the ethnic conflict in Burma

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby tobes » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:25 pm

Indeed, there is a pattern: rampant Islamaphobia is very comfortable on Buddhist forums.

As some may know, I like a good argument, especially a philosophical or political one.

But this is not the terrain that warrants a reasoned response. One cannot reason with irrational hatred.

The things that are being stated here are repugnant untruths which are extremely harmful.

I request that the mods close this thread.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:34 pm

tobes, people here said the Qoran is a violent teaching. Can you clarify on that?
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby zangskar » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:35 pm

Nemo wrote:And how are the Buddhists and Hindus doing in Bangladesh? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Iran? All dead.

There are more than 10 million Hindus in Bangladesh.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:40 pm

tobes wrote:Indeed, there is a pattern: rampant Islamaphobia is very comfortable on Buddhist forums.

As some may know, I like a good argument, especially a philosophical or political one.

But this is not the terrain that warrants a reasoned response. One cannot reason with irrational hatred.

The things that are being stated here are repugnant untruths which are extremely harmful.


For what it's worth, the original poster is with you here.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Nemo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:45 pm

I worked straight through the night and was not particularly cogent. My apologies.

I do not have Islamophobia. I have monotheist-O-phobia. I think all monotheistic religions have (so far) done more harm than good to the world. Judaism and Islam are slightly worse than reformed Christianity. Christianity is still trying to make up for the Dark Ages when polytheists were literally demonized and systematically exterminated from Europe. A Dark Age when Popes would give soldiers plenary indulgences. A piece of paper that said all your murdering and pillaging of nonbelievers was not a sin in the eyes of God. Old Testament Jews used the same rationalizations. Islam is still young and if it is like its predecessors has many more atrocities to go before it reaches maturity.

Monotheism is by nature xenophobic, violent and intolerant. The One True God precludes any other. It can be seen by the current rise in fundamentalism of Jews in Israel and Christians in the USA. A period of intolerance and Talibanesque spiritual repression is easily supported by the flawed and primitive Holy Books they venerate. Of the three Middle Eastern religions the most intolerant, violent, and full of excuses to murder and exploit the other is Islam. Jesus was a man of peace, love and tolerance but the atrocities carried out in his name were some of the most depraved in history. How much more so for a book that glorifies war, murder of idolaters and apostates and subjugation of the non-Muslims. Some Islamic Republics have made some progress. Such as admitting that Hindus and Buddhists are Dhimmi and not Shirk and thus not subject to execution. This is commendable, but clearly in violation of the Koran. I worry that it only takes a few people who take a very literalistic view of the Koran to undo it all. Aurangzeb is the perfect example of such a murderous zealot. Still revered by many Muslims for his genocidal, temple destroying and warmongering ways.

I don’t think coexistence with unreformed fundamentalist monotheists is possible.The lynch mobs in Myanmar can in no way justified by Buddhist principles. I do think that Myanmar should be very careful who it lets into the country and has some very difficult problems involving tolerance and the intolerant.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:29 pm

zangskar wrote:
Nemo wrote:And how are the Buddhists and Hindus doing in Bangladesh? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Iran? All dead.

There are more than 10 million Hindus in Bangladesh.


There are also about 1/2M Buddhists in Bangladesh although Buddhists in the heavily Buddhist Chittagong Hills have claimed oppression against them.

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:13 pm

Nemo wrote:I do not have Islamophobia. I have monotheist-O-phobia. I think all monotheistic religions have (so far) done more harm than good to the world.


Well, I know very well where you're coming from. I was brought up in a nominally Catholic urban Poland, which since my childhood has rather shockingly become (and still is) more or less a theocracy, and naturally monotheism does tend to creep me out a lot. And I agree that historically speaking it has been a terrifyingly destructive ideology - and that its core metaphors and its very rhetoric are inherently dangerous.

At the same time, the totalitarian light of monotheism is inseparable from its shadows. The history of every monotheism is a history of endless rebellions against authority and dogma and repressive doctrine; no matter how brutally are such stirrings suppressed, still they rise - and, rising, dramatically reinvent the doctrine. Good to remember the Amalricians, the Free Spirit Brethren, the Quakers, the Levellers, the Ranters, the Antinomianists and countless other heretical movements who have fought to unveil a completely different face of monotheism from the one we know so very well. And I'm fairly convinced this heterodox side is also an intrinsic part of the phenomenon. (The heresies I listed above are Christian, but someone well-versed in the history of Islam or Judaism can easily make their own catalogues.)

