Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:50 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Thanks Greg for the lesson of suffering. It is not the tracts themselves that I object to,but the context in which you were using them. Which is in essence to try and stop any criticism of Islamic Sharia and the problems it poses.
Look, I don't know what's gotten into you but you are constantly misreading and misinterpreting what I am saying so I am going to say it one final time and if you continue to misinterpret what i am saying I will have to assume you are doing it on purpose:

THE ONLY THING I AM TRYING TO DO IS GIVE A BUDDHIST CONTEXT TO THIS DISCUSSION. That is whay I am constantly quoting from scripture.
Trying to work to secure a better future for people does not deny the Truth of the Origin of suffering. The quotes from HH Dalai Lama and others confirm several well respected Buddhist leaders are on board with this. If you read HHDL's quote he mentions the aspect of conquering the delusions which are ultimately the source of suffering, but also engaging when there are problems in the world.
Hope is one of the eight worldly dharmas.
Firstly, I mentioned that I wished Burmese who perpetrated the Human Rights abuses would think about how this impacted the safety of Buddhists in other places earlier in the thread, for example, how I was accosted but more importantly how vulnerable minorities like the Tibetans were stabbed.
Which seems to miss the point completely. What is of importance, in reference to the actions of the Burmese, is NOT how it impacts on the safety of Buddhists, but how it impacts on the safety of the Rohingya. The Rohingya are a vunerable minority group. The Rohingya are being massacred. The Rohingya are currently in need of protection.
Thirdly, I would never, EVER, walk up to a woman in hijab or a man with a Muslim beard and ask them to answer for human rights abuses perpetrated due to Shariah etc. in Muslim-run governments. I especially would not walk off the street and begin shouting at them publicly in a coffee shop. It makes people feel unsafe and does not lead to any dialogue. It would also just be stupid, for all I know they may be against those human rights abuses. I don't judge people by what they wear and am against the banning of hijab by the French govt. for example.
But you condemn Islam and Muslims on a Buddhist site where there is zero probability of a dialogue with Muslims happening? And then when somebody (me) comes along and says that they can understand (not support, understand) where the rage which is evident in the Muslim world is coming from, you accuse me of a variety of things: from being a liberal to being a supporter of Sharia law, when I have said nothing of the sort?
It is not a crusade, funny that you choose that word. What is your objection to my line of action?
One-sided information. I supplied some information from the other side too and I provided explanations and courses of action from a Buddhist perspective.
I am providing information so that human rights abuse can be brought to light, the same way I have in several threads about Tibet where I pointed to flaws in the Chinese political system. You did not bother to bring up objections then.
Red herring.
Greg I am a Liberal, or at least used to consider myself one until the rules of being a Liberal in good standing become so complicated I completely disengaged from any political discussion for over three years. I accused you of being a neo-Liberal (which Malcolm said I cannot use, I am still looking for a new word to describe this moral schizophrenia.), but basically, a Liberal who chooses to call out some human rights abuse and not others. Who denounces Isreali human rights abuse but remains silent or quotes Wheel of Sharp Weapons when people speak about those abuses in Islamic regimes.
Except that the topic of this thread was not Islamic regimes, but the reaction of a single Mullah in Australia, regarding the situation in Burma.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:04 pm

Which seems to miss the point completely. What is of importance, in reference to the actions of the Burmese, is NOT how it impacts on the safety of Buddhists, but how it impacts on the safety of the Rohingya. The Rohingya are a vunerable minority group. The Rohingya are being massacred. The Rohingya are currently in need of protection.


I also mentioned (in other threads as well as this one) I unequivocally condemn any violence against people, throwing people out of their homes etc. I added the last part because you mentioned my story about me being accosted in the cafe.

I am going to say it one final time and if you continue to misinterpret what i am saying I will have to assume you are doing it on purpose:

Greg if we are at the point of typing in caps and issuing ultimatums I will let it go here. I don't want to argue with you and tried to disengage from this discussion yesterday. If neither of us can debate in good faith the best is to throw in the towel now and stop arguing.

But you condemn Islam and Muslims on a Buddhist site where there is zero probability of a dialogue with Muslims happening?


I never condemned Muslims, it was always political islam and Islamic jurisprudence, when it steps on people's human rights. IN fact, I mentioned great concern for several Muslim minority groups such as the Ahmadiyyas and Ba'hai. The Saudi man I mentioned above is also a Muslim- I am also concerned for his rights. As are the women in the Panorama documentary I posted.

