Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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mikenz66
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Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:21 am

Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History
By Akhilesh Pillalamarri, The Diplomat, October 29, 2017

Demography and history explain troubled attitudes toward Islam in Buddhist-majority Asian regions today.


Image

New Delhi, India -- A cursory glance at world news today may suggest that the fault-line where Buddhism and Islam meet in Asia is increasingly characterized by conflict between the two religions. Of course, in broadest sense, this is not true, as religions are made up of numerous individuals and leaders, who are generally of differing opinions.

Yet, there is an unusually high level of tension between Buddhists and Muslims in regions where the two groups share space, including Rakhine state in Myanmar, southern Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Ladakh, the eastern part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
...

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... hPElunXYW3

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:09 am

Islam started in around 600AD rather than in 1000AD, the first date mentioned in the article. Studying history will find two violent nomadic tribes who took over Islam & commenced the heavy violence: (i) Turks; & (i) Mongols. These tribes caused as much bloodshed to Muslims. Many of these Mongols were Buddhists or educated in Buddhism. The Islamic Empire was the pinnacle of world civilization & wealth, which is why it was a prize for many violent plunderers.
The Kara-Khanid Khanate (Persian: آل افراسیاب‎, translit. Āl-i Afrāsiyāb, lit. 'House of Afrisyab'‎) was a Turkic dynasty that ruled in Transoxania in Central Asia, ruled by a dynasty known in literature as the Karakhanids (also spelt Qarakhanids) or Ilek Khanids.[6] Both the dynastic names of Karakhanids and Ilek Khanids refer to royal titles with Kara Kağan being the most important Turkish title up till the end of the dynasty.[7]

The Khanate conquered Transoxania in Central Asia and ruled it between 999–1211.[8][9] Their arrival in Transoxania signaled a definitive shift from Iranian to Turkic predominance in Central Asia,[10] yet the Kara-khanids gradually assimilated the Perso-Arab Muslim culture, while retaining some of their native Turkish culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara-Khan ... ate#Origin
Mongol invasions and conquests took place throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire, which by 1300 covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe. Historians[which?] regard the destruction under the Mongol Empire as results of some of the deadliest conflicts in human history. In addition, Mongol expeditions may have brought the bubonic plague along with them, spreading it across much of Asia and Europe and helping cause massive loss of life in the Black Death of the 14th century.

Large areas of Islamic Central Asia and northeastern Iran were seriously depopulated, as every city or town that resisted the Mongols was subject to destruction. Each soldier was required to execute a certain number of persons, with the number varying according to circumstances. For example, after the conquest of Urgench, each Mongol warrior – in an army group that might have consisted of two tumens (units of 10,000) – was required to execute 24 people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_in ... ntral_Asia

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:06 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:09 am
... The Islamic Empire ...
Would you call the British Empire the "Christian Empire"?
If not, why not?

:thinking:
Kim

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:28 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:06 am
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:09 am
... The Islamic Empire ...
Would you call the British Empire the "Christian Empire"?
If not, why not?

:thinking:
Kim
I'd call it "a" Christian empire.
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行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
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身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by paul » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:29 am

The OP article looks backwards to the past, to get an idea of the future, Indonesia is the example:
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/ ... ture-islam

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:38 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:09 am
Studying history will find two violent nomadic tribes who took over Islam & commenced the heavy violence: (i) Turks; & (i) Mongols. These tribes caused as much bloodshed to Muslims. Many of these Mongols were Buddhists or educated in Buddhism. The Islamic Empire was the pinnacle of world civilization & wealth, which is why it was a prize for many violent plunderers.
Good videos about how the Turks started the decline of secular free-will intellectual scientific Islam. A Buddhist group of medical scientists seems to be mentioned in the 1st video.





Parts 3 & 4 on You Tube.

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:50 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:06 am
Would you call the British Empire the "Christian Empire"?
If not, why not?
Thanks Kim. Probably not because my impression is the British Empire started as a (Protestant) commercial empire, which then occasionally used Christianity to justify its ends. Also, there seemed to be a prominent Jewish role in the British & Dutch Empires, which is rarely discussed, but started with the financing of William of Orange (DYOR). From what I have learned, Islam started as a religion & became an empire by sheer unintended chance. Like the Roman Empire, it became a commercial empire exploiting taxing different cultural groups; despite starting as a religious movement.




