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

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

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:23 am

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... iBca71TjIU

I am on board with Ven. Sujato's opinions in this piece. Hate speech must be vigorously opposed and can never be justified by the moniker "there are injustices perpetrated against us by this group so they should all be killed".




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Less blame, more responsibility

by Ajahn Sujato, Sujato's Blog, AUg 27, 2013

Sydney, Australia -- We’ve all heard some pretty terrible things from the mouths of so-called religious teachers, but this is a new low. Sheikh Sharif Hussein, an Islamic preacher and imam, used his platform during Friday prayers at the then Allenby Gardens headquarters on March 22 to call for the death of all Buddhists and Hindus, as well as issuing vile, hate-filled diatribes against the Jews, Australian soldiers, and others.

The speech was published in an edited form by the US thinktank, MEMRI TV. Please watch this if you haven’t already. Among other despicable rantings, Hussein said this:

Oh Allah, count the Buddhists and the Hindus one by one. Oh Allah, count them and kill them to the very last one.
He has issued a call for the death of all Buddhists and Hindus. Hate speech does not get any worse than this. It is time for the Islamic community in Australia to stop apologizing for such people, blaming media bias and the West, and start accepting responsibility for the actions of their community.


And good on the principled Muslims like Director of the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding Professor Pal Ahluwalia, who clearly and unambiguously slammed Hussein, saying


“The Sheikh has done his Muslim brothers and sisters no favours by preaching hate. Extremism in all of its forms is the natural enemy of truth – so every time this kind of extreme preaching makes headlines it obscures the reality of the strong, ethical, law-abiding, engaged and contributing Muslim Australians who are our neighbours and work colleagues, our class mates and friends. There are extreme groups across all religions and cultures and there are individuals who advocate violence and aggression for their own agendas. What people must remember is that just as Geert Wilders is not representative of all Dutch people or the Army of God does not speak for all Christians, so the extreme rants of one Sheikh do not reflect the views of all Muslims.”

Sadly, though, this voice is isolated. I have tried to find articulate responses from the more progressive of Australia’s Islamic community, and there is nothing here, here, here, here, or here. Perhaps I have missed things; if so, please let me know in the comments.

It is not hard to be honest. We must simply admit that some things done by people who adhere to our religion are bad. Here’s how to do it. There was a Buddhist mob in Burma a few days ago that attacked a police station and went on a rampage, led by three monks. They alleged that a Muslim man had raped a Buddhist woman. Their response was wrong. They should have supported the rule of law. The monks who led the mob should be disrobed, and criminal charges should be laid against them. In addition, the Burmese Sangha needs to give a clear and consistent message of harmony and understanding of difference.

See? Not that hard. I can do it, and so can the voices of the Islamic community.
Bloggers, Imams, teachers, leaders, activists, scholars, humans with a voice: where is there someone who has the guts to stop blaming non-Muslims, and start taking responsibility for the acts of Muslims?
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby plwk » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:40 pm

See? Not that hard. I can do it, and so can the voices of the Islamic community. Bloggers, Imams, teachers, leaders, activists, scholars, humans with a voice: where is there someone who has the guts to stop blaming non-Muslims, and start taking responsibility for the acts of Muslims?
Either Ajahn Sujato is being naïve or he's just being polite...
He may have no hidden agendas & vested politics but others do, hence the reluctance of the silent majority to take to task the vocal but sometimes powerful minority.

And if I may interpolate here, is he saying that law abiding Buddhists & Muslims around the world have to 'start taking responsibility' for the actions of the less abiding ones? Whatever happened to individual responsibility, kammasaka, one being the owner of one's own deeds?
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:58 pm

PLWK, fundamentally we are on the same page in terms of being the owner of one's deeds- this is the Buddhist principle.

I think Ajahn is being a little bit pragmatic though- in terms of our identity as part of religious communities, when our co-religionists commit violence in the name of religion, it makes sense to voice our disagreement, even if we understand the act itself as part of a broader socio-political mess.

Ajahn has recognized, (like many governments) that to deal with Islamic extremism moderate Muslims must engage in dialogue with their brethren. This is the only hope, and for example in Britain there are several government funded programs that train Muslim community workers in ways to dialogue with those who may be in danger of falling into extremism.


In the same vein, the Dalai Lama and several Buddhist leaders made clear in public statements that the actions of Buddhists against the Muslim Rohinga minority are not in accord with Dharmic principles.

This is not denying Kammasaka, but understanding that community voices may be able to influence their more extreme brethren away from the path of violence better than outsiders.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:53 pm

There is never, ever a full-throated condemnation of hateful speech and actions from Muslim leaders. They always excuse this sort of behaviour.

This is why it always falls to others to root out these fiends with drones-- their own societies let them run loose.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Fa Dao » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:09 pm

While it is true that our first response as Buddhists should be for peace it is equally true that we shouldn't be doormats or sacrificial lambs for those that refuse to live peacefully.
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:20 pm

Fa Dao wrote:While it is true that our first response as Buddhists should be for peace it is equally true that we shouldn't be doormats or sacrificial lambs for those that refuse to live peacefully.


