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Burma's government hoping Muslims drown in typhoon?

CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
edited May 2013 in Buddhism Today
Yesterday on a talk radio station I heard a troubling report from Burma. Seems there are many thousands of ethnic Muslims shoved into official refugee camps in Burma because the Buddhists in their home towns won't let them return to their homes. These camps are tent cities on basically useless wasteland, because they're flooded every time typhoons come through.

Well, a typhoon is on its way. The reporter on the radio just returned from Burma, and the government is busy moving the Buddhist population to higher ground...but forcing the refugees to stay in the camps and refusing to help any Muslims that still have homes to evacuate. In fact, one camp that wasn't too vulnerable was ordered to pack up and move even closer to the ocean because the Buddhists needed the spot for their own people.

The reporter said she passed a couple of monks on the street and gave them a polite greeting. And the monks mocked her because they knew a western reporter would be there to help show what's happening to the Muslims.

So if the typhoon does slam into Burma as tracked, thousands of Muslims are going to drown, and that will be an intentional action by the Buddhist government and Buddhist people.

Buddhism is nothing special when it comes to changing how societies act. They can remain bigoted and filled with hatred no matter what their religion tries to teach them. This rotten branch of the Sangha needs to be chopped off and fresh Dharma allowed to grow.

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The Void Veteran
    Man, that is some horrible stuff.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    I really don't think I can bring myself to refer to them as 'Buddhists' any more.... just 'buddhists'...... Just as someone Christian personifies the qualities of Christ, but a 'christian' deserves no 'capital' investment.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Here is what appears to be a rather balanced article about the situation (as opposed to talk radio, which I rarely trust):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/human-rights-watch/burma-cyclone-threatens-d_b_3273613.html

    In terms of Federica's comment, I can understand where she is coming from. However, one of the things I find on this forum is that many people here, perhaps even most, look at Buddhism through rose-colored glasses. Most of us live in a very select Buddhist environment where the other Buddhists we know sought out Buddhism and converted to being Buddhist. Which is a very different environment than where most of the world's Buddhists live -- in societies where they were born into Buddhism. Having lived in Thailand, my observation is that within a nation where Buddhism is the majority culture, Buddhists are not particularly better (or worse) than the people in a country where its citizens are born into Christianity. That's not to say they're not different. In Thailand I felt relatively safe from being the victim of violent crime, even though I walked almost everywhere in almost every Bangkok neighborhood (except the most notorious area of Klong Toey). But I knew I was very likely to be the target of a scam...a Thai way of life. I knew the way graft and corruption work over there...and it's rampant. And, on rare occasions, I used it myself. I learned never to trust the famous "Thai smile"; Westerners often have this romantic idea that just because a culture teaches polite and gentle social interactions that it's an unfailingly kind and compassionate nation, as well. People are people. And while cultural norms differ from one country to another, the idea that people who live in a Buddhist nation are any more perfect than the people in any non-Buddhist nation...well, just read the history of Southeast Asia, and you'll know better.

    But, I thought we of this forum generally didn't ascribe to the idea that it was up to one of us to decide who was a "real Buddhist".

    MaryAnne
  • Wth is going on? I keep reading on here about negative things that Buddhists are doing in this world. How can such a peaceful way of life, turn so negative and violent for some people? I understand that people are people, and haven't had a great record of being peaceful throughout the world, but for buddhist monks to act this way? How can they go through life like this?

    I'm not perfect, but I wouldn't ever want anyone to drown/die from such an event, especially in the predicament the muslims are in. Is this kind of action and hatred for others seen too much in Sanghas throughout the world? Or is this just a SELECT few?
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    Why is everyone defending them? Your excuses are that they are just humans and humans make mistakes, they are not even humans/people, they are animals and savages.
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    @vinlyn I agree it's not our place to decide who is and isn't a "real Buddhist" and petty differences in practice and doctrine should not matter, but somewhere, a line does have to be drawn. In this case, for me it's the active participation of the temples and monks in ethnic cleansing and claiming it's in the name of Buddha. I also wonder what the difference is between a "refugee camp" and "concentration camp" is, if the people inside are not allowed to leave?
    ericcris10senpegembara
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Why is everyone defending them? Your excuses are that they are just humans and humans make mistakes, they are not even humans/people, they are animals and savages.

