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Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:25 am
by Dan74
It is sad that people succumb to tribalist mentality of "us versus them". "We" are better than "them", "we" are more tolerant, etc etc

The truth is there is no "we" and no "them", there are just people practicing Buddhism and people practicing Islam, each in his or her own way. Some do this and some do that.

I have heard these kinds of knee-jerk reactions only too often, when the group one has identified with appears to be accused of an unseemly behavior. Truth is easily dispensed with, justice is easily dispensed with, when the sense of self is threatened.

What if indeed the shrine was 300 years old and there was no real basis for removing it? What if indeed there were deliberate atrocities committed against the civilians by the Sri Kankan military during the conflict? What if? What does it do to our cherished beliefs of who the good guys and who the bad guys are? Of who we are?

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:40 am
by morning mist
David N. Snyder wrote:
morning mist wrote: Are Buddhist and Christian allowed to have monasteries or churches in the Maldives as they do in Sri Lanka ? If no then is this double standard acceptable ?
When I was in Bodh Gaya, I heard the Muslim call to prayer over the loud speaker from the mosques and couldn't help think the same thing: how many Buddhist temples, churches or synagogues are there in Mecca?

But two wrongs don't make a right, as the saying goes. As Buddhists, we don't need to become variations of intolerance found among others.

Hi David,

People don't have to do that, but is it okay for people to ask to be allowed to have churches and monasteries there just like some people ask to be allowed to have mosque in various countries. Would people be asking for too much( to have churches and monasteries in the Maldives . )

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:09 am
by Claudia
daverupa wrote:I had intended the discussion to revolve around a Buddhist response to a monk acting in this way. The Muslim component is quite beside the point, and the emerging tit-for-tat mentality in some posts is quite embarrassing.

I also think, that "tit-for-tat" is not the right way ( I wanted to write something similar, yesterday, but I did not know how to translate it. "Tit for tat" is exactly what I had in my language in my mind....now I know :smile: ).
Here in Germany we had discussions about tolerating that muslims build minarets here or about the building of mosques.
And I heared so often: "Why should we permit to build minarets and mosques? In islamic countries our religion is not tolerated, too...."

This monday, I participated on an international peace conference in Munich and I think, the roots of peace are not only tolerance, but also charity and peace inside.
How can I feel deep peace inside when I cultivate "tit-of-tat"-thoughts in my heart?
Peace means to me to try seeing the suffer of the people who attack other people. I feel so sorry for them, because probably they never felt "real" peace in their heart.

It makes me sad that buddhist monks destroyed the Muslim shrine, it makes me generally sad when people destroy religious proberties.
Before we start a "tit-for-tat"-discussion, maybe we should think about practicing Metta (loving kindness) to each other.

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:35 am
by morning mist
Hi Claudia,

This is not tit for tat, there are regulations around World Heritage Sites anywhere in the world. For example, part of the Buddhist monasteries in Bodhgaya needs to be removed because it is not suppose to be there. If you check the UNESCO regulations you can see for yourself.


Also no one is suggesting that people don't allow others so this is not tit for tat , but asking to be allowed the permission to have Churches and Monasteries in places like the Maldives, etc...is not too much to ask. We are not asking to build it in Mecca .

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:24 am
by rowboat
When I was in Bodh Gaya, I heard the Muslim call to prayer over the loud speaker from the mosques and couldn't help think the same thing: how many Buddhist temples, churches or synagogues are there in Mecca?

But two wrongs don't make a right, as the saying goes. As Buddhists, we don't need to become variations of intolerance found among others.
Ah, it's those others again. If only there were no others. I never like to see xenophobia, and this thread has become a fermentation.

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:26 am
by Claudia
Additional, another thing came up into my mind.
I asked myself: "What would the Buddha say about this?"

(A friend of mine gave this inspiration to me - once he said: "When you have doubts and when you have to find answers: just think about: what would the Buddha do?")

