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The Muslim Cook, The Tibetan Client, His Lama And Their Boycott: Modern Religious Discourses Of Anti-Muslim Economic Activism In Amdo

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses these issues with a specific focus on the role of lamas and religious discourse, complementing my previous working paper on the political economy of recent anti-Muslim boycotts by Amdo Tibetans. Since the time of the Tibetan empire in the seventh century, Tibetan relations with Muslims have been fluid and contested, by no means following some stable pattern of either harmony or animosity. This Tibetan-Muslim interface in Amdo has involved extensive cooperative synergies. Muslims have filled specialised economic roles which continue to the present. Certain Tibetan-Muslim tensions in Amdo were caused by the rise of Muslim militancy in north-west China during the demise of the Ming dynasty in the seventeenth century, which coincided with the spread of Sufism into Gansu. Lama B additionally asserted that Tibetans had nothing to fear from the supposed Muslim beliefs regarding the conversion-inducing consumption of ashes.

Keywords: animosity; cooperative synergies; Lama religious discourses



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