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The rise of extremist Buddhism.


Shqiptar

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We're all familiar with militants from the three Abrahamic religions. The Indian subcontinent has more recently seen outbreaks of violence by Hindu extremists while the 1980s saw an upsurge of violence by Sikh terrorists. Of course, the 20th century is all too familiar with atrocities by extremist atheists.

Until now, Buddhism is not a religion one would associate with violence and militancy. After all, ahimsa or non-violence towards all sentient life forms is the first of the five precepts of the Buddhist. Along with Jainism, Buddhism is the religion most people would have associated with peace and pacifism. Well, if recent events in countries such as Burma and Sri Lanka are anything to go by, the Buddhists are getting in on the fundamentalism thing.

Ever since the outbreak of Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka in the 1980s, there has been a strong anti-Hindu streak amongst the Buddhism of the majority ethnic Sinhalese who regarded the Hinduism of the Tamil minority as a threat to Sri Lanka's Buddhist identity. However, more recently, it's the Muslim minority which has come in for persecution. Muslims have been harassed, Muslim owned businesses have been attacked and there has been an ongoing campaign against Halal food - much of it led by Buddhist monks. There has been targeting of Christians too.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Bay of Bengal, Burma is slowly emerging from decades of dictatorship, economic stagnation and isolation. The situation there with regard to religious intolerance is far worse.

As with the Soviet Union during the period of Glasnost, extremists are taking advantage of the period of openness to promote hatred and division. Last year, scores of people were killed and over 120,000 people left homeless in anti-Muslim riots. There was another outbreak last week in the capital, Naypyitaw, which resulted in the deaths of 32 people with Muslims accusing the police of doing nothing to protect them from sword-wielding Buddhist mobs which included monks. Earlier this week, 13 children were burned to death in a fire at a Muslim school in Rangoon. The authorities blame an electrical fault but given recent events, many Muslims are suspicious.

Is there any hope for any belief system, regardless of high-minded its founders were? Will all philosophical ideals - sooner or later - become corrupted and a source of disharmony?

Sources:
1. BBC News - The hardline Buddhists targeting Sri Lanka's Muslims
2. Violent Monks? Hardline Buddhist Nationalists Targeting Muslim Minorities In Sri Lanka
3. Sri Lanka violence prompts security measures - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English
4. Myanmar: Security forces stood by while anti-Muslim riots raged, says rights group | GlobalPost
5. Fears as anti-Muslim violence grips Myanmar - Independent.ie
6. 13 children die in fire at Muslim school in Burma - RTÉ News
7. Violent anti-Muslim riots in Myanmar prove that “militant Buddhist” isn’t an oxymoron – Quartz
 

Shqiptar

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Just wait till the Scientologists start blowing stuff up. Tom Cruse is in town...
[video=youtube;y47siCh_9uU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y47siCh_9uU[/video]
 

Ren84

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All religion has its extremists. No doubt the Unitarians even have a few wanabee Talibans in their ranks. :shock2:
 

Hitch 22

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Demands that you must believe the impossible do not lead to peaceful outcomes.
 

Shqiptar

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All religion has its extremists. No doubt the Unitarians even have a few wanabee Talibans in their ranks. :shock2:
They burn shamrocks, don't they? (Joke!)
 

Shqiptar

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Buddism is not without its violent episodes.

Pol Pot trained as a Buddist Monk.
The destruction of the Buddhist statues of Bamiyan by the Taleban in 2001 is a factor in the violence in Myanmar, apparently.

The abbot who led the protest, Khamainda, said he took to the streets after hearing rumours passed by other monks by telephone, about violence between Buddhists and Muslims in other towns. He said he wanted revenge against Muslims for the destruction by the Taliban of Buddhist statues in Bamiyan province in Afghanistan in 2001.
Muslims vanish as Buddhist attacks near Myanmar city | Reuters
 

davidcameron

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The Burmese generals are Buddhists but that didn't stop them from being violent towards their own people.
 

Telemachus

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I'm not sure if this is some cultural relativist attempt at "critique" or a genuine OP.

I think the last christian militant we saw was Anders Breivik. He was a rare exception to the sheep of the christian world. Lets not consider the africans in quasi-pagan organisations like the LRA. I dont think theres really any debate on a per capita basis which religion is by the far the world leader in producing militants today.

eg just the last 3 days:

DateCountryCityKilledInjuredDescription
2013.04.03AfghanistanFarah5490Over fifty people are slaughtered when nine religious radicals storm a complex and self-detonate.
2013.04.02Pakistan
Peshawar74Sunni extremists attack a power station, killing two on the spot and then executing five people taken as hostages.
2013.04.01IraqTikrit1159A Fedayeen suicide bomber massacres eleven Iraqis.
2013.04.01PakistanJani Khel27The Tehreek-e-Taliban murder two tribal elders with a planted bomb.


The roppongi muslims should be all shipped to Bangladesh, good borders make good neighbours as India is finding out to its cost due to Gandis stupidity of allowing muslims to remain in India after partition. 150 million of them and growing.
 

Kevin Parlon

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All religion has its extremists. No doubt the Unitarians even have a few wanabee Talibans in their ranks. :shock2:
The question is not one of extremism, but one of the characteristics of the underlying ideology. An extremist Jain is a threat to no one.
 

Telemachus

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The question is not one of extremism, but one of the characteristics of the underlying ideology. An extremist Jain is a threat to no one.
No man, all religions are equally evil duhrr.

