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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:41 am 
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Topic is locked pending admin review.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:00 am 
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I have unlocked this topic for now, but if it gets too heated it could get locked again.

Also I wanted to make a point here. It appears that the incident in the OP is an isolated incident of Buddhist-Islamic violence? From all google searches I have done related to the internal strife, all I can find is ethnic conflicts and conflicts between the government junta and pro-democracy Burmese, mostly Buddhist. It does not appear the conflict is religiously oriented at all, at least not in general right now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_conflict_in_Burma

There appears to be several ethnic groups who are in dispute over power, land, the usual stuff, but each group is religiously diverse and no one specific religion to each ethnic group.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:52 am 
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treehuggingoctopus wrote:
The whole history argument (i.e., Islam-is-the-ultimate-horror-as-the-history-so-clearly-evinces) could be used to support a critique of any religious institution with sufficiently long history, and happens to neatly parallel the Chinese goverments' villification of Tibetan culture as a reactionary and intrinsically oppressive artefact from the past.


Most of us are not suggesting a "Islam-is-the-ultimate-horror-as-the-history-so-clearly-evinces" argument.

The PRC's issues with Tibetan culture are not terribly useful to us given their past history and catastrophic failures trying to "fix" China's own problems.


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I've alreay said it, and will say it again: most of Westerners interested in the issue, and certainly most posters at DW, fail to understand what being a Muslim means to most Muslims. They fail to see that Islam, just like every religion, is an ethnic identity first, an ideology second - that most Muslims don't know pretty much anything about the creed, many just parrot the words their parents told them without any understanding, some construe the creed fairly personally, some don't know how or why to construe it at all and many don't really care either way, turning devout only on their deathbed. A story as old as humanity.


Curious how interest in Sharia law has been spreading the last number of decades, no?




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I find it also still quite shocking that we let ourselves so easily be manipulated. I mean, with recent developments in Egypt and Syria, the anti-Islam propaganda should be really easy to see through. The American government is busy toppling the tyrants who, incidentally, represented the liberal and secular wing of Islam (and whom the US wholeheartedly supported a few years ago) - paving thus the way for the likes of Muslim Brotherhood. The future could hardly be clearer.


Just because someone has issues with Islam does not mean they are being manipulated.

The utopian fantasy of everyone regardless of religion or ethnicity living together harmoniously only works if everyone adopts monoculturalism and secular models of government. That won't happen.

My point above was that Islam and many other cultures are incompatible. There is nothing brainwashed or unreasonable about such an assertion if you look at history.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:27 am 
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Bangladesh doesn't want to accept the refugees at the border:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywuGY9yaaV4

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:28 am 
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Huseng wrote:
Most of us are not suggesting a "Islam-is-the-ultimate-horror-as-the-history-so-clearly-evinces" argument.


Huseng,

Either many of 'you' are doing a very bad job expressing their views, or some of 'you' at least are suggesting precisely what I wrote they are.

Huseng wrote:
The utopian fantasy of everyone regardless of religion or ethnicity living together harmoniously only works if everyone adopts monoculturalism and secular models of government. That won't happen


Well I surely prefer my utopian dream to your misanthropic nightmare. But my dream need not be fantasy, no matter how much you assert otherwise. There's no proof it's mere fantasy, in any case - only time can tell.

Also, you're overstating my perspective here. I never said 'everyone regardless of religion or ethnicity' can or will 'liv[e] together harmoniously'. No fundamentalists will.

Huseng wrote:
My point above was that Islam and many other cultures are incompatible. There is nothing brainwashed or unreasonable about such an assertion if you look at history.


Frankly, I find that assertion pretty much meaningless if I look at history. Cultures change; they are change. And, as they change, transcultural relations evolve. At some point there will be wars, small-scale conflicts, and some tensions always remain - but so does some co-shaping - and, at other times, there'll be harmony and peace.

Huseng wrote:
Curious how interest in Sharia law has been spreading the last number of decades, no?