Sometimes that's "Peace through Superior Firepower".
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby lobster » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:10 pm

the same vein, the Dalai Lama and several Buddhist leaders made clear in public statements that the actions of Buddhists against the Muslim Rohinga minority are not in accord with Dharmic principles.


Indeed.
Proactive goodwill, rather than focus on efforts to eradicate the unskilful/heretical/un Buddhist/non Islamic/hateful etc.

So anything worthwhile to say about our 'greatest teachers', the completely hell bent? Anything positive? :shrug:
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby michaelb » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:41 pm

Someone probably has already posted it, but a quick search didn't turn anything up. Anyway, there is a free ebook "Beyond Anger: How to Hold On to Your Heart and Your Humanity in the Midst of Injustice" that was produced after the bombing of Bodhgaya. Might be worth a read...
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Shambhala_Publications_Beyond_Anger?id=JnEK_njVMUoC
http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Anger-Humanity-Injustice-ebook/dp/B00E7Y217A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375387582&sr=8-1&keywords=9780834829541
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby dude » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:17 am

"Answer hatred with love. This is the eternal Law."
-Dhammapada
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:57 am

Karma Dorje wrote:There is never, ever a full-throated condemnation of hateful speech and actions from Muslim leaders. They always excuse this sort of behaviour.

This is why it always falls to others to root out these fiends with drones-- their own societies let them run loose.
Hogwash. Professor Pal Ahluwalia just condemned it. Did you bother reading the article posted? You may also consider not speaking in absolutes: "never", "always", etc... As for the drones, they are just utilised to serve the political and finanical purposes of certain elites. It was not that long ago when the same elites were arming the "fiends" that they are now bombing. Take some history (history, not histrionics) lessons, you are lacking facts.
Sometimes that's "Peace through Superior Firepower"
No such thing. I think you will find the correct phrase is "War through Superior Firepower"
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:10 am

Here is another one worth checking out:

Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism - Spiritual and Ethical Affinities.jpg
Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism - Spiritual and Ethical Affinities.jpg (31 KiB) Viewed 1311 times


A bunch of essays by HHDL and various Islamic academics.You can find an electronic version here.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby lobster » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:56 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:A bunch of essays by HHDL and various Islamic academics.You can find an electronic version here.


Now you are talking :woohoo:
I have just written to a dervish group to see if they can 'adopt a Buddhist'.
. . . there is a sufi saying, 'the greatest revenge on an enemy is to befriend them' . . .my sort of friendly fire :popcorn:
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:24 am

lobster wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:A bunch of essays by HHDL and various Islamic academics.You can find an electronic version here.


Now you are talking :woohoo:
I have just written to a dervish group to see if they can 'adopt a Buddhist'.
. . . there is a sufi saying, 'the greatest revenge on an enemy is to befriend them' . . .my sort of friendly fire :popcorn:
I have a Turkish Bonpo Dharma brother that acts as a "tour guide" for Turkish Sufi groups travelling to India to visit their teachers. He fully recommends these guys here. They are a very open and, at the same time, very serious Sufi group.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Dan74 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:43 pm

While the speech seems angry and harmful, it was about asking Allah to punish Buddhists, Jews, etc who inflicted violence on the Muslims, as the Sheikh was recounting the recent violence in Myanmar, etc. Removing the context changes the meaning quite a bit, doesn't it?

On a positive note you may want to take a look at this (from from our local news - End of Ramadan celebration at a local Vietnamese temple):



Though Muslim-bashing is both fashionable and catharctic these days, it just serves to entrench divisions, mistrust and hate. We'd be better off by taking the Buddha's advice on such matters and cultivate loving-kindness.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Malcolm » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:52 pm

This is all irrelevant to the Dharma. America is not a Dharma country (Dharmadeśa), Europe is not a Dharma country; though some buddhists might imagine it is a "central" country due to the presence of the few thousand monks.

What we have are squabbles between various worldly people and other various worldly people. Should they avoid violence? Yes.

American foreign policy as been aggressive for decades. Our Government is the Ajatasatru of the modern era.

Dar el Islam has been aggressive for centuries -- and American foreign policy has woken a sleeping behemoth. Of course there are Western educated liberal muslim scholars. They are marginal in their own communities however. What they have to say is drowned in the rising ride of anger the Muslim world has towards the West.

The Buddha made things very clear. When a country is peaceful, minding its own business, caring for its population, then well, if they are attacked it is correct for them to respond. Do America and Europe fit this picture? No.

Therefore it should come as no surprise to us that some Moslems are attacking symbols of western imperialism since they do not yet have the power to attack us en masse directly.

The only sane response to this is for America and Europe to depart the middle east peacefully. If the whole place goes up in flames in the ensuing chaos, there is sadly nothing we can do except provide medical and humanitarian relief. But our experiments in regime changes have been utter failures so far.

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

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:25 pm

My main concern here is specifically the survival of Buddhism and to a certain extent all of the Dharmic traditions.

The truth of the matter is that they have been greatly damaged by regimes connected with Christianity, Islam and Communism. When one travels in Asia one wonders how much longer the dharma will be around.