Monthly Jihad Report
March, 2013

Jihad Attacks: 189

Countries: 21
Religions: 5
Dead Bodies: 988
Critically Injured: 2093
 

Kevin Parlon

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We're all familiar with militants from the three Abrahamic religions. The Indian subcontinent has more recently seen outbreaks of violence by Hindu extremists while the 1980s saw an upsurge of violence by Sikh terrorists. Of course, the 20th century is all too familiar with atrocities by extremist atheists.
There's a critical factor missing from your OP. Extremist Buddhists are really nationalists who just happen to be Bhuddist. There is no explanatory or directing narrative within Budhism which would explain, for example, the coralling of the Tamil Tigers in a small area and their systematic massacre which the Sri Lankan army carried out so recently. Their behaviour cannot be explained by bhuddist teaching.

The same goes, to a lesser extent, for Christianity. The crusades and the uncountable atrocities notwithstanding, the central message of Christianity (note: I am not religious) is "do unto others as you would have done unto yourself", "turn the other cheek" and "love thy neighbour". There is no caveat that permits violence. David Koresh and Anders Brevik cannot be explained by the New Testament.

With Islam however, there is a problem. Because violent extremism can be fully explained by canonical Islamic scripture (albeit more the hadith than the koran).

So, there are Bhuddists who are violent and extremist. But I don't think they can be fairly described as Bhuddist extremists (that is, the primary factor in their violence derives from Bhuddist teaching). The Burmese mobs do not clutch the Tipitaka and screech passages from it nor cite passage from it to explain their actions.

So to your OP; no. Not all are corruptable in the same way or even morally equivalent. To quote Sam Harris, "The crazier you get as a Jain, the less we have to worry about you".
 

Shqiptar

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The Burmese generals are Buddhists but that didn't stop them from being violent towards their own people.
This was a socialist regime. Would they not have been secular/non-religious?
 

The Owl

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Buddhism I stupdied for a couple of years in Dublin. Fell head over heels in love with the concept, but being the cynic I am I started to withdraw when I realised that men ruled and anything that men rule completely will always be subjected to violent tendancies.

As a philosophy, rather than a religion, I do have great time for it.

And stop trying to move the attention away from the Chosen People, shquiptar after your silly screw-up yesterday!
 

Shqiptar

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
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6,309
I'm not sure if this is some cultural relativist attempt at "critique" or a genuine OP.

I think the last christian militant we saw was Anders Breivik. He was a rare exception to the sheep of the christian world. Lets not consider the africans in quasi-pagan organisations like the LRA. I dont think theres really any debate on a per capita basis which religion is by the far the world leader in producing militants today.

eg just the last 3 days:

DateCountryCityKilledInjuredDescription
2013.04.03AfghanistanFarah5490Over fifty people are slaughtered when nine religious radicals storm a complex and self-detonate.
2013.04.02Pakistan
Peshawar74Sunni extremists attack a power station, killing two on the spot and then executing five people taken as hostages.
2013.04.01IraqTikrit1159A Fedayeen suicide bomber massacres eleven Iraqis.
2013.04.01PakistanJani Khel27The Tehreek-e-Taliban murder two tribal elders with a planted bomb.


The roppongi muslims should be all shipped to Bangladesh, good borders make good neighbours as India is finding out to its cost due to Gandis stupidity of allowing muslims to remain in India after partition. 150 million of them and growing.
This is a qualitative discussion, not quantitative. I'm not getting into the business of arguing which extremism kills the most. I'm commenting on the recent emergence of a new phenomenon: militant Buddhism. Feel free to bang your own personal drum about "Islamofascism" but there's nothing wrong with starting a thread about other forms of extremism.
 

Shqiptar

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
6,309
Buddhism I stupdied for a couple of years in Dublin. Fell head over heels in love with the concept, but being the cynic I am I started to withdraw when I realised that men ruled and anything that men rule completely will always be subjected to violent tendancies.

As a philosophy, rather than a religion, I do have great time for it.

And stop trying to move the attention away from the Chosen People, shquiptar after your silly screw-up yesterday!
I haven't a notion what you're on about. So which parts of Buddhism do you "have great time for"? Given what I've seen of your posts, I'm intrigued.
 

Ren84

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Jan 14, 2011
Messages
50,016
I'm not sure if this is some cultural relativist attempt at "critique" or a genuine OP.

I think the last christian militant we saw was Anders Breivik. He was a rare exception to the sheep of the christian world. Lets not consider the africans in quasi-pagan organisations like the LRA. I dont think theres really any debate on a per capita basis which religion is by the far the world leader in producing militants today.

eg just the last 3 days:

DateCountryCityKilledInjuredDescription
2013.04.03AfghanistanFarah5490Over fifty people are slaughtered when nine religious radicals storm a complex and self-detonate.
2013.04.02Pakistan
Peshawar74Sunni extremists attack a power station, killing two on the spot and then executing five people taken as hostages.
2013.04.01IraqTikrit1159A Fedayeen suicide bomber massacres eleven Iraqis.
2013.04.01PakistanJani Khel27The Tehreek-e-Taliban murder two tribal elders with a planted bomb.


The roppongi muslims should be all shipped to Bangladesh, good borders make good neighbours as India is finding out to its cost due to Gandis stupidity of allowing muslims to remain in India after partition. 150 million of them and growing.
Christians already have an outlet for their violent tendencies. It's called the Army. Or the IDF for Jews.
 
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