Et Tu, Buddhists?

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

buddhaPhysicians for Human Rights has released a report (pdf) detailing their investigation of Buddhist terrorists who burned Muslim houses and killed Muslim students in the town of Meiktila in central Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The victims, who attended the Mingalar Zayyone Islamic boarding school, included one boy who was decapitated and another who was set on fire. One Buddhist monk, in his red saffron robe, told the mob to wait until the Muslims leave the Buddhist part of town before killing them, “otherwise the Kalar’s ghosts will come here.” (Kalar means “foreigner” and is used as an anti-Muslim slur.)

On the evening of 20 March 2013 a mob of Buddhists, angered by – it doesn’t really matter, nothing could justify their actions – marched to the school. The seven teachers and 120 students fled into a nearby bog to hide in small groups in the tall grass. They remained standing in water-logged mud, filled with snakes, until about 4 am when a car’s headlights illuminated a boy hiding in the grass. The mob descended into the weeds and killed two boys. The other students fled to a nearby residential compound.

Inside the compound the students took refuge in four small buildings. The mob soon surrounded the compound and started throwing rocks and “fire sticks,” pieces of wood wrapped in cloth soaked in gasoline and then ignited. Police stood by on a nearby embankment and watched the attack. Onlookers cheered the mob.

At 8 am, approximately 15 to 20 riot police arrived and encircled the compound calling for those inside to come out with their hands on their heads. The teachers and students left the compound and went past the mob who threw bricks and clubbed the students. The riot police did not intervene to prevent the beatings. As the students neared the Muslim part of town, hundreds of people, including 10 monks, would not let them pass. When one of the boys moved to protect an elderly woman who was being beaten with a bamboo stick, one of the mob took his long knife and sliced the boy’s neck and then sliced off the boy’s face with a second blow.

Another student was beaten until he lay face down on the ground. When he lifted up his head, a man struck the back of his neck with a sword, decapitating him.burned bodies

In another incident, one of the students was attacked by two men. The first used a sword to open a gash in the student’s thigh. The second man poured gasoline on the bleeding wound and set it on fire. A 10-year-old student was beaten with bamboo poles and gasoline was poured on him and set on fire.

Member of Parliment Win Htein said the police commissioner and district commissioner were present along with 200 other police and none did anything to stop the massacre.

During the three day period, 1500 Muslim homes were burned, more that a dozen mosques and three madrasas were destroyed, and more that 100 people, Muslims, were killed.

TIME International recently feature a cover story about Buddhist monk, Ashin Wirathu, and reported that “violence is being fanned by extremist Buddhist monks, who preach a dangerous form of religious chauvinism to their followers.” This issue has been banned in Myanmar.

H/T: Howard Friedman, New York Times, globalpost, New York Times.

77 thoughts on “Et Tu, Buddhists?”

  1. MS: ” As for ancient writings, my own belief is that they are tales that have been morphed mythically through the years and have some historical basis clouded by eons and mythmakers”

    I am agreed, especially since I (1) read the book you recommended, Joseph’s Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Masks; (2) thereafter became acquainted with many earlier Mesopotamian proto-types of Biblical stories; and (3) have begun deconstructing my own beliefs in light of my growing knowledge of the primal religions of the Southwest’s Puebloen cultures.

    As JC has written, a myth is is another person’s religion.

    I was not out to defend the veracity of the Bible or Christianity or to attack anyone’s belief. I just felt that for accuracy’s sake, that the plain text of an ancient writing whose original wording is beyond reasonable dispute should in the first instance be given a literal rendering. If one wants to claim that the original wording should be given a different interpretation or that it is an outright lie, that’s fine. But let’s start with what we actually know — the actual wording and plain language of the text.

  2. Spindell is the worst kind of mind MISreader – because he is not only
    ignorant, he’s an anti-intellectual bigot.

    Ditto Ralph Adamo –

    Both of these gentleman(?) were accurately described by a famous politician as being part of an effete corp of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

    Phony as Ben Net – after the Olynpics.

  3. RA: “Thus, anti-Semites, such as Mel Gibson and you, rely heavily on John to support their anti-Semitic agenda.”

    “Of course, all of this is totally lost on ignorant fools like you, orolee, who haven’t studied or learned anything about the topics they talk about.”

