The Fons Vitae Publishing company produced the film “The Ornaments of Lhasa: Islam in Tibet”.”Fons Vitae is a refereed publishing house, which ensures the highest academic standards for its publications,” (“About Us”). With this knowledge in mind, the following is a critique of the academic “The Ornaments of Lhasa” trailer.
There are four flaws present in the “The Ornaments of Lhasa: Islam in Tibet” trailer that need to be addressed. First, is the unbalanced focus on the “Tibetan Muslims”, there should be equal representation of both the “Tibetan Muslims” and the “Chinese Muslims”. Both groups have existed for centuries within Tibet so a study of the two groups would better represent Islam in the region as the film’s title suggests. Secondly, Khan says “the similarities and commonness between Tibetan Muslims and Tibet Buddhism is much more greater than Chinese Muslims…Tibetan Muslims are in the family of Tibet, in the community of Lhasa,” this comment suggests an unjustified “natural” division between the Muslims groups. In addition Khan does not elaborate on the differences between Chinese and Tibetan Muslims but focuses more on the harmonious relationship between the Tibetan Muslims and the Tibetan Buddhists, which weakens his first argument, as he does not elaborate on the specific details that create an apparent division between the two Muslim communities. Thirdly there is only one person interviewed in the film, Hazef Khan, which leads to a narrow perspective on the relationship of religious groups in Tibet. Lastly, there are many questions not posed such as the reasons for Muslim migration, the differences between Chinese Muslims and Tibetan Muslims, the situation of women in the religious groups and what Islam in Tibet was like under the Chinese occupation. Overall, this preview provokes a closer reading of the hidden agenda posed by the producers of the film.