Buddhist site where there is zero probability of a dialogue with Muslims


Why do you think I bothered to contact the Islamic scholar while in Toronto?

Except that the topic of this thread was not Islamic regimes, but the reaction of a single Mullah in Australia, regarding the situation in Burma.


The issue was the widespread silence on the Mullah in Australia- Shariah law and belief about apostates is all connected with why people wouldn't say anything.

But as I said, I am honestly done, as you don't believe I am debating in good faith and it is only the two of us participating in the discussion.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:16 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Greg if we are at the point of typing in caps and issuing ultimatums I will let it go here. I don't want to argue with you and tried to disengage from this discussion yesterday. If neither of us can debate in good faith the best is to throw in the towel now and stop arguing.
I am trying to have a debate "in good fatih" but you (and others) keep trying to put words in my mouth, that is what I am objecting to. Intitially I thought that maybe I was not being clear, but after repeating the same thing four times... :shrug: I'm not repeating it four times because I want you to agree with me, I am doing it because clearly you (and others) are not understanding what I am trying to say.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Jikan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:22 pm

A word from the moderator...

Please remember the Terms of Service:


This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity. In support of this:

~ Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.



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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Jikan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:29 pm

Please continue your discussion in light of the topic, the ToS, and the practice of Right Speech. If the discussion veers off into baseless accusation or comparison for comparison's sake, it will be closed. Thank you for your understanding.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:59 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:I'm not repeating it four times because I want you to agree with me, I am doing it because clearly you (and others) are not understanding what I am trying to say.



Or perhaps you are not communicating effectively and need to try another approach.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:Or perhaps you are not communicating effectively and need to try another approach.
I considered that. That's why I explained it slightly differently each time. Now, unfortunately I am limited to expressing myself with written words, so there is only so much I can do (poetry is not my forte)!

I could post photos of dead Muslim children from all over the world, but then I would be accused of being dramatic.

Do you have something else in mind? I'm willing to try it.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:17 pm

I think the best course of action is to end the discussion here, personally.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:26 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Or perhaps you are not communicating effectively and need to try another approach.
I considered that. That's why I explained it slightly differently each time. Now, unfortunately I am limited to expressing myself with written words, so there is only so much I can do (poetry is not my forte)!

I could post photos of dead Muslim children from all over the world, but then I would be accused of being dramatic.

Do you have something else in mind? I'm willing to try it.



The problem is that you are having one conversation, and Khendrup is having another. So in fact you are talking past each other.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby uan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Or perhaps you are not communicating effectively and need to try another approach.
I considered that. That's why I explained it slightly differently each time. Now, unfortunately I am limited to expressing myself with written words, so there is only so much I can do (poetry is not my forte)!

I could post photos of dead Muslim children from all over the world, but then I would be accused of being dramatic.

Do you have something else in mind? I'm willing to try it.



The problem is that you are having one conversation, and Khendrup is having another. So in fact you are talking past each other.


And that's among two people who've known each other (at least on this forum) with a commonality of beliefs (at least a shared commonality in Buddhism) - how much more so when the Islamic world and the Western world, and the Near and Far Eastern worlds, that have little shared beliefs, shared history, except a long history of acrimony and the like - everyone's talking past each other - and people suffer and continue to die.

And the circle of Samsara rolls on...
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:The problem is that you are having one conversation, and Khendrup is having another. So in fact you are talking past each other.


That's simply the nature of fora. Like any other broadcast media, one writes to a particular audience that is receptive and that is often not one's immediate interlocutor.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby uan » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:10 am

JKhedrup wrote:
But, for example, do you consider the Fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie hate speech? It prevents his freedom of movement, even to his own country of birth, India. I would say putting a price on someone's head is hate speech even if based on religious belief.



No I don't consider the Fatwa hate speech (I do consider it wrong, and definitely has a chilling effect for all the reasons you enumerate). But the US has put a "Fatwa" of sorts on Snowden. Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London unable to move. These actions also have a chilling effect.

From my own understanding of Buddhism, one learns to question "what is real". Everything is a projection of mind and is illusory. In a real world application of that, my view on something (an object, a situation, what is universally right or wrong) only has the meaning that I bring to it. Someone could bring a totally different meaning. Neither of us is right, or wrong.

