Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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L.N.
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Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:11 am

I am troubled by the proliferation of anti-Muslim Topics and posts here. I have to assume the majority of Members also disagree with such posts. We need to take a stand against this, because it damages the perception of Buddhism, especially at a time when Buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims. What do we think we are gaining by showing contempt for other faiths?

In looking for information about Bahai for a different Topic, I was surprised to find the following link discussing the Dhammawheel forum: http://bahaiforums.com/bahai-beliefs/11784-hammer.html. Among the comments is the following:
... I came across what I find to be a shocking example in a discussion from about five years ago that is still visible through this link. I found it while looking at how the Baha'i Faith has been portrayed on the Dhamma Wheel Buddhist discussion forum.

In the thread, forum moderator tiltbillings first states that Baha'i is "an Islamic offshoot," and then he dismisses a Baha'i article about the parallels between Buddhism and Baha'i as "silliness."

Then a different Buddhist posts a highly offensive and disrespectful comment about Muhammad. (The comment, which obviously was intended to provoke, is still visible after 5 years.) While some of the Buddhists (including tiltbillings) point out that the comment is inappropriate, what follows is a discussion about the merits of Islam. Some people come to the defense of Islam. When this occurs, the thread is locked, not because of offensive comments, but to prevent any further defense of Islam. (tiltbillings writes, in part: "this is really no place .. to defend Islam from criticisms.")

Apparently this particular Buddhist religious forum is a place where other faiths can be treated disrespectfully, but not a place where coming to the defense of other faiths is welcome. And it appears not much has changed in five years. How sad that these "proselytizers," for lack of a better term, have made their beliefs so much a part of their identity that they apparently have little capacity for treating other faith traditions with respect. I doubt they comprehend how damaging this is to their own agenda of promoting their particular faith.
Source.

The "highly offensive and disrespectful comment" referenced above is a comment suggesting that Muhammad should be urinated upon. This was posted here on DW by a Buddhist. I cannot think of a more disrespectful manner of discussion, and I was shocked to see it here on DW.

Provision 2.d. of the TOS on this forum prohibits, among other things: "Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions." Yet even when purportedly substantiated, the allegations made by some Buddhists here on DW against other faiths is simply embarrassing.

As stated in a different Topic, Muhammad, as the central figure of a world religion revered my a large portion of the world population, is worthy of being discussed in a respectful manner, especially by Buddhists on a Buddhism discussion forum which may present the face of Buddhism to those who visit here. There should be no disagreement that it is proper to be respectful of other religions, and not to mislead.

Buddhist disrespect for Islam is deeply regrettable, especially at a time when the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanki has draw international attention. From here: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/13 ... tolerance/
One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.
https://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html

What we say here potentially can be seen by the world. We need to stop damaging the perception of Buddhism by callously disparaging other faiths and showing deep disrespect, deep contempt for the founders of other world religions. It needs to stop.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

Garrib
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Garrib » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:13 am

:thumbsup:

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Kim OHara
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:38 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:11 am
I am troubled by the proliferation of anti-Muslim Topics and posts here. I have to assume the majority of Members also disagree with such posts. We need to take a stand against this, because it damages the perception of Buddhism, especially at a time when Buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims. ...
What we say here potentially can be seen by the world. We need to stop damaging the perception of Buddhism by callously disparaging other faiths and showing deep disrespect, deep contempt for the founders of other world religions. It needs to stop.
I agree, but the best way of stopping such posts is by reporting them to the mods, not by starting threads about the issue.

:namaste:
Kim

SarathW
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:36 am

. Buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims
Now you are disparaging Buddhists!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Zom » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:43 pm

The "highly offensive and disrespectful comment" referenced above is a comment suggesting that Muhammad should be urinated upon. This was posted here on DW by a Buddhist.
Dangerous comment. Now I fear for his life... 8-)

binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:58 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:36 am
. Buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims
Now you are disparaging Buddhists!
Yes. Just because some journalists and politicians call some Burmese people "Buddhists" doesn't make those people Buddhists. Religious identifications aren't to be taken so easily.

Caodemarte
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:17 pm

The problem with reporting these comments is that nothing is done. Apparently the TOS is interpreted to not cover them. I am surprised that DW would let itself be a platform for such propaganda that has nothing up to do with Theravada or an exploration of links to other religions. This is not hidden. The title of the anti-Islamic thread asking a Theravada forum is going to judge whether the founder of another religion about which the posters know little tells you what the intention is.

binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:19 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:11 am
What do we think we are gaining by showing contempt for other faiths?
For some, it is a matter of letting off some steam, given what other religions say about Buddhism.

