one of China's most prominent spokesmen for global Islam. This article explores how Zhang has reconciled his zeal for Cultural Revolution Maoism, on the one hand, with Pan-Islamist positions on the other. Although Zhang's stance suffers from undoubted contradictions and inconsistencies, his career and beliefs illuminate the complexities of the legacy of Mao's and the Cultural Revolutions, of Chinese intellectual dissidence, and of the contemporary trajectories of Chinese internationalism and global Islam.