    Gee, I see no one defending them. You must be reading a different forum.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Cinorjer said:

    @vinlyn I agree it's not our place to decide who is and isn't a "real Buddhist" and petty differences in practice and doctrine should not matter, but somewhere, a line does have to be drawn. In this case, for me it's the active participation of the temples and monks in ethnic cleansing and claiming it's in the name of Buddha. I also wonder what the difference is between a "refugee camp" and "concentration camp" is, if the people inside are not allowed to leave?

    I'm not sure we disagreeing about anything. After all, there is a difference between right and wrong. Oh wait...there have been in the past several discussions on the forum where posters claimed there is no such thing in the Buddhist world between right and wrong. Sorry...my mistake.

  • Why is everyone defending them? Your excuses are that they are just humans and humans make mistakes, they are not even humans/people, they are animals and savages.

    No one's defending their actions....at all. We're saying HUMANS are HUMANS, and humans have been known to be violent (not all, but history shows that there is a lot of hatred for those different in our species). No one is saying it's ok that they've sent muslims into a camp just to await death. It's never ok to do that.
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited May 2013
    vinlyn said:

    Cinorjer said:

    @vinlyn I agree it's not our place to decide who is and isn't a "real Buddhist" and petty differences in practice and doctrine should not matter, but somewhere, a line does have to be drawn. In this case, for me it's the active participation of the temples and monks in ethnic cleansing and claiming it's in the name of Buddha. I also wonder what the difference is between a "refugee camp" and "concentration camp" is, if the people inside are not allowed to leave?

    I'm not sure we disagreeing about anything. After all, there is a difference between right and wrong. Oh wait...there have been in the past several discussions on the forum where posters claimed there is no such thing in the Buddhist world between right and wrong. Sorry...my mistake.

    @vinlyn snark noted and hope I was never on the side of "no such thing as right and wrong" in those debates. That's a mistaken view of Zen non-dualism, in my own opinion.

    And I know that, even if the country is "officially Buddhist", for most people there, the religion is a matter of cultural identity and not something they take seriously when it comes to their actions.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Cinorjer said:



    @vinlyn snark noted and hope I was never on the side of "no such thing as right and wrong" in those debates. That's a mistaken view of Zen non-dualism, in my own opinion.

    And I know that, even if the country is "officially Buddhist", for most people there, the religion is a matter of cultural identity and not something they take seriously when it comes to their actions.

    Snark not directed at you (or for that matter any specific person)...just noting that sometimes we (note -- we) change positions on principles on this forum, depending on the specific topic.

    And I know you know! You're one of our most realistic posters!

    :)
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    People of all faiths and belief sets do horrible things. Buddhists aren't exempt from that. They may be Buddhist, they may be monks, but they are not Buddhas and are still subject to fear and irrationality. The Westboro church identifies themselves as Christian, but I think it's fair to say they don't do well at following Christ's teachings and have a pretty twisted way of showing their love and concern for people. The same with the haywire Buddhists, the extremist Muslims, and so on. They suffer, too. I'm not excusing any of their actions by any means, but they are still human beings.

    On the flip side, if we look back on past events and remove them from history, we'd miss out on some good things that happened as a result. If we had not had the Chinese invasion of Tibet that exiled the Dalai Lama, we likely would not have seen the spread of Buddhism that we did to the extent we did. Whether you like the HHDL or not, whether you are a Tibetan Buddhist or not, what happened there contributed greatly to the spread of Buddhism to the western world. Often, even years later, out of bad, comes good. No mud, no lotus.
    federicaTheEccentricMaryAnnekarmablues
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    karasti said:

    People of all faiths and belief sets do horrible things. Buddhists aren't exempt from that. They may be Buddhist, they may be monks, but they are not Buddhas and are still subject to fear and irrationality. The Westboro church identifies themselves as Christian, but I think it's fair to say they don't do well at following Christ's teachings and have a pretty twisted way of showing their love and concern for people. The same with the haywire Buddhists, the extremist Muslims, and so on. They suffer, too. I'm not excusing any of their actions by any means, but they are still human beings.

    On the flip side, if we look back on past events and remove them from history, we'd miss out on some good things that happened as a result. If we had not had the Chinese invasion of Tibet that exiled the Dalai Lama, we likely would not have seen the spread of Buddhism that we did to the extent we did. Whether you like the HHDL or not, whether you are a Tibetan Buddhist or not, what happened there contributed greatly to the spread of Buddhism to the western world. Often, even years later, out of bad, comes good. No mud, no lotus.

    Great post!
    MaryAnne
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    Damn.
    No body should be killing any body.
    No where. In defense of Nothing.

    Well....May my freshness grow then....
    that's all I can do.
    person
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