Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

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Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?


This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean – Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority.

In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint. Led by monks, members of the Bodu Bala Sena – the Buddhist Brigade – hold rallies, call for direct action and the boycotting of Muslim businesses, and rail against the size of Muslim families.

While no Muslims have been killed in Sri Lanka, the Burmese situation is far more serious. Here the antagonism is spearheaded by the 969 group, led by a monk, Ashin Wirathu, who was jailed in 2003 for inciting religious hatred. Released in 2012, he has referred to himself bizarrely as "the Burmese Bin Laden".

March saw an outbreak of mob violence directed against Muslims in the town of Meiktila, in central Burma, which left at least 40 dead.

Written By: Alan Strathern
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

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  1. “If you have a strong sense of the overriding moral superiority of your worldview, then the need to protect and advance it can seem the most important duty of all”

    Or

    My toy is better than your toy and I will do all I can to make sure it stays that way!

  2. ” Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims? “

    Pretty soon even the most peaceful religions find a reason to attack another religion. I though that is what religion is all about anyway.

    Halal slaughter IS a good flash point issue, though no particular issue is really needed between religions bent on promoting their point of view over some other religions point of view.

  3. violence between Muslims and Buddhists, at least there are 2 things that look flashy:

    1. Islam and Muslims, used to declare Islam as a religion of peace, but the fact is, Islam and Muslims conflicts with various groups in different parts of the world. Yes, some will argue that what the Muslim group does not represent Islam as a whole, but if so, why it happened, and repeated in different places?

    2. Buddha and Buddhist, almost never brags about Buddhism is a religion of peace, but peace predicate presents itself and is given by the world on Buddhism, the teachings and practices of Buddhist view, evenly distributed throughout the world, almost unheard of conflicts involving Buddhist. And if today, Buddhism and Buddhist famous for peaceful life had to conflict with Islam and Muslims who boasted as a religion of peace but of violence involving Muslims, presumably the real world can judge what is going on.

  4. Buddhists tell you there is no need to believe anything. Test it out, and keep what you think is true. I can hardly see an actual Buddhist killing someone for refusing to believe. The general principle is it is possible to use anything for evil ends if you are evil.

    • In reply to #4 by Roedy:

      Buddhists tell you there is no need to believe anything. Test it out, and keep what you think is true. I can hardly see an actual Buddhist killing someone for refusing to believe. The general principle is it is possible to use anything for evil ends if you are evil.

      We are all monsters and prone to monstrous acts when unshackled and free. It it compulsive within each of us to privilege our small group over the large one around us, and to dehumanize and destroy those who are different from ourselves.

      Empathy with our immediate fellows is natural, but pluralism must be learned and taught. And if we pretend that we are angels through and through, we won’t recognize when the devils within us reveal themselves.

  5. I think, this is the accumulation of resentment against Muslims excessive behavior in the Buddhist-majority country. Resentment that lasts long enough and is not inevitable. And the behavior of many Muslims, in various parts of the world look the same. If Buddhist Burma not react, Burma will probably end up like Afghanistan Buddhist countries in the past.

    • In reply to #6 by meyiyaseki:

      I think, this is the accumulation of resentment against Muslims excessive behavior in the Buddhist-majority country. Resentment that lasts long enough and is not inevitable. And the behavior of many Muslims, in various parts of the world look the same. If Buddhist Burma not react, Burma will probabl…

      How I see it, the most prominent example here of “excessive behaviour” is the Buhddist violence that left many dead…

  6. In reply to #4 by Roedy:

    Buddhists tell you there is no need to believe anything. Test it out, and keep what you think is true. I can hardly see an actual Buddhist killing someone for refusing to believe. The general principle is it is possible to use anything for evil ends if you are evil.

    We are all monsters and prone to monstrous acts when unshackled and free. It it compulsive within each of us to privilege our small group over the large one around us, and to dehumanize and destroy those who are different from ourselves.

    Empathy with our immediate fellows is natural, but pluralism must be learned and taught. And if we pretend that we are angels through and through, we won’t recognize when the devils within us r

  7. Well this shows that no religion is peaceful. Actuall problem is not religion but majority of any group could be harmful for society and humanity. Beleives can be hijacked by manipulators for wrong purposes. Why they could not be hijacked to create a more peaceful and humanitarian society.

  8. @OP In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint. Led by monks, members of the Bodu Bala Sena – the Buddhist Brigade – hold rallies, call for direct action and the boycotting of Muslim businesses, and rail against the size of Muslim families.

    Halal slaughter of animals, would be in obvious conflict with Buddhist views of animals and reincarnation in the form of animals!

    Animals have always been regarded in Buddhist thought as sentient beings, different in their intellectual ability than humans but no less capable of feeling suffering. Furthermore, animals possess Buddha nature (according to the Mahāyāna school) and therefore an equal potential to become enlightened.

    Moreover, the doctrine of rebirth held that any human could be reborn as an animal, and any animal could be reborn as a human.

    An animal might be a reborn dead relative, and anybody who looked far enough back through his or her infinite series of lives would eventually perceive every animal to be a distant relative. The Buddha expounded that sentient beings currently living in the animal realm have been our mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, children, friends in past rebirths.

    One could not, therefore, make a hard distinction between moral rules applicable to animals and those applicable to humans; ultimately humans and animals were part of a single family. They are all interconnected. Animals in Buddhist doctrine – wikipedia

  9. The disappearance of the great Buddhist monasteries and centers of learning and wholesale slaughter of Buddhists monks in India can be directly attributed to the Muslim expansion there. Buddhists and other non-theistic minded people everywhere should be concerned with the growing threat in their midst.

  10. Here we go again, blame the muslims for getting themselves killed. There is no islamaphobia here, nope.
    Kristalnacht, those bloody jews had it coming, with their breeding and earning money.
    I wonder how many rapes worldwide involve women, anybody know?

    If slaughtering animals is a flashpoint not even vegans are safe from murderous monks.

  11. From what I’ve read, the Buddhist/Muslim conflict in Burma seems to arrise from a class conflict between poor Buddhists who feel they have been oppressed by a Muslim merchant class.

  12. It was an ethnic conflict between Bangladeshi illegal immigrants (who happen to be Muslims) and the Burmese (who happen to be Buddhists). Nobody likes to see their culture getting washed away by an allienating one.. as it did/doing in every country where Abrahamic religions were introduced to…

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