Buddhist Hate Crimes

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Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:58 pm

I have seen little open discussion of Buddhist hate crimes as occurred in Sri Lanka, and more recently in Myanmar. I will skip recounting the long list of atrocities in either case. Or the human rights abuses committed just 3 months ago in Thailand by failing to give protection to 1500 refuges of Buddhist violence in Myanmar. Rather than granting them asylum, or allowing them to continue on their own to Indonesia or Malaysia, they were held in detention camps and then deported back to their abusers in Myanmar.
So is the larger Buddhist community not in any way responsible for bringing these crimes to account? Where is/was the outcry by the Tibetans, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, etc. For that matter what about the Politically Correct minions of the so called "developed" countries?
I know I am sickened and deeply ashamed. Are YOU??
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:17 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:So is the larger Buddhist community not in any way responsible for bringing these crimes to account? Where is/was the outcry by the Tibetans, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, etc. For that matter what about the Politically Correct minions of the so called "developed" countries?


It is quite simple. It is not in their interests to bring such crimes to account.

In politics it is seldom about what is right and wrong, but what is in the interests of the factions involved.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:26 pm

I personally don't have an expectation of nations, but should have been clearer in inditing the Sangha both robed and householders. We as groups and individuals have neglected to speak out. The shame of these misdeeds reflects on Buddhism as a whole.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:30 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:I know I am sickened and deeply ashamed. Are YOU??


Am I sad that there are sentient beings out there who have afflictions, who act in ways contradictory to Buddhadharma, of course. Am I ashamed? Why should I be? I did not engage in those actions, I did not and do not condone them.
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:35 pm

Take comfort in your clean hands, if you can.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:40 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:Take comfort in your clean hands, if you can.


I don't believe in guilt by association, and neither should you. Why should all Christians be held liable for the acts of a few, or all Muslims? Therefore, all Buddhists should not held liable for the murderous acts of a few misguided nationalists who have mistaken Buddhadharma for an ethnic identity.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Rickpa » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:58 pm

You can have the best teachings ever, and because of the way you hold views, you just might use them as justification to commit great harms. A teaching, a view, or a creed is as good as the people who claim to uphold it.

As a member of a group, you should be mindful that humans tend to judge any group of which they are outside, by the worst examples.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:02 pm

Rickpa wrote:You can have the best teachings ever, and because of the way you hold views, you just might use them as justification to commit great harms. A teaching, a view, or a creed is as good as the people who claim to uphold it.

As a member of a group, you should be mindful that humans tend to judge any group of which they are outside, by the worst examples.

I agree. In this case the attacks on non-Buddhists were inspired by monks, except in the case of the government of Thailand, which claims a Buddhist basis
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:25 pm

Rickpa wrote:As a member of a group, you should be mindful that humans tend to judge any group of which they are outside, by the worst examples.


Indeed, this however does not mean that one need feel "shame" for being a Buddhist merely because there are afflicted "Buddhists" out there who do murderous things to innocents.

Likewise, I feel no shame about being an American despite that fact my government has done terrible things. But those things were done without my consent and I oppose them.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby theanarchist » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:59 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:committed just 3 months ago in Thailand by failing to give protection to 1500 refuges of Buddhist violence in Myanmar.


I don't see where this qualifies as BUDDHIST violence. As buddhism doesn't permit or justifie violence those are clearly deeds that have absolutely nothing to do with buddhism but are motivated by racism, xenophobia and completely worldly aggression.

Why should people living in a buddhist country act differently than the inhabitants of christian or muslim countries? They all have the same negative emotions and delusions.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:07 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Jigme Tsultrim wrote:committed just 3 months ago in Thailand by failing to give protection to 1500 refuges of Buddhist violence in Myanmar.


I don't see where this qualifies as BUDDHIST violence. As buddhism doesn't permit or justifie violence those are clearly deeds that have absolutely nothing to do with buddhism but are motivated by racism, xenophobia and completely worldly aggression.