Not really. There's an obvious and mounting tension between undeveloped third-world countries (where fundamentalist Islam - and fundamentalist Christianities - are on the rise) and the West, whose Powers that Be have been tmassively responsible for the worsening predicament of the rest of the world; the increasing conflict parallels the internal one in the western world. When people feel threatened and bleak about their future, nasty things wake up in the dark. When someone points to them their oppressors, hell usually breaks loose. Things will probably be getting worse - if Western, which is also to say, our, policies don't change.

No surprise here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:38 pm 
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I didn't like the Muslim religion after reading the Koran. I don't have much interest in neoplatonic reinterpretations of the original text. In the original text Mohammed murdered and pillaged his way to supremacy. Eventually placing Mecca on top of ancient pluralist temples in a still celebrated act of cultural genocide. I don't think the cult of a mass murderer should be considered a religion. For me war crimes and genocide committed by the founder is a deal breaker when it comes to a religion. If anyone can say he did not do these things I will reconsider my position. If he did do what it says he did in the Koran it is an inverted religion. A religion that can lead good people to do bad things.

In Burma I think things are getting out of hand. I asked some Pakistanis what they thought about the situation. My favourite was, "Yet another Buddhist genocide." The more thoughtful said that many of the Muslims there were Kashmiri and should be given right of return by Pakistan. I think he was wrong, but I am not a scholar on ethnic migrations in the region. Many are refugees but some have been there for generations.

Politics is involved and anti Muslim sentiments are being used as a screen. The Rohingyas have always resisted totalitarian rule. Being excluded and discriminated against some have become heavily involved with the transshipment of opium from Afghanistan to Thailand and from there to all of Asia. The Burmese government has been waiting for an opportunity to make the border less porous using less than civilized means. The Thais want the drug shipments stopped so they won't help. As far as refugees are concerned no one wants poor uneducated people. Some compassion is needed to stop the opportunistic meddling of evil men.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:50 pm 
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For a critical view of Islam tempered by the fact that it is spoken by a Muslim Woman who is interested in reform rather than rhetoric, I highly recommend "The Trouble With Islam Today" by Irshad Manji.

Manji is pretty impressive. Her MO from Wikipedia
Manji is director of the Moral Courage Project at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, which aims to teach young leaders to "challenge political correctness, intellectual conformity and self-censorship."[1] She is also founder and president of Project Ijtihad, a charitable organization promoting a "tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent" in Islam, among a "network of reform-minded Muslims and non-Muslim allies."[2]

I am a huge advocate of tolerance and I am impressed by many young, progressive Muslims that I meet, especially here in India. But it would be naieve to deny that historically in many instances where Islam and Buddhism have interacted, it has been disastrous for the dharma. And as much as I am concerned about tolerance, I am also concerned about the survival of the Buddhist teachings. Many of the areas where Buddhism is well preserved, for example Ladakh and Thailand, are facing huge increase in the Muslim population. My concern is the same concern I have about Tibet. That the native culture and religion will simply be overwhelmed. In Bangkok, my friend told me at the airport the room that used to be reserved for the Buddhist Sangha has been converted into a Muslim prayer hall.

However with the right policies it seems this does not have to always be the case. This article on His Holiness the Dalai Lama's website http://www.dalailama.com/news/post/825- ... -community talks about the peaceful history between Muslims and Buddhists in Tibet.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:02 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
Many of the areas where Buddhism is well preserved, for example Ladakh and Thailand, are facing huge increase in the Muslim population.


There's also nothing Buddhist Ladakhis can do about it. As part of India Indian citizens have the right to move there. Due to the huge military bases and tourism industry a lot of migrants have resettled there from Kashmir, many if not the vast majority being Muslim. Muslims in Ladakh also have more children on average than Ladakhi Buddhists.

In a few generations Buddhism will probably be largely limited to the rural peoples. A very small minority. If the Republic of India ever collapses the protection afforded to the Buddhists in Ladakh would be gone. Keep in mind Ladakh is next to Kashmir and not too far from Pakistan and central Asian areas where groups like the Taliban exist.