I used to work in a Fortune 100 company. They had "diversity training" design to teach respect for different people (regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc.). Those are US values that were being cultivated. But we also had divisions in different parts of the world. How does diversity training work if a person comes from a culture with different values? Do you force a form of respect onto a different culture? Is that respecting diversity?

But beyond that, diversity training often looks to "normalize" behaviors or thoughts. I've seen this in some High Schools where diversity doesn't really mean "respect everyone" but more "respect me" without trying to understand where another person comes from - one person becomes the "victim" and then the episode is played out from that one perspective (I'm not saying this is universally true everywhere - very anecdotal on my part).

For me that is the beauty of Buddhism, it gives me the tools to look beyond myself, to not hold on to my own beliefs as absolutes, and to be able to view the world from the view point of another. (Not always successfully! :rolling: But I try)

Regarding the Fatwa, within the Islamic world, that is a legitimate use of Sharia law and/or the authority of an Imam and carries the same weight and institutional authority as courts do in other countries.

As much problems as I may have with Fatwas, I also struggle with the concept of French Jurisprudence where a person is considered guilty until proven innocent-very much at odds with the US. I'm also a fan of Habeas Corpus, which seems to have lost a bit of it's stature in the war on Terror.

JKhedrup wrote:
Shoulds are difficult but I guess the issue here is what peopke consider an essential human right versus what is negotiable according to Cultural considerations. I do not think that people should be shackled to religion that they mayvhave simply been born into because of the fear of death or imprisonment under Apostasy laws.

One Muslim community leader who I spokevto in Toronto told me that if one follows Islam properly, it is not just a religion, it is also a political and social system. (My views are not uninformed, as I have read the Koran and spoken to several Muskim scholars).


I think for sure we (you and I, and Greg) have a common/similar understanding of what we think should be essential human rights. But that is as reflective of the cultural norms we've grown up with. It's hard to imagine how others think or believe when they grow up with cultural norms in stark contrast to our own. A theocracy is antithetical to our traditions, but it is perfectly normal within its own tradition. Even those in a theocracy that have problems with it are probably in agreement with the majority of decisions made or how their country is run.



JKhedrup wrote:
One Muslim community leader who I spokevto in Toronto told me that if one follows Islam properly, it is not just a religion, it is also a political and social system. (My views are not uninformed, as I have read the Koran and spoken to several Muskim scholars).


I saw a documentary examining the different major religions (and their similarities), and a female rabbi talked about social activism being an integral part of her understanding of being a good Jew. Here's an Imam talking about Islam and terrorism and I think he adds nuance to what we are talking about here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiD4d40fdP8
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:25 am

uan wrote:A theocracy is antithetical to our traditions...
Really? What about Tibet before the Chinese invasion?
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One will not attain the real result
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:50 am

The thing is just because I am against human rights abuses in Islamic countries does not mean that I am "for them" in other countries.

Corporate influence through lobbying, Assange (even though I find his personality tough to swallow at times, but then again Rushdie can also be irascible), wars fought on false pretenses etc.-I also find these troubling, and have stated so. It is also true that what is normal for us is not normal for others... But we have to differentiate between what things are cultural practices that might offend our Western sensibilities, versus structures that actually trample on people's human rights.

So for example personally I would not try to influence laws that require women to wear hijab in the street. I would however target laws that put forward death and imprisonment for adulteresses. Similarly, I don't think that gay marriage is a good fit in Muslim countries, however I do think that gay people should not be at risk of execution for their sexual orientation.

Similarly I don't think that Muslim countries should be required to allow, for example, Buddhist missionaries to try and recruit the local people. At the same time, I don't think the expat Buddhists and Hindus should live in fear of practicing their religion due to idolatry laws etc.

uan wrote:A theocracy is antithetical to our traditions...
Really? What about Tibet before the Chinese invasion?


I think Uan was speaking in terms of modern Western secular traditions.
And theocracy in Tibet has been widely examined and criticized on this forum, just like Islamic theocracy, though with less of an uproar.
HH the present Dalai Lama, for example, has said that it is not a desireable system and broadly critiqued it, withdrawn from government, and now there is a PM of the government in exile. You would be hard pressed to find a modern Tibetan in India who would want to revert to a theocratic form of government, though as I have never been to Tibet I am not sure what they think there.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:52 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
uan wrote:A theocracy is antithetical to our traditions...
Really? What about Tibet before the Chinese invasion?