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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:53 pm

paul wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:29 am
The OP article looks backwards to the past, to get an idea of the future, Indonesia is the example:
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/ ... ture-islam
That looks like a really interesting article, Paul. I'll have to spend some time reading it later. The closing paragraph raises many intriguing questions:
Why is modernity in Indonesia so different from modernity in the West, the Middle East, India and China? Is it possible to live in a pre-axial sacred cosmos while following an axial religion and living within post-axial modern institutional structures? How might Islamicate culture in Indonesia contribute to a more just and peaceful world order in the years ahead? There is indeed a "clash of civilizations" in Indonesia, but it is not between Muslims and the West. Nor is it between Muslims and non-Muslims. Rather, it is between different imaginations of reality that occur within different communities and, as often as not, also within a single human heart.
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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:11 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:50 am
Kim OHara wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:06 am
Would you call the British Empire the "Christian Empire"?
If not, why not?
Thanks Kim. Probably not because my impression is the British Empire started as a (Protestant) commercial empire, which then occasionally used Christianity to justify its ends.
Is there any significant difference between this and the various Arabic empires which happened to have Islam as their local religion? Or the "Buddhist" kingdoms and empires of Southeast Asia? Or the (polytheistic) Roman Empire?
What I'm getting at is that all empires are fundamentally about land, resources and power, and that the religion of their founders is incidental. When that religion is pressed into the service of emperors, kings, feudal lords, presidents, prime ministers, tax collectors, etc, that religion (whichever religion it is) is distorted and misused.
So let's be fair. Call them Roman Empire, Greek Empire, Persian Empire, Mongol Empire, Khmer Empire, etc - not Christian Empire, Islamic Empire, Buddhist Empire, etc - because there never has been and never can be an empire formed, governed and sustained by religion.

:namaste:
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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by SarathW » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:28 am

because there never has been and never can be an empire formed, governed and sustained by religion.
I would say all empires are sustained through some sort of religion. Even the communism is a form of religion.
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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by lyndon taylor » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:16 am

The principle religious order today is unfettered capitalism IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by polarbear101 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:00 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:11 am
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:50 am
Kim OHara wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:06 am
Would you call the British Empire the "Christian Empire"?
If not, why not?
Thanks Kim. Probably not because my impression is the British Empire started as a (Protestant) commercial empire, which then occasionally used Christianity to justify its ends.
Is there any significant difference between this and the various Arabic empires which happened to have Islam as their local religion? Or the "Buddhist" kingdoms and empires of Southeast Asia? Or the (polytheistic) Roman Empire?

... because there never has been and never can be an empire formed, governed and sustained by religion.

:namaste:
Kim
Well, Muhammad unified the Arabian Peninsula, was a statesman and a military leader, so there is a difference. Muhammad, the founder of the religion of Islam, set a precedent for expanding the religion via state expansion, military campaigns, taxes, etc. His direct successor became a Caliph, and it is from this direct continuation of Muhammad's political-religious leadership that all the Islamic empires gain precedent.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:41 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:11 am
Is there any significant difference between this and the various Arabic empires which happened to have Islam as their local religion?
Judged on the basis of imperialism, including cultural or religious imperialism, i would say there is no significant difference.
What I'm getting at is that all empires are fundamentally about land, resources and power, and that the religion of their founders is incidental.
Sure. I agree.
So let's be fair. Call them Roman Empire, Greek Empire, Persian Empire, Mongol Empire, Khmer Empire, etc - not Christian Empire, Islamic Empire, Buddhist Empire, etc - because there never has been and never can be an empire formed, governed and sustained by religion.
Mmmm... I tend to disagree here because I have heard, which is logical, that the early Muslims believed they were spreading morality (by the sword); similar to how the US masqueraded as invading Iraq to free the Iraqi people. Personally, I view Islam as a political religion; similar to how Christianity sought to civilise & save indigenous people in Australia. Political religion is described in the Old Testament, where the Hebrews say they invaded Canaan, genocide the local people so to not be polluted by their lifestyle, and then establish a moral society governed by the Torah.
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:31 am

What about the "Holy" Roman Empire?
Also, I think that at the time of the crusades europe might have been described with respect to christiainity in a fairly similarly way to how the kingdoms of the middle east were at the time of the "islamic empire".