So I thought about, if the Buddha would have been "fighting for his right" (like the right of "Freedom of religion" and to defend this right).
There was only "one" answer in my mind:

My (personal) interpretation of the Dhamma is the way to fight at first "against" my own "kilesas", like greed, hatred, blindness, views, doubts, numbness, excitement, brazenness, lack of conscience (recently I read a very, very good book about that, which my teacher gave me to read).
When I become aware of my attachments on this kilesas, I hope to see clear if the defined rights are to defend by myself ("my" "self"?) or do I attach on this rights, because I identify myself ("my" "self") with this rights, like freedom of religion?
For my own, I can say that I identify myself very much with the idea to be able, visiting Wats and Temples everywhere in this world, because I enjoy being there - because at the moment, I identify myself with "my" believe.
But isn't this an attachement, too?

First of all I think: to write here is a good training to write about my interpretation of the Dhamma in English and to overcome myself in that matter. ;)

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:36 am
by morning mist
What I am embarrassed about is the double standard in the name of Metta and Justice . People choose to keep a blind eye to the apparent injustice of one, while tearing another down for a misperceived mistake. This notion of justice is contradictory .

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:41 am
by Dan74
Why is it double standards? We are Buddhists here and it only makes sense that we pay more attention to what is happening in Buddhist countries. Some people have teachers from Sri Lanka or have visited.

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:51 am
by Jhana4
That monk who encouraged all of that, he is pissing on everything Buddhism is about.

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:53 am
by Jhana4
FWIW, this past Vesak I listened to a talk given by the Venerable Gunaratana ( author of Mindfulness In Plain English ). He told a short story of a Muslim friend who asked him about his feelings and views on Muslims blowing up the ancient Buddha statues carved into the mountains of his country. He told his friend "it was a rock".

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:16 pm
by morning mist
Hi Dan,

Please check the UNESCO guidelines before attacking them so heavily. Even a certain parts of a Buddhist monastery in Bodhgaya is effected by the regulation/ guideline of maintaining the UNESCO .

Btw, why do you see one as rocks and another as not rocks?
Dan74 wrote: We are Buddhists here .
I am actually beginning to doubt that.

I thought many people have a strong sense of justice, but it turns out they will pick on some while not saying a word about others . So you're saying that the teaching ( and justice) is about double standard ? How can it be called justice if it is based on a double standard. Why even speak about fairness and justice at all.

Anyhow, continue to do what you are doing in the name of " justice ".

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:24 pm
by Modus.Ponens
Claudia wrote:Additional, another thing came up into my mind.
I asked myself: "What would the Buddha say about this?"
That is a good question. That we have the right to defend ourselves with non violent means but to never generate hate towards muslims.

Please read Dissanayake's post again and understand that the destruction was justified. If I understand correctly, no one got hurt, so what's the big deal? Sometimes, a more potent action is necessary.

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:28 pm
by Dan74
Actually, morning mist, I have not attacked anyone. Could you show me the words were I attacked someone here?

I have no idea what you are talking about with this double standards thing. We are speaking about a monk leading a mob to destroy a place of worship for other people. Is this a good thing, on the face of it? Now, a new member says it's all a lie but doesn't provide any sources. Maybe he is right, I don't know. I wasn't there.

What I do see though is a great deal of identification with Sri Lanka and the Buddhist establishment, what I called tribalism - "us" versus "them".

I am not interested in bashing anyone. One of my best friends is srilankan, an old University friend was srilankan, I hope to visit the country one day and have nothing but good will for all of its people.

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:12 pm
by Claudia
At the moment, the question on justice seems to overstrain me a little.
For many years, I worked for an international Human Rights Organisation and I still volunteer at the refugee council.
I made many experiences, I experienced many times that sometimes I felt to be on my limit of tolerance and when I tried to exeed my limits, I feld upcoming anger about injustice.

I have no solution in my head how to solve the probably world wide problem about "religious injustice". I supported refugees, who were hunted and enslaved and abused as children for military actions....and when I heared about their biographies, either I had the feeling my heart is going to breake or I had the feeling of upcoming anger because of all this injustice.

Of course, I can write only about my personal way but for myself I found out that the way "Metta for myself" is helpful for me not to judge in anger. First of all, I try very hard to fight against all my kilesas.

Of course, I think the "good" way is when every nation tolerates every religion and it would hurt me to see if people destroy a Buddha statue.


So my question in this matter is: what is the right (peaceful) way for us who practice the Dhamma to support the freedom of religion in this world?

Re: Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:18 pm
by Dhammavaro
Muslim shrine, Bodh gaya,Vatican City, Muslim,Hindu,Buddhist = Anicca .