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This article on His Holiness the Dalai Lama's website http://www.dalailama.com/news/post/825- ... -community talks about the peaceful history between Muslims and Buddhists in Tibet.


Weren't the Muslims in Tibet always an ethnic minority? As in a tiny population?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Yes, correct, a very small minority and only worth mentioning in terms of numbers in the Lhasa area.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:30 pm 
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I read Irshad Manji's book before reading the Koran and loved it. After reading it I thought it was apologist fluff. Yet even so she received death threats for years because of it. She lives in terror of being murdered now. Her harmless book was even banned in Malaysia, a so called progressive Muslim state. Trying to make an ideology founded on the genocide of pluralists and polytheists more pluralist and tolerant is, well,... It's just stupid and disingenuous. Let's just call bullshit bullshit and stop empowering it, gilding it in gold and apologizing for it. IMO time to retire this primitive religious relic before it wreaks more havoc. The founder was a profoundly damaged individual by today's standards.

As to Muslims in Tibet;
The still celebrated murder of evil apostate King Lang Dharma is skipped over in that history. The Muslims kept on were often the local butcher since Buddhists were not allowed to do that profession if what I have been told is true. The "official policy" was one of strict cultural isolation and forced expulsion of foreigners and their religions. If we are honest it was our own version of a Buddhist Taliban.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Troubled by pesky Muslims? Worry no more!

Just pepper spray them as Lama Ole Nydahl advises in this heart-warming recent video:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:22 pm 
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What the hell?^ lol

And this guy actually has a large following? :shrug:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Lhug-Pa wrote:
What the hell?^ lol

And this guy actually has a large following? :shrug:


I don't want to go off topic on this important thread but I think it is worth demonstrating where anti-Muslim bias can lead and that there are people who have managed to twist the Buddha's teaching to serve the xenophobic purposes of the far right.

Militant Islam is abhorrent and fascist but so can militant Buddhism - or rather Buddhism at the service of ethnic nationalism. In Burma, two ethnic groups are using religion as tribal markers. Ole Nydahl tries to do the same to mark out European identity as superior to that of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East. Such ideas are inimical to the Buddha's teaching and, while we may not believe that Islam is a peaceful path, some so-called Buddhists are not above using the Dharma to further their own tribal and violent ends.

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Last edited by catmoon on Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:46 am 
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China invaded Tibet under the guise of liberating Tibetans from a corrupt theocracy that oppressed the peasants. Like all good propaganda it was partly true. IMO theocracy is one of the worst forms of governance.

We have a few skeletons in our own closet. Ironicaly if Tibetan ultranationalists had not murdered Lang Dharma many of us would probably not even be Buddhist. I don't think it was ever appropriate to celebrate the event, but some still do.

Best not to even mention the Kalacakra prophecies. They are the ultimate negative preconcieved stereotype since they predicted Mohammed and Islam centuries before he was born. If the Kalacakra is true Islamic materialist ideology will conquer the entire world and rain death from a Cakra in the sky on thier enemies. Then Gesar comes and wipes them out. Writing it down makes me feel like a Scientologist.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:04 am 
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I notice two trends in this thread that worry me:

1) First as elsewhere throughout the forum many of the participants in this site feel Buddhist ideals are inherently real. At they same time they tend to ignore that Islam has ideals of the opposite nature that glorify slavery, subjugation, warfare, religious laws, etc.

2) They project Western notions of multi-culturalism, tolerance, diversity on an Islamic civilization that is not only outside of these developments, but inimical to them.

Now I don't agree with the Burmese military junta and their tactics, but it is pathetic to live a lavish Western style predicated on breaking the backs of the local poor, the Global South, etc. and feel good about yourself because you pretend on some level you are a good person because you have theoretical views on the conflict in Burma.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:04 am 
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Thrasymachus wrote:
2) They project Western notions of multi-culturalism, tolerance, diversity on an Islamic civilization that is not only outside of these developments, but inimical to them.