Poorly written but I hope someone gets the idea.
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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by Kim OHara » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:27 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:41 am
Kim OHara wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:11 am
Is there any significant difference between this and the various Arabic empires which happened to have Islam as their local religion?
Judged on the basis of imperialism, including cultural or religious imperialism, i would say there is no significant difference.
What I'm getting at is that all empires are fundamentally about land, resources and power, and that the religion of their founders is incidental.
Sure. I agree.
So let's be fair. Call them Roman Empire, Greek Empire, Persian Empire, Mongol Empire, Khmer Empire, etc - not Christian Empire, Islamic Empire, Buddhist Empire, etc - because there never has been and never can be an empire formed, governed and sustained by religion.
Mmmm... I tend to disagree here because I have heard, which is logical, that the early Muslims believed they were spreading morality (by the sword); similar to how the US masqueraded as invading Iraq to free the Iraqi people. Personally, I view Islam as a political religion; similar to how Christianity sought to civilise & save indigenous people in Australia. Political religion is described in the Old Testament, where the Hebrews say they invaded Canaan, genocide the local people so to not be polluted by their lifestyle, and then establish a moral society governed by the Torah.
The examples you give seem to support my contention that governments, up to and including emperors, use religion far more than follow it. It's a convenient pretext for invading, slaughtering, raping, enslaving ... all the usual stuff ... but it is rarely, if ever, the underlying reason for that stuff. The reason, of course, is power and its byproducts, money and sex.
And the religions, rightly understood and followed, all say that we should be nice to each other.
:toilet:
I will say it again, differently: an "Islamic Empire", like a "Christian Empire", is a contradiction in terms.

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:37 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:27 am
The examples you give seem to support my contention that governments, up to and including emperors, use religion far more than follow it. It's a convenient pretext for invading, slaughtering, raping, enslaving ... all the usual stuff ... but it is rarely, if ever, the underlying reason for that stuff. The reason, of course, is power and its byproducts, money and sex.
Since you have expressed the above so clearly, I will agree here.
And the religions, rightly understood and followed, all say that we should be nice to each other.
Mostly, yes, except official Quranic Islam of Muhammad does have the doctrine of defensive war, which Uma the 2nd Caliph (in the video) construed into a defensive war of attack, i.e., attack the country that is attacking you merely than just defend your territory.
I will say it again, differently: an "Islamic Empire", like a "Christian Empire", is a contradiction in terms.
Based on the original tenets of Islam that included defensive war, yes, the Empire masquerading under Islam certainly went beyond military defensiveness. However, Islam differs from Buddhism & Biblical Christianity in that has does have an official doctrine of war & militarism for the protection of the Ummah (Community).

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:09 am

Please remember that this topic is about "Buddhism and Islam in Asia".

I'd be interested in any thoughts about the article that Paul linked to:
viewtopic.php?p=445466#p445176

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:16 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:27 am

I will say it again, differently: an "Islamic Empire", like a "Christian Empire", is a contradiction in terms.
It might mean that a christian empire is an empire which uses christian doctrines as the justification for its acts....etc. This makes sense in that isn't the justification for an empire's acts how empires are classified? For instance don't we call it the roman empire because its actions were justified by the edicts of the roman emperor?....or something similar?
Question: how do we classify empires?
chownah

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by Kim OHara » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:02 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:09 am
Please remember that this topic is about "Buddhism and Islam in Asia".

I'd be interested in any thoughts about the article that Paul linked to:
viewtopic.php?p=445466#p445176

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Mike
:embarassed: Sorry!

I like the article you started the thread with, more than the one Paul contributed. The latter makes some interesting suggestions, particularly towards the end, but they don't seem to me to be applicable only to Indonesia, or to Islamic societies. E.g.
According to Donald, theoretic cognition led to the post-axial, secular age of the modern world. In the post-axial age of theoretic cognition, the primary dichotomy is no longer between sacred and profane (pre-axial), transcendent and mundane (axial), but rather between the religious and the secular (post-axial) (cf, Bellah and Joas, eds, 2012). At least in the West, science, verifiable knowledge, public discourse, the marketplace and government all take place in the sphere of the secular, whereas religious beliefs and ethical practices are in the sphere of individual, private beliefs and practices.
That's a change which is still working its way through Australian society, for better and for worse.

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Kim

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Re: Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:26 pm

chownah wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:16 am
Kim OHara wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:27 am

I will say it again, differently: an "Islamic Empire", like a "Christian Empire", is a contradiction in terms.
It might mean that a christian empire is an empire which uses christian doctrines as the justification for its acts....etc. This makes sense in that isn't the justification for an empire's acts how empires are classified? For instance don't we call it the roman empire because its actions were justified by the edicts of the roman emperor?....or something similar?
Question: how do we classify empires?
chownah
Splitting ethnic and religious identity is a generally a newer phenomenon, although people have been converting from X to Y or Y to X since there was X and Y to switch between. For instance, when the Turks, aforementionedly, raided much of Europe, they were called the Saracens by the Europeans. A completely different "identity category" than either Muslim, Turk, Arab, etc. They were not called the Mohammedan Empire or something similar of the like, because Islam was often understood by the Europeans to be a heretic Christianity, rather than its own religion.

To be fair, no one really cared back then how someone "self-identified". For instance, the "Saracens" referred to all Europeans (& Christians generally) as "the Franks".
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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