Nemo wrote:Of the three Middle Eastern religions the most intolerant, violent, and full of excuses to murder and exploit the other is Islam. Jesus was a man of peace, love and tolerance but the atrocities carried out in his name were some of the most depraved in history. How much more so for a book that glorifies war, murder of idolaters and apostates and subjugation of the non-Muslims


Here I beg to differ. The Qu'ran is no worse than the Bible - the Old Testament is as valid part of any Christian creed as the New one, and even in the New Testament there are passages that chill me to the very bone. Cf. Luke 19:26: "'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them - bring them here and kill them in front of me".

Good to note here, too, that the history of monotheism is also a history of hermeneutics. For hundreds of years people have been quarrelling about how to construe such controversial passages - which is to say, arguing about how to disambiguate them in such a way as to dispel the controversial meaning.

Nemo wrote:I don’t think coexistence with unreformed fundamentalist monotheists is possible.


100% agreed. Only Muslims aren't all "unreformed fundamentalist monotheists". Extremely few of them are.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby tobes » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:57 am

Nemo wrote:I worked straight through the night and was not particularly cogent. My apologies.

I do not have Islamophobia. I have monotheist-O-phobia. I think all monotheistic religions have (so far) done more harm than good to the world. Judaism and Islam are slightly worse than reformed Christianity. Christianity is still trying to make up for the Dark Ages when polytheists were literally demonized and systematically exterminated from Europe. A Dark Age when Popes would give soldiers plenary indulgences. A piece of paper that said all your murdering and pillaging of nonbelievers was not a sin in the eyes of God. Old Testament Jews used the same rationalizations. Islam is still young and if it is like its predecessors has many more atrocities to go before it reaches maturity.

Monotheism is by nature xenophobic, violent and intolerant. The One True God precludes any other. It can be seen by the current rise in fundamentalism of Jews in Israel and Christians in the USA. A period of intolerance and Talibanesque spiritual repression is easily supported by the flawed and primitive Holy Books they venerate. Of the three Middle Eastern religions the most intolerant, violent, and full of excuses to murder and exploit the other is Islam. Jesus was a man of peace, love and tolerance but the atrocities carried out in his name were some of the most depraved in history. How much more so for a book that glorifies war, murder of idolaters and apostates and subjugation of the non-Muslims. Some Islamic Republics have made some progress. Such as admitting that Hindus and Buddhists are Dhimmi and not Shirk and thus not subject to execution. This is commendable, but clearly in violation of the Koran. I worry that it only takes a few people who take a very literalistic view of the Koran to undo it all. Aurangzeb is the perfect example of such a murderous zealot. Still revered by many Muslims for his genocidal, temple destroying and warmongering ways.

I don’t think coexistence with unreformed fundamentalist monotheists is possible.The lynch mobs in Myanmar can in no way justified by Buddhist principles. I do think that Myanmar should be very careful who it lets into the country and has some very difficult problems involving tolerance and the intolerant.



Fine, so you irrationally fear and dislike Jews and Christians as well, that makes your position far more noble....

Look, I'm also sorry - I generally have respected your insights - but I cannot just sit here and let unfounded bigotry pass without a refrain, without calling it what it really is.

Before you accuse people of other traditions of intolerance and fundamentalism, I would examine your own mind.

I don't want to get into a debate about biblical and Koranic hermeneutics and political history, I would just ask you to stop and consider if you really have the knowledge to make the kinds of assertions you are making, and if you do not, to ask yourself where they might be coming from.

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:04 am

tobes wrote:Indeed, there is a pattern: rampant Islamaphobia is very comfortable on Buddhist forums.

As some may know, I like a good argument, especially a philosophical or political one.

But this is not the terrain that warrants a reasoned response. One cannot reason with irrational hatred.

The things that are being stated here are repugnant untruths which are extremely harmful.

I request that the mods close this thread.


I think there is a lot of undesirable truth that needs to be discussed. It is undesirable because despite that many of us would like to live in a world of mutual respect and tolerance, this is not really the case, either at present or historically.

What is going on in Myanmar is unfortunate and ethnic or religious minorities should not be targeted, but then the locals clearly feel threatened for some reason. Violence isn't justifiable, but we should examine the causes of the conflict.

When it comes Islam and Buddhism as a whole we need to be realistic. If a Buddhist culture wants to survive, it clearly has to keep a distance from Islam. Buddhists are generally seen as idol worshippers, as can easily be demonstrated. Historically Buddhists have been persecuted and effectively erased from lands they once thrived in. You need only look at Afghanistan. They couldn't even tolerate ancient statues that no longer represent a living tradition. I know the Taliban don't speak for Islam, but keep in mind how despite people willing to rebuild them (with their own money), they decided against it as it would offend the locals.

