Tibetan Muslims. A Minority within a Minority. From a Kashmiri Muslim Immigration to Tibet to a Tibetan Muslim Forced Migration to India

Fabienne Le Houérou, LIT Verlag, 106 p.

Ouvrage publié avec le soutien de l’IREMAM

Couv-Tibetan Muslims-fabienne-le-houérouThis book focuses on the minority of Tibetan Muslims among the Tibetan Diaspora. Most scholars remain unaware of the Tibetan Muslim community or its associations with Buddhism and the Dalai Lama. As a religious and political leader, he is the embodiment of Tibetan space, territory, population, religion, and identity. The Western public has assumed a monolithic vision of Tibet as a pure Buddhist Theocracy. However, Tibet was impacted by other religions, i.e. Christianity and Islam. The 100.000 Tibetan refugees in India are one of the largest Tibetan Diaspora; the majority are Buddhist, and the Muslim minority is estimated at no more than a few hundred families. Tibetan Muslims constitute a minority within another Tibetan Buddhist minority of exiled Tibetans in India.

The study based on field research emphasises a hybrid process of the Tibetan Muslim’s Diaspora in exile. A cultural Buddhist Tibetan heritage associated with Kashmiri Muslim rituals and customs creates hybrid cultural practices and traditions, which could be characterized as rhizomatic.

Fabienne Le Houérou is Research Director at IREMAM, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France, Fellow, Institut Convergences Migrations (ICM).

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