Why should people living in a buddhist country act differently than the inhabitants of christian or muslim countries? They all have the same negative emotions and delusions.
:good:
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Seishin » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:23 pm

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/world-budd ... ms-myanmar

To Our Brother and Sister Buddhists in Myanmar,

As world Buddhist leaders we send our lovingkindess and concern for the difficulties the people of Myanmar are faced with at this time. While it is a time of great positive change in Myanmar we are concerned about the growing ethnic violence and the targeting of Muslims in Rakhine State and the violence against Muslims and others across the country. The Burmese are a noble people, and Burmese Buddhists carry a long and profound history of upholding the Dharma.......

...Whether you are a Sayadaw or young monk or nun, or whether you are a lay Buddhist, please, speak out, stand up, reaffirm these Buddhist truths, and support all in Myanmar with the compassion, dignity and respect offered by the Buddha.


Gassho,
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby matthewmartin » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:30 pm

I've been using this test when reading about bad behavior prefixed with the name of a religion--

Is it a failure of an individual? It's absurd to think Buddhists consist of solely (or even mostly!) of enlighten beings. As far as we can tell, the vast majority of people on the path are unenlightened and can be expected to engage in bad behavior.

Is it a failure of an institution? The economic and political structures surrounding Buddhist people provide powerful incentives to engage in bad behavior. One group of people really does from time to time try to exterminate one group to favor their own. And vice versa.

The above two failures are less problematic for Buddhism-- it never promised instant good behavior, it isn't primarily

Finally, is it a failure of doctrine? Is the bad behavior due to an interpretation of expedient means (violence in the service of a Buddhisty goal), the fulfillment of a prophecy (like the Kalacakra sutra) or some other doctrinally justified violence? Doctrinally justified bad behavior is problematic for Buddhism and in particular, how I feel about Buddhism.

In my opinion, most media reports of Buddhist bad behavior is not about doctrinally sanctioned actions. These are just fallible Buddhist embedded in broken system given a difficult choices or had an easy choice but weren't skillful enough to see the solution.

The Buddhisty thing to do is to call upon them to repent. I don't see the merit in self-punishing for the bad behaviors of others-- I can't repent on their behalf. Likewise, I don't see the merit in abandoning the dharma over the bad behavior of others-- it isn't the dharma that failed. We might want to ostracize those who refuse to repent or quite organizations that are broken, but quitting the dharma will have to wait until it is demonstrated to be a part of the problem.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jikan » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:32 pm

Seishin wrote:http://www.tricycle.com/blog/world-buddhist-leaders-response-growing-ethnic-violence-against-muslims-myanmar

To Our Brother and Sister Buddhists in Myanmar,

As world Buddhist leaders we send our lovingkindess and concern for the difficulties the people of Myanmar are faced with at this time. While it is a time of great positive change in Myanmar we are concerned about the growing ethnic violence and the targeting of Muslims in Rakhine State and the violence against Muslims and others across the country. The Burmese are a noble people, and Burmese Buddhists carry a long and profound history of upholding the Dharma.......

...Whether you are a Sayadaw or young monk or nun, or whether you are a lay Buddhist, please, speak out, stand up, reaffirm these Buddhist truths, and support all in Myanmar with the compassion, dignity and respect offered by the Buddha.



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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:34 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:I personally don't have an expectation of nations, but should have been clearer in inditing the Sangha both robed and householders. We as groups and individuals have neglected to speak out. The shame of these misdeeds reflects on Buddhism as a whole.


Well, it is not in the interests of most notable Buddhist organizations to do much about the situation in Myanmar or Sri Lanka for example.

Samuel P. Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" is worth considering in this respect. Wikipedia states, "The Clash of Civilizations is a theory that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world." The following chart illustrates the general civilizations on the planet as of now:

Image

The Buddhist civilization is generally united against alien others on their borders. Sympathetic Buddhist peoples in the Chinese and Japanese civilizations are not within the scope of SE Asian Buddhist culture, but they can relate to those Buddhists more than non-Buddhists for obvious reasons. To support the non-Buddhists or lend them assistance against their struggle against Buddhists would be like helping a stranger in their struggle against your relative. It is simply not in the interests of Buddhists to do so, just as it is not in the interests of Christian organizations to aid Buddhists in their struggles against aggressive Christian missionary activity.

