Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peaceful Buddhists on murderous rampage?

Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Abbot Ven. Karunananda, Ph.D., Bodhi Vihara
In this anti-Buddhist propaganda photo suggesting Buddhists monks (Tibetan lamas) are up to no good standing among corpses, what is really happening is quite the opposite. Lamas were brought in to bless and comfort victims after a massive Himalayan landslide in Tibet -- in this inflammatory, undated photo tagged with a url link to a video reporting atrocities committed against Burma's minority Muslim Rohingyas, which the world seems to be ignoring:
UPDATE: The editors of Wisdom Quarterly are not apologists (defenders the faith ready to explain any and every negative thing away). If monastics or  nominal lay "Buddhists" harm others, we report it. Reports have reached us that Buddhists did NOT go on murderous rampages. They might have, but there is a more plausible explanation. Rohingyas are in a tense stand off with their coompatriot neighbors, Burmese Buddhist villagers and co-religionist Muslims in nearby Bangladesh. Buddhists are angry about a sensational rape of a Buddhist female by Rohingya boys, ongoing drug dealing, and general anti-social behavior. But it is alleged that Rohingyas set fire to their own villages using gun powder provided to them from some outside source agitating for change. Rohingyas want to have their plight recognized, so they had to do something to get sympathy and vital humanitarian relief from either the world in general or Bangladeshi officials in particular.
Burma has a history of massacring minorities.
The worldwide MIC (transnational military-industrial complex) has succeeded in sucking in some Buddhists, tragically pitting some poor Burmese villagers against their fellow countrymen, an ethnic minority known as the Rohingya. Neighboring Muslim Bangladesh has refused to help save lives and prevent this nascent genocide by admitting Rohingyas attempting to flee the violence, which goes both ways with Rohingyas attacking minority Bangladeshi Buddhist temples and villagers and majority Burmese Buddhists retaliating.

But this is not a simple case of neighbor-on-neighbor violence. Pres. Thien Sein of Burma has admitted that the monstrous Myanmar military -- which in 2007 attacked, imprisoned, and slaughtered uncounted Buddhist monks and pro-democracy protesters in the ongoing Saffron Revolution -- has been systematically executing Rohingya. The military junta headed by Burmese dictator Gen. Than Shwe have ruthlessly attacked and waged war against many of Burma's ethnic minorities, including Buddhists along the its mountainous borders with Thailand and China.
What is going on?
Stop! Consider the consequences of shortsighted action (karma)! Hatred will never cease by hatred. Every gain will mean even more loss (Ahsanul Bari).
We go to Bangladeshi Buddhist abbot and scholar Ven. Karunananda, Ph.D. for comment. 

WQ: "Venerable sir, Buddhists are killing Muslims?"

VK: "Villagers are fighting, but this has absolutely nothing to do with religion. This is not a religious crusade or anything Buddhist monastics sponsor. Rohingya attacked Buddhists in Bangladesh; Buddhists in Burma are attacking Rohingya."

WQ: "Where is Hillary Clinton in all this?"

VK: "That is a good question."

WQ: "Worse yet, where is our heroine Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi?"

VK: "This is a very delicate matter, very tragic."

There is a dictum in Buddhism that any person who attacks another is wrong to do so, but a person who retaliates is worse. Revenge is NOT justified in Buddhism, contrary to Western conceptions of God and Jewish-Christian ideals of vengeance, following a tribal God(s) into war against neighbors.
Fortunately, New Testament Christians speak of a new ideal (forgiveness) and a new God (Issa/Jesus) replacing the warring eye-for-any-eye mentality attributed to YHWH.

But many Christians in the West (US, UK, EU, and the Holy See) do not distinguish Old and New Testament Gods when it comes to such things as revenge, war, imperial-crusades, and ethnic-genocides. Conducting war in the name of One God (peruse the Christian Bible's Book of Judges if there's any doubt) and world domination is a mainstay in the Far West and, sadly, the Middle East as well.
The CIA can't make all this war without some help from a minority of Muslims bent on upholding the eye-for-an-eye mentality of monotheistic tradition. But to whom are we to attribute most of the violence in the world today?

Who does what?
Photographer Kombizz Kashani rhetorically asks: "Who started the first world war? Muslims?? Who started the second world war? Muslims?? Who killed ten million aborigines in Australia? Muslims?? Who dropped nuclear bombs on civilian [non-combatants] in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Muslims?? Who killed more than 100 million Native American-Indians in North America? Muslims?? Who killed more than 50 million indigenous-Indians in South America? Muslims?? Who trafficked ~180 million Africans as slaves with 88% of them dying or being thrown into the Atlantic?? Muslims??"

No, they weren't Muslims! They were mostly [nominal] Christians.

Let's define "terrorism." If a non-Muslim does something untoward, it's a "crime." But if a Muslim commits the exact same misdeed, it's "terrorism." We first have to disabuse ourselves of this biased double-standard.

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