Muslims Victims of Buddhist Violence?!
October 10, 2007 23 Comments
Kind of sounds strange, doesn’t it? Especially given the image of these two religions many of us get through Western media. Brother AbdulHaq of Brixton sent me the following link to a rather interesting blog post by an anthropologist studying Muslim communities. His name’s Dr. Gabriele Marranci and he’s given a pretty interesting look into the situation being experienced by my Muslim brothers and sisters in Burma; thanks to Dr. Marranci for the insight, and thanks to AbdulHaq for directing me to the Dr.’s post. From the article:
Since the revolt of the monks against the military junta in Burma, all the western mass media have focused on the long history of oppression of this South Asian country, which, I suppose, few of us really know about. While in Italy, I saw people wearing purple T-shirts in the streets, at the universities, and organised protests at the Burmese embassies in support of the ‘Buddhist monks’. This struggle for freedom has seen recently its first victims, and there is a general fear that the new protest can be as unsuccessful as the attempted revolution in 1988. Yet the attention is very much focused upon the courage of the ‘peaceful’ monks.
Read on … The Other, Invisible Suffering of Burma.
I also came across this collection of links concerning Buddhist inspired violence: Buddhism: Violence and War. I have yet to go through them, but they do look interesting to say the least. From the disclaimer at the top of this particular page:
Not unlike other religions Buddhism also has “skeletons in its’ closet” which it carefully conceals in the Western world. There are dark aspects in this “philosophy of compassion, non-violence and tolerance”. Zen-Buddhism for example influenced the most sophisticated warrior philosophy of the East: the extremely brutal and suicidal Samurai Ethics. In Tibetan Buddhism one can find believes in spirits and demons, in secret sexual practices, in war gods, in occultism. Lamas search to influence their retinue and the world with all sorts of magical rituals. In Sri Lanka Buddhist violence and Buddhist racism are the order of the day. In Burma and in Kashmir Buddhist armies are fighting. And yet the Dalai Lama has another face that peeks out from behind the mask of goodness, charity and kindness, which gives one pause to think more deeply about the shadow sides of this “man of peace.” Why is Buddhist fundamentalism so dangerous – because it shows a tendency to religious Fascism! It’s not well known that the brain trust of the SS in Nazi Germany was extremely interested in Vedic- and Buddhist- teachings, in the Lamaist culture, and in Zen-Meditation with the goal to construct with elements of these eastern believes its own Nazi-Religion. (See: www.trimondi.de/H-B-K/inhalt.hi.en.htm ) Buddhism – if it will become congruent with western values like democracy, human rights, equality of gender etc. must be “reinvented”. The condition therefore is an open, critical and honest debate.