Consequently most Buddhists will not readily speak out on Buddhist hate crimes let alone pursue some kind of justice. Some Buddhists even stand to lose out personally if their associated co-religionists are charged and convicted with war crimes or atrocities. It tarnishes the general image and identity of "Buddhists" (the term is broad, but nevertheless many identify with it).

Even if people do speak out against crimes committed by Buddhists, most Buddhists would be hard pressed to initiate real legal action. Their protests basically amount to letter writing campaigns, like with Tricycle.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby matthewmartin » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:57 pm

Indrajala wrote:Even if people do speak out against crimes committed by Buddhists, most Buddhists would be hard pressed to initiate real legal action. Their protests basically amount to letter writing campaigns, like with Tricycle.


When I read this genre of posting ("Buddhism isn't so peaceful, what about the terrorists, monks in Japan fought literal wars with each other, etc")-- I get the impression that the goal is to get readers to downgrade their opinion of Buddhism, or turn away from it in general. What good is accomplished by getting people to calibrate their opinions, I'm not sure-- it's sort of a straw man to think Buddhist think Buddhists can do no wrong (as individuals, institutions or doctrinally). Why someone might encourage turning away from Buddhism in general, that's clear-- to win people for some other religion or to stomp out religion altogether (the anti-theist project).

And when people like Justin Whitaker say similar things, (he's nominally a Buddhist Blogger) it seems like some Christian style self flagellation. I would have guessed that the Buddhisty thing to do is to do acts of merit and transfer that merit to the wrong do-ers so they get some help after they're reborn as hungry ghosts-- sort of a trans-realm prison outreach.

I haven't read anything about a Buddhist foundation for repenting on behalf of the crimes of others, but I haven't read enough. (And merit transfer is controversial enough on its own)
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby kirtu » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:50 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:I have seen little open discussion of Buddhist hate crimes as occurred in Sri Lanka, and more recently in Myanmar.


This has been discussed fairly vigorously here.

So is the larger Buddhist community not in any way responsible for bringing these crimes to account?


Tibetan and many Chinese Buddhists are muted due to power issues. The Japanese have generally taken an isolationist stance wrt Buddhism outside their shores. Korean Buddhists are divided currently and are under attack from Protestants (in South Korea).

what about the Politically Correct minions of the so called "developed" countries?
I know I am sickened and deeply ashamed. Are YOU??


Many of these minions are similarly living under challenging conditions right now but some of us have protested the violence or called attention to it.

Buddhist people should certainly renounce aggression and seek reconciliation in their communities but there is little that seems practical in the face of ethnic violence and aggressive war.


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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Nemo » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:55 pm

I am quite embarrassed by the Tamil persecution in Sri Lanka. Even Western Buddhists repeat the most ridiculous lies of Sinhalese ethnic destiny occasionally. I had close ties to both sides in this conflict and have enough knowledge to have an opinion.

Myanmar I may not choose to get involved because of the recent genocide against Buddhists next door in Bangladesh.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Indrajala » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:48 am

kirtu wrote:Many of these minions are similarly living under challenging conditions right now but some of us have protested the violence or called attention to it.


But how many would actually pool their own money together to launch formal investigations and/or hire international lawyers to initiate prosecution procedures?

Not many, if any.

So it all amounts to, at most, letter writing campaigns, but then nowadays it is largely limited to comments on the internet.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby AlexanderS » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:57 pm

Nemo wrote:I am quite embarrassed by the Tamil persecution in Sri Lanka. Even Western Buddhists repeat the most ridiculous lies of Sinhalese ethnic destiny occasionally. I had close ties to both sides in this conflict and have enough knowledge to have an opinion.

Myanmar I may not choose to get involved because of the recent genocide against Buddhists next door in Bangladesh.


I haven't heard about this recent genocide in Bangladesh. Can you provide a link to a story or news about it?
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