Tibet was never a theocracy. Wrong term. Tibet was not internally organized in this way. If any thing, Tibet was a loose confederation of small, independent Oligarchies, some ruled by monastic interests (who generally functioned much as corporations do today), others ruled by aristocratic families.

The Lhasa government was a combination of the two, the Khashag consisting of a board made of up of an equal mix of secular aristocrats and monastic bureaucrats (who, like Desri Sangye Gyatso, were not always themselves monks). The Khashag had very little concrete power outside of the immediate precincts of Ü and Tshang.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Dan74 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:13 pm

Sorry to butt in, gents, and not sure if this adds any value to the discussion, but FWIW...

It is not that there is nothing to criticise within Islam and Sharia - there is plenty, but I am wondering what purpose it serves. Change is going to come from within, not from a bunch of infidels denigrating the Word of the Prophet. I think the best that can be done is to foster a respectful free exchange. We've had many Muslim students come and study at the University where I work and many have enjoyed a more pluralistic approach to things that they will then bring home with them. Others had already come from quite pluralistic Muslim societies like Indonesia and Turkey, that don't seem to get much of a mention in these discussions.

At the end of the day there's something a little suss about rubbishing someone else's religion and culture, even if the said rubbishing makes good points. It is simply not our place. It's pretty presumptuous, as if we are sure that we are superior and see it more clearly than them. There are elements in "our Western culture" too that are downright barbaric.

"When asked, speak truthfully, but when not asked, remain quiet."

All IMHO, of course.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:54 pm

I guess it depends on if you see us as one human family or a separate societies divided along race, religion, culture.

It may be impossible to enforce standards (and I don't ever things wars should be fought to do that for example), but we can still have discussions about those basic standards. Basic rights in Muslim countries, basic rights in Burma- the idea is to have some very basic agreement on what we can work with as a human family. As I mentioned above- this means working on things in Western countries as well- such as challenging laws about hijab in France for example. It means making concessions- such as not demanding homosexual marriage, but protecting homosexuals from execution or long prison terms.

The other assumption that is often made is that all Muslims find criticism of Sharia law or conservative aspects of their religion offensive- this is not the case. In fact many, such as the man I met from Saudi Arabia and well known and published Liberal Muslim thinkers and authors, wonder why the world remains silent. Irshad Manji, for example, thinks it requires "moral courage" to say something.

Ahmadi Muslims and Ba'hai's often petition concerned Westerners to write letters etc. to Muslim nations expressing concern for their rights.

Part of dialogue means hearing criticism- and this goes for both sides. It also means making concessions so as to come to some sort of agreement. If we just withdraw to our own countries saying "it's none of our business", many will question why we did nothing. It is a catch 22.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:33 pm

Dan74 wrote:
At the end of the day there's something a little suss about rubbishing someone else's religion and culture, even if the said rubbishing makes good points.


There are many cultural practices that are abusive of people -- these should be spoken out against. Customs where rapists have the option to marry their victims to expiate their crime. The binding of women's feet is another such custom. The custom of burning wives you wish to discard. The custom of honor killings. The custom "circumcising" the clitorises of young girls. The custom of denying young women to right to fair education. The custom of abducting young boys and training them as soldiers. I could go on. None of these customs are worthy of defending or ignoring. All of these customs have cultural and religious justifications. All of these customs are brutal indignities that defy basic principles of human decency.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:Tibet was never a theocracy. Wrong term. Tibet was not internally organized in this way. If any thing, Tibet was a loose confederation of small, independent Oligarchies, some ruled by monastic interests (who generally functioned much as corporations do today), others ruled by aristocratic families.
Well, I think maybe we are splitting hairs just a little too finely here. Suffice to sat that Tibetan Buddhism was not averse to imposing itself via political structures.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:11 pm

Why questioning and pointing out oppressive practices is not "bashing". The woman I proudly take my cues from on this issue, Irshad Manji:

https://www.irshadmanji.com/irshad

In Arabic, Irshad means "guidance." My mission: to help people live with integrity and wholeness, especially those who feel limited by culture, religion, or society.

This mission has been a life-long journey.

Growing up in a violent household, I made a commitment to use my education for good. That meant finding my voice, asking questions, and thinking for myself.

At my Islamic school, I asked too many questions, and got expelled at age 14. Later, studying Islam on my own, I made a truly surprising discovery: It is possible to reconcile faith with freedom.

My journey has brought me to where I am today – speaking, writing and teaching not just about Islam, but also about moral courage. I stand for the human right to question, free from fear.
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