Monday, 22 April 2013

Not in anyone's name

If you have ever wondered if Moslem extremists and fanatics are at all representative of the majority of peace loving/seeking followers of Islam, then recent events in Burma should be a good example of how a handful of mindless and ruthless individuals can cause so much trouble for so many ordinary people who want nothing more than to rub along quietly with their neighbours.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought that Buddhism was a religion of total passivity - peaceful to the extent of extreme inaction, if that is not an oxymoron. Not in Burma, it isn't. A handful of Buddhists have taken the opportunity of a slight power-vacuum in the country to attack and kill some of their few Moslem citizens, setting fire to their shops and property, hacking them to death in the streets and - in one video filmed by the local police - setting fire to their fellow human beings and watching them burn to death.

If you say that all Burmese are born as Buddhists (aside from a few Moslems) so any atrocities like this  are bound to involve the secular population, then I am afraid that the video evidence says you are wrong. Actual Buddhist monks are (apparently) to be seen joining in with the slaughter, stopping their more peaceful brothers and the police from helping to save the lives of the innocent Moslems as they lie in the street burning to death.

The only truly observant religions that I know of are the ones which I don't know of - if that makes any sense. There have been many Moslem Sufis who would not dream of calling themselves by that or any other name, knowing that as soon as you name a religion, then there will follow a long train of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, the twisting of words either deliberately for political reasons, or by a fifth-hand interpretation of five-times translated texts - just like what happened (and was predicted to happen by Jesus himself) to the jumble of ancient Greek and Aramaic scriptures we call 'The Bible'. The next thing you know is that the One God is blessing both opposing sides in battle, and the Devil reaps the rewards.

So to those Burmese rioters -  pause for a minute and ask yourselves, what would the Dalai Lama do?


  1. Disgusting behaviour. I too was shocked to hear it was Buddhists, and helped (it seems) by monks and police. What a wonderful bloody world we live in!!!

  2. Religion Tom - the most divisive power on earth.

  3. Just saw the reports on the news a little while ago and was having the same thoughts as you. I know several Buddhists in this country and they are the most peaceful loving people I've ever met -- so it's quite shocking to me to see these monks behaving so violently -- how can they possibly call themselves Buddhists?

  4. Tom, I didn't see this on the news until I read your blog. The Guardian has a good account of it too - The third comment down made sense to me (if there's any sense you can make of it at all - another 'Why?')