Have you any idea what Bahais claim about Buddhism??!

Given how Bahais misrepresent Buddhism, what you have quoted some supposed Buddhists here saying about Bahais is small fry.
Provision 2.d. of the TOS on this forum prohibits, among other things: "Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions." Yet even when purportedly substantiated, the allegations made by some Buddhists here on DW against other faiths is simply embarrassing.
Well, they aren't embarrassing to everyone.
As stated in a different Topic, Muhammad, as the central figure of a world religion revered my a large portion of the world population, is worthy of being discussed in a respectful manner,
How to discuss in a "respectful manner" a religion that wishes eternal damnation on everyone who is not its follower?

People say the Buddha taught tolerance and respect for other religion. In the Buddha's time, did there exist religions that preached eternal damnation to everyone who was not their member?
Buddhist disrespect for Islam is deeply regrettable, especially at a time when the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanki has draw international attention.
You really should not assign religious identity so easily.
What we say here potentially can be seen by the world. We need to stop damaging the perception of Buddhism by callously disparaging other faiths and showing deep disrespect, deep contempt for the founders of other world religions. It needs to stop.
And people need to stop assigning religious identity to others so whimsically, as if posting on a Buddhist forum or being born in a traditionally Buddhist country automatically makes one a Buddhist.

While I don't advocate the sort of language and comments you quoted earlier, and I don't believe in an eye for an eye, I also see no way to peacfully coexist with religions that preach eternal damnation to all who are not their members.

binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:17 pm
The problem with reporting these comments is that nothing is done. Apparently the TOS is interpreted to not cover them.
There's a bigger problem: How does one show goodwill to someone who wishes one suffering forever and ever?

If you can answer that, and present a way to have such goodwill without this goodwill coming at the expense of one's wellbeing, then you will have presented a way to deal with the sort of negative comments that the OP is referring to.

Caodemarte
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:55 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm
Caodemarte wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:17 pm
The problem with reporting these comments is that nothing is done. Apparently the TOS is interpreted to not cover them.
There's a bigger problem: How does one show goodwill to someone who wishes one suffering forever and ever?

If you can answer that, and present a way to have such goodwill without this goodwill coming at the expense of one's wellbeing, then you will have presented a way to deal with the sort of negative comments that the OP is referring to.

Buddhism does say that you should have good will towards all, including the deluded who may wish you ill. At a minimum, hatred is not ended when opposed by hatred, but by non-hatred.

Pointing out bigoted, malicious, ignorant comments that hurt the maker, the target, and the hearers is not an expression of ill will. It is something done for the benefit of all. Being complicit in the spread of hostile propaganda is not.

Mainstream Christians and Muslims do not teach that they want you to rot in hell. Do you think the loons who may do so have the power to make it happen or are worsening their own illness as Buddhism would teach?

perkele
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:02 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:58 pm
SarathW wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:36 am
. Buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims
Now you are disparaging Buddhists!
Yes. Just because some journalists and politicians call some Burmese people "Buddhists" doesn't make those people Buddhists. Religious identifications aren't to be taken so easily.
Well, they are most probably buddhist by birth. And I assume a large number of them have a good measure of genuine faith in the buddhist religion. So I don't see what here is supposedly "taken so easy".
And I don't think it stands to question that there is and has been persecution of Muslims in Burma by mostly buddhists.

Whatever the background to these conflicts there, it is not disparaging buddhists to say that "buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims", same as it is not disparaging muslims to say that "muslims killed hundreds of people in terrorist attacks in Europe during the recent years" (just as an example).

#NotAllBuddhists
#NotAllMuslims
... are murderers, or inciting violence and so on.
We all know that.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:17 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm
There's a bigger problem: How does one show goodwill to someone who wishes one suffering forever and ever?
Do you believe that all or most or many muslims think that way towards you (as well as towards other "infidels")?

binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:27 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:17 pm
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm
There's a bigger problem: How does one show goodwill to someone who wishes one suffering forever and ever?
Do you believe that all or most or many muslims think that way towards you (as well as towards other "infidels)?
Yes. It's part of their doctrine.
Last edited by binocular on Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:29 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:02 pm
Well, they are most probably buddhist by birth. And I assume a large number of them have a good measure of genuine faith in the buddhist religion. So I don't see what here is supposedly "taken so easy".
And I don't think it stands to question that there is and has been persecution of Muslims in Burma by mostly buddhists.

Whatever the background to these conflicts there, it is not disparaging buddhists to say that "buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims", same as it is not disparaging muslims to say that "muslims killed hundreds of people in terrorist attacks in Europe during the recent years" (just as an example).