Basically, my point is we need to be realistic and examine things both historically and practically. What is going on in Myanmar is unfortunate and hopefully it can be resolved.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Thrasymachus » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:12 am

I laugh at the tolerance romantics on this site concocting fantasies to defend Islam. How many dharma centers are allowed in majority Islamic societies? The few that do are mostly in countries like Malayasia, where there are sizable minorities of non-Islamic origin. Ethnic Malays who apostatize have to give up the discriminatory privileges granted to them by their racist constitution because they are part of the conquering Islamic horde. Islam is like the exact opposite of dharma, they preach and practice discrimination, racism, warfare, ethnic cleansing and genocide. It is not really a religion, it is a totalitarian system that takes and regulates every subject: economics, law, warfare, international relations, personal relations, religion, etc.

This following news article describes the type of action that is hardly an aberration in Islamic societies and states:
News First, Sri Lanka wrote:Truth First: Mob attacks Maldives National Museum
February 10, 2012 09:27 am

Several historical artifacts exhibited at the Maldives National Museum, including Buddhist statues were destroyed in a mob attack on Wednesday morning, an act of vandalism that is said to have caused “unimaginable damage” to the treasured Maldivian heritage.

Speaking to Minivan News, a museum official said that a group of five to six men stormed into the building twice, “deliberately targeted the Buddhist relics and ruins of monasteries exhibited in the pre- Islamic collection, destroying most items “beyond repair”.

The official said that the details of the damage cannot be released as the police have asked the museum to withhold the information until the investigation into the attack is pending.”‘But I can say that attackers have done unimaginable damage,” he added.

“This is not like a glass we use at home that can be replaced by buying a new one from a shop. These are originals from our ancestors’ time. These cannot be replaced ever again,” the official exclaimed.

According to a source, a coral stone head of Lord Buddha, an 11th century piece recovered from Thoddoo in Alifu Atoll, was smashed up by the attackers, one of the most significant pieces at the museum inside Sultan’s Park.

The museum was built with Chinese government aid and opened on July 26, 2010.

Other pieces vandalised include the Bohomala sculptures, monkey statues and a broken statue piece of the Hindu water god, Makara, while the two five faced statues discovered from Male’ were also damaged – the only remaining archaeological evidence proving the existence of a Buddhist era in the Maldives.

The glass casings holding the items were also destroyed in the attack.

According to the museum official, some of the attackers who returned to the museum for the second time were apprehended by the police who arrived on the scene.

“Around five to six people were taken under police custody. But by then they had already done the damage they wanted,” he observed.

Minivan News could get the confirmation on the arrest from the police at the time of press.

The attack on the museum coincided with the political unrest that escalated in Male’ on late hours of Tuesday night, after a group of policeman and military allegedly joined the opposition protestors, forcing Former President Mohamed Nasheed to resign the following day.

AFP reported Nasheed as saying that the vandals included Islamist hardliners who had attacked the museum because they believed some of the statues inside were “idolatrous”.

The monuments gifted by the South Asian countries to the Maldives ahead of the 17th summit of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation SAARC, hosted in Addu city were also denounced as idolatrous monuments and vandalised, including the monument gifted by Pakistan.

Removal of the contentious monuments was one of the five demands of the December 23 protesters, including religious groups and opposition, who also demanded that the government prohibit Israeli airlines from operating in the Maldives.

The museum official who spoke to Minivan News earlier said that he cannot comment on whether the attack was connected to fundamentalists.

‘We are not trying to promote any religion here. These artifacts are used for the purpose of teaching, archeological research and showing Maldivian history to visitors,” he explained. “But a significant part of our heritage is lost now.”


Keep in mind the Maldives has a reputation as a "liberal" country for its very public environmental campaign against global warming. Islamic peoples and their states have a long history of trying to wipe out any evidence trace of pre-existing Islamic civilization, except of course if they can earn huge tourist revenues for the nominal tolerance like in Turkey or Egypt.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Nemo » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:23 am

I think even a cursory review of history makes my views much more rational than yours. I merely think that the pattern will continue. You seem to be under the illusion that humans have evolved beyond such primitive and destructive tendencies. To me 1971 is still very recent. The Bamiyan Buddhas and the families that took care of them for centuries were murdered in this one. Their are always periods of tolerance. Then of subjugation. Followed by short explosions of purging and murder. Every cycle whittles away the enemies of the faith.