I make no excuses for Western imperialism, and think it is an important factor for much of the violence we see, though as I have mentioned elsewhere having read the Quran I also think there is a scriptural element behind this violence that is not considered polite to mention in most Liberal circles. As I said earlier, I find it curious how the same end of the political spectrum that defends Gay marriage, for example, excuses or ignores the problem of Islamic regimes where the penalty against homosexuality is still death. But that is a topic for another thread.

Having researched the historical impact of both Christian and Islamic expansionism on Hindu and Buddhist cultures, I am very concerned that the rising tide of expansionist Islam in Asia will finish the job of wiping out the Dharma, taking over from Christian colonialism and communism. This expansion can take the form of population transfer, higher birth rates, marriage and conversion. Do not forget that in places like Malaysia with a significant Buddhist population Muslims who convert can be sent to jail, and any non-Muslim who marries a Muslim is required by law to change their religion.

This does not excuse any sort of violence. I find the situation in Burma at the moment reprehensible but I also found the preceding destruction of Buddhist temples in the Chittagong region of Bangladesh reprehensible, though there was not a big uproar about it. Basically, I want the same standards across the board for all religious communities-that violence is never acceptable and will not be tolerated in the international community.

I agree with Malcolm on one important point- Western powers should immediately withdraw from Islamic areas. Much of the rising terrorism in the Middle East is due to years of poorly implemented foreign policy and violence in those countries. Not just by the NATO countries, but also the former Soviet powers. Staying somewhere where you are not wanted is bound to cause many problems.

In terms of those found guilty of terrorism in Western countries though, no leniency should be shown (of course, I do not advocate the death penalty or torture). I am dumbfounded by how in my country the Qadr family which has stated its hate for non-Muslims and Canadians, and admiration for terrorist activities, continues to live in subsidized housing and draw on our Welfare system.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
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Location: the Netherlands and India

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

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:29 pm

I also wish that the badly behaving Sangha in Burma would consider the effect of their poor behaviour on the rest of the Buddhist community.

Karma Dorje and I were having a coffee in a popular Canadian café when a (White Anglo Saxon) man came in having seen my robes on the street and accosted me about Burma. It was basically what I would consider a borderline verbal assault as I had no opportunity to respond.

The actions of those in Burma also lead to terrible consequences for members of already vulnerable communities, such as the Tibetans and the Buddhists in Bagladesh, who have already suffered from several instances of revenge violence at the hands of Muslim militants in their communities.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

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

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:46 pm

I totally agree with what Sherab Dorje and Malcolm posted here.

There are also often civilian casualties (including children) with drone bombings. Drones are cowardly.

And the U.S. and other western countries should stop financially supporting the state of Israel.

Some people have falsely accused pro-peace candidate Ron Paul of racism, but who are the ones murdering brown people all over the world for the sake of western imperialism & greedy megacorporations (like Monsanto and big oil) ?

Ralph Nader called it:





President B. Obama is certainly no Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, the U.S. president's actions often contradict the anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist views of Malcolm X. It's a shame.

The Muslim East is far from perfect; and even so, Palestinians should not have to worry about their homes getting bulldozed, Africa shouldn't have to worry about getting exploited, and Pakistani's shouldn't have to worry that their children could get bombed by drones.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:The only sane response to this is for America and Europe to depart the middle east peacefully. If the whole place goes up in flames in the ensuing chaos, there is sadly nothing we can do except provide medical and humanitarian relief. But our experiments in regime changes have been utter failures so far.
M


i don't think you will much disagreement with that assessment of attempts at regime change on this thread, but the "whole place" is responsible for the lion's share of oil to run the world's economy. If that place goes up in flames, the world economy follows. As good as that may be for the long term health of the planet, it would be disastrous for humanity in the short term.

There are no good answers in the region, and it's looking more and more like the Balkans in 1914 all the time but this time with nuclear weapons on both sides.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:05 pm

The state of Isreal often behaves very poorly. You will get no argument from me.

But the Palestinians are not the only occupied people on the planet. And at least Isreal gives them small portions of land (though I agree they are meagre and shameful, it is something).

Still, the world sits back and watches while the Chinese occupy the entire territory of Tibet while not making a single concession or allowing any real autonomy, much less territorial rights. And Liberals for the most part remain silent.

This is a paradox I will never understand.

Except, of course, when you take oil into account.

The Muslim East is far from perfect


Understatement of the year. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen and other Arab countries in the region are right up there with Isreal, North Korea and China for "worst human rights abuser" award.
Apostates can be killed, adulteresses and homosexuals stoned and women who refuge to cover sent to jail. Christians are routinely targeted and churches are burned. Shia and Sunni fundamentalists slaughter eachother with abandon.

The USA and Western countries in general are responsible for a great deal of wrongs in the world. But many Muslims still choose to come to these countries to escape the repressive, fundamentalist and repressive regimes in the Middle East.

I support the withdrawal of NATO forces and anything else but basic aid from Western countries in these areas. But I wonder how I would feel if I were the father of a young girl, a Christian, an accused adultress or homosexual living under one of those fanatical regimes.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

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