With such thinking people in the west who value tolerance and diversity would logically oppose the spread of Islamic civilization.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:40 am 
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If anyone is interested in a devastating refutation of this strange strawman distinction - that there are coherent and unified things called 'western' and 'Islamic' civilisations - please pm me, and I'll attach the scholarly article.

It is written, incidentally, by someone profoundly critical of liberal predications, so please refrain from assuming that it is a liberal argument based on Lockean tolerance or whatever else may be imputed.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:31 am 
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Nemo wrote:
I didn't like the Muslim religion after reading the Koran. I don't have much interest in neoplatonic reinterpretations of the original text.


And why not? Because it's simpler that way? Sorry Nemo, but that's human history - originals get lost and forgotten, and endless reinterpretations take their place. There's no Koran - just like there's no Bible. Just interpretations, one piled upon another.

Nemo wrote:
China invaded Tibet under the guise of liberating Tibetans from a corrupt theocracy that oppressed the peasants. Like all good propaganda it was partly true. IMO theocracy is one of the worst forms of governance.


Point taken.

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Troubled by pesky Muslims? Worry no more!

Just pepper spray them as Lama Ole Nydahl advises in this heart-warming recent video:



The guy's insane. If I liked the traditional religious idiom more than I do, I'd say he's a demon.

Thrasymachus wrote:
1) First as elsewhere throughout the forum many of the participants in this site feel Buddhist ideals are inherently real. At they same time they tend to ignore that Islam has ideals of the opposite nature that glorify slavery, subjugation, warfare, religious laws, etc.

2) They project Western notions of multi-culturalism, tolerance, diversity on an Islamic civilization that is not only outside of these developments, but inimical to them.

Now I don't agree with the Burmese military junta and their tactics, but it is pathetic to live a lavish Western style predicated on breaking the backs of the local poor, the Global South, etc. and feel good about yourself because you pretend on some level you are a good person because you have theoretical views on the conflict in Burma.


This is a dirty rhetorical ploy that doesn't merit any response, Thrasymachus.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:11 pm 
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tobes wrote:
If anyone is interested in a devastating refutation of this strange strawman distinction - that there are coherent and unified things called 'western' and 'Islamic' civilisations - please pm me, and I'll attach the scholarly article.



Right, there isn't. There is just an economic struggle happening, and different ideological groups seeking to control resources for their own propagation.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:32 am 
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I know this has gotten a bit off track and should probably be put into two threads. Burmese nationalists using antimuslim sentiments as a screen for immoral behavior is obviously contrary to Buddhist teachings.

As an experiment read the Koran and judge Mohammed by today's standards. That was the mistake I made.

He recommended beating your wife in at least three places that I remember. The best was where he recommends beating your wife for no reason. If you only beat your wife when she does something wrong she'll get uppity. Random beatings keep your wife humble. He had 16 wives. The youngest he married when she was 6. I know that's creepy, don't worry he did not consumate the marriage till she was 9. Also recorded are two sex slaves/concubines and at least 4 other female followers who gave themselves to him.

He had strange visions and heard voices. Salman Rushdie looked into that in the Satanic Verses.

After being thrown out of Mecca he became a murdering bandit. He attacked wealthy merchant caravans on the days of the moon even bandits were sworn not to attack. He told his band of murderous thieves that God said it was virtuous to be so sneaky.

With the proceeds from murdering and pillaging he expanded his bandits into an army. He molded himself into a very effective military commander over eight years of bloody brutal war. He murdered entire tribes and sold the woman and children into slavery for profit. As his power grew so did his atrocities. By the end he declared the "war of the knife" instructing his followers to murder any idolater they encountered on the spot. He fought strategically and ruthlessly. He was an impresive general by anyones standards. But is that what a religious leader should be?

Reading the Koran I encountered a very evil and selfish man. Once read it could not be unread.

Ask yourself If he were alive today what would the world think of him?


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