Aurangzeb was born into a very moderate, sophisticated and progressive family. He was a devout and religious man. He took the Koran literally to please God. He probably killed upwards of 4 million and may have destroyed 60,000 schools and temples with his faith based initiatives. He claimed he took power to ward off the threat to Islam from his overly tolerant brother. One man and a Holy Book can change the world forever. I don't think India ever recovered. He was Sufi and is still venerated by some Muslims today.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby tobes » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:48 am

I am happy to be staw manned as some romantic, utopian, liberal pluralist who does not see, acknowledge or understand conflict.

However this is not my position.

I make only one statement, it will be my last on this thread. It is thus:

Ethnic Muslims are being persecuted in Burma, by Buddhists. The UN thinks it is among the worst human rights violations taking place at the moment. There is no political defense or moral justification for this. There is no room to bring in dubious readings of history or theology in order to justify it. It must be condemned. Western Buddhists who are involved in defending these violations on the predication that Islam is inherently bad or violent are defending an extremely pernicious far right-wing position which has no basis - no basis at all - in (political, historical, anthropological, discursive) reality.

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Quiet Heart » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:30 am

:smile:
I may be wrong here...it wouldn't be the first time I have been....but I suspect that the core of this conflict we are talking about here is not really a religious or a Buddhist vs Muslim thing....but that's the reason being used as an excuse.

I very much suspect that in reality the core of the real dispute here is LAND....specifically who has the right to use /t and who owns it.

Both these groups are poor and farmers. Their land and the crops they grow on that land are their only real posessions.
Niether group wants to give up their "right" to the land to the other group.

The rest is for show....to justify burning the other sides houses and chasing that side off the land their side wants and needs for the survival of their families.
The old "terretorial ape" gene re-asserting itself.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:21 pm

. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby tobes » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:29 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:Some more light on the issue:
http://www.zcommunications.org/democrac ... mzy-baroud


Thanks. I am still at a profound loss as to why **supposed** Buddhists on this forum have been engaged in justifying this. It really doesn't say much for contemporary Buddhism....

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:25 pm

tobes wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Some more light on the issue:
http://www.zcommunications.org/democrac ... mzy-baroud


Thanks. I am still at a profound loss as to why **supposed** Buddhists on this forum have been engaged in justifying this. It really doesn't say much for contemporary Buddhism....

:anjali:



It is simply evidence that some Buddhists follow the Dharma and others do not -- nothing more, nothing less. "Buddhism" is a sectarian identity, and as such, is suscetible to the flaws of the same.

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:56 pm

tobes wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Some more light on the issue:
http://www.zcommunications.org/democrac ... mzy-baroud


Thanks. I am still at a profound loss as to why **supposed** Buddhists on this forum have been engaged in justifying this. It really doesn't say much for contemporary Buddhism....

:anjali:


Nobody is justifying this or suggesting this is acceptable.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:02 pm

Huseng wrote:
tobes wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Some more light on the issue:
http://www.zcommunications.org/democrac ... mzy-baroud


Thanks. I am still at a profound loss as to why **supposed** Buddhists on this forum have been engaged in justifying this. It really doesn't say much for contemporary Buddhism....

:anjali:


Nobody is justifying this or suggesting this is acceptable.


Nobody? Really?

I suggest you read the thread once more, from the very beginning. Plenty of commentaries along the lines of 'Well, Buddhists and Muslims, they just can't live together', very few unequivocal condemnations of what the Buddhist majority is doing to the Muslim minority. And there are truly grotesque posts like that one:

Thrasymachus wrote:I laugh at the tolerance romantics on this site concocting fantasies to defend Islam. How many dharma centers are allowed in majority Islamic societies? The few that do are mostly in countries like Malayasia, where there are sizable minorities of non-Islamic origin. Ethnic Malays who apostatize have to give up the discriminatory privileges granted to them by their racist constitution because they are part of the conquering Islamic horde. Islam is like the exact opposite of dharma, they preach and practice discrimination, racism, warfare, ethnic cleansing and genocide. It is not really a religion, it is a totalitarian system that takes and regulates every subject: economics, law, warfare, international relations, personal relations, religion, etc.


It's not quite a 'serves them right!' comment yet, at least not explicitly. But it's damn close to being one.
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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:10 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
It's not quite a 'serves them right!' comment yet, at least not explicitly. But it's damn close to being one.


People with differing ideological commitments often cannot live with each other. Facists/communists, etc.

I wonder how tobes would feel however if we replaced "facist" for "muslim"? I am not recommending intolerance towards muslims, but I am curious if tobes' "liberalism" can be extended by him/her to facists as well.

Just when do we decide that someone's ideological comittments are toxic, and then what do we do about it?

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Re: the ethnic conflict in Burma

Postby Jikan » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:48 pm

I'm not sure that's a workable analogy, Malcolm. Fascism is a political program. Islam is a religious identity.
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