#NotAllBuddhists
#NotAllMuslims
... are murderers, or inciting violence and so on.
We all know that.
Only if one operates out of a secular sociological conception of religious identity, where religious identity is assigned by religiously superficial criteria.

perkele
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:52 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:27 pm
perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:17 pm
Do you believe that all or most or many muslims think that way towards you (as well as towards other "infidels)?
Yes. It's part of their doctrine.
I'm not well-versed in their doctrine. Maybe their doctrine states that this is what will happen to unbelievers but this wouldn't imply that they hope for this to be the case. :shrug:
The only muslim person I have known who was very serious about following his religion acted in ways towards me which appeared to me mostly genuinely friendly, helpful and so on. He was a colleague in my previous job. I can't imagine him wishing eternal suffering upon me.
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:29 pm
perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:02 pm
Well, they are most probably buddhist by birth. And I assume a large number of them have a good measure of genuine faith in the buddhist religion. So I don't see what here is supposedly "taken so easy".
/.../
Whatever the background to these conflicts there, it is not disparaging buddhists to say that "buddhists are persecuting Rohingya Muslims", same as it is not disparaging muslims to say that "muslims killed hundreds of people in terrorist attacks in Europe during the recent years" (just as an example).
Only if one operates out of a secular sociological conception of religious identity, where religious identity is assigned by religiously superficial criteria.
So, then, for example, by some less superficial criteria you would probably disagree that most Burmese are buddhists? What if they say they are buddhists? Is this a superficial criterion - self-identification as adherent to a certain religion?

binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:19 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:52 pm
I'm not well-versed in their doctrine. Maybe their doctrine states that this is what will happen to unbelievers but this wouldn't imply that they hope for this to be the case.
If they believe that God (who instated their religious doctrine) is just, then, by implication, they think it is just and look forward to everything God did, does, or will do, including burning "infidels" in hell forever. If they hope that God's justice be done, and God's justice includes burning "infidels" in hell forever, then they hope that those "infidels" will burn in hell forever.
The only muslim person I have known who was very serious about following his religion acted in ways towards me which appeared to me mostly genuinely friendly, helpful and so on. He was a colleague in my previous job. I can't imagine him wishing eternal suffering upon me.
Maybe he wasn't a particularly good or consistent member of his religion. It seems common.
So, then, for example, by some less superficial criteria you would probably disagree that most Burmese are buddhists?
I don't know about "most."
What if they say they are buddhists?
Then they say so.
Is this a superficial criterion - self-identification as adherent to a certain religion?
It can be.

My point is that if we casually and superficially, like journalists and sociologists, assign religious identity to ourselves and others, then the concept of religious identity becomes stretched to the point where it can include anything and everything and ceases to be a meaningful concept because it's just a word that doesn't denote anything specific.

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L.N.
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:38 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:19 pm
You really should not assign religious identity so easily.
These are individuals who self-identify as Buddhists. Many of them wear the monk's robes. I am not assigning religious identity to the people who persecute the Rohingya Muslims. They self-identify as Buddhists.

Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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L.N.
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:42 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:38 am
I agree, but the best way of stopping such posts is by reporting them to the mods, not by starting threads about the issue.
I don't think the posts are viewed as a violation of TOS, so reporting them will not prevent some Buddhists here from disparaging other faiths.

However, I agree that starting threads about the issue may not be effective, as this very Topic has now been hijacked for the purpose of further disparaging Islam, which is the opposite of what I had hoped would result. But I guess it was predictable.

My intention was to speak out rather than remain silent about this unfortunate conduct on a Forum devoted to Dhamma. Collectively, we add to the misperception of Buddhism through these unskillful Topics.

Maybe if enough members start reporting posts which disparage other faiths, it will make a difference?
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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L.N.
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:50 pm

Following is a suggested template for reporting anti-Islam posts and other posts which disparage other faiths:

Provision 2.d. of the TOS on this forum prohibits, among other things: "Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions." This post and other similar posts by this Member violate TOS by making unsubstantiated allegations against the tradition of Islam.

I encourage Members to speak out.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

Caodemarte
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:35 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:27 pm
perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:17 pm
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm
There's a bigger problem: How does one show goodwill to someone who wishes one suffering forever and ever?
Do you believe that all or most or many muslims think that way towards you (as well as towards other "infidels)?
Yes. It's part of their doctrine.
No, it is not. This has no place in mainstream Islam and is routinely denounced as heretical.

Are there Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. who rationalize greed, bigotry, hatred, etc. by claiming a religious justification that just is not there? We can see it in DW for sure.

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