    Ralphie, I’ve been chewing on if and how I should respond to these gratuitous insults which are based on nothing more than a simple reading of the description of the trials of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Your response seems kinda over the top for my simply taking John’s description at face value.

    This is the third part of that response.

    Part one simply challenges Maccoby’s scholarship for not hewing close to the actual language of New Testament texts. Part 2 simply establishes the exceedingly high degree of accuracy scholars have achieved in ascertaining the wording of the New Testament autographs.

    This third part is the simplest. John’s denunciation of the Jews is nothing more than a denunciation of Jewish leadership, not the Jewish people whom they had failed. It’s simple hermeneutics.

    You seen to equate anti-semitism with my simply pointing out that the description of the trials of Jesus in John’s gospel was at odds with your assertion that “Because Jesus was a threat to the Romans, Pilate ordered him crucified.” My previous correction of your assertion still stands – it’s simply how the gospel reads — even in the autograph. Nothing more than that was meant. It’s that simple.

    I understand that New Testament verses have been put to anti-semitic purposes, just as they have been used to justify slavery or the subservient position of women. Such uses are wrong. Period.

    Your bluster and bullying, the gratuitous name calling, the appeal to your own authority, the over the top response to a simple reading of the text of an ancient document indicate that you lack confidence in your own ability to adequately defend cherished beliefs.

    You doubt yourself. You doubt your abilities. You are scared. Simple.

  4. Ralphie, if you, like Hyam Maccoby, want to disregard the accuracy of present New Testament texts, then you must also do the same for all other ancient writings.

    If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity .The next best attested writing is Homer’s Ilaid, with 463 copies, the earliest copy being written about 500 years after the original. From this corpus of copies, scholars believe they have ascertained the wording of the original (or “autograph”) with a 95% accuracy.

    Next in line are the 193 copies of Sophocles’ works, the earliest written about 1400 years after the original. After that the number of copies of the works of ancient authors quickly drops into the lower double and single digits.

    There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament. The earliest copy of the New Testament books was written much less than 100 years after the originals. Scholars have ascertained the wording of the originals with a 99.5% accuracy.(98.2% if you consider the long ending of Mark a later addition). In most cases of uncertainty the copies result in the wording being one of two possible words. None of the uncertainties make any doctrinal differences. Much more problematic, as with all ancient languages, is the meaning of certain known words.

    In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

    Maccoby is whacked if he thinks the New Testament copies we have now do not accurately reflect the autographs. So is anyone who finds that Maccoby’s hatchet job on the present New Testament texts “persuasively demonstrates” is also whacked. And your ready acceptance of that hatchet job belies any claim of exhaustive Biblical study. Perhaps you mean exhausting. For you, that is imminently believable.

  5. I Googled “Hyam Maccoby criticism” and read a few of the articles listed. My takeaway is that Hyam Maccoby (with a bunch of Dick Cheneyed text-proofs) sought to separate the historical Jesus from Christianity and to reclaim him for Judaism, hermetically sealing him off from Paul, the real founder of Christianity, a new religion totally alien to Judaism. Paul was a Hellenized Jew (perhaps a Gentile), influenced by Gnosticism and pagan mystery religions who (or his followers) heavily edited the Gospels and used Jesus as a backdrop for his new syncretistic religion.

    From Wikipedia: “Reception of Maccoby’s view of Paul has generally been negative. John Gager of Princeton University reviewed The Mythmaker (1986) in the Jewish Quarterly Review (1988) describing part of Maccoby’s thesis as “perverse misreading” and concluded “Thus I must conclude that Maccoby’s book is not good history, not even history at all.” Skarsaune (2002), referencing Maccoby’s work and the theory that Paul represents a Christianity totally different from that of the early community in Jerusalem, writes that “Acts provides no evidence to substantiate this theory.” James D. G. Dunn (2006) describes Maccoby’s revival of Graetz’ accusations that Paul was a Gentile as “a regrettable reversion to older polemics”. The continuity with Graetz is also noted by Langton (2009), who contrasts Maccoby’s approach with adherents of a “building bridges” view, such as Isaac Mayer Wise, Joseph Krauskaupf, and Claude Montefiore, even if they shared some details of the polemic critique of Paul.”

    OK RA, you’re not crazy, You just read crazy stuff.

    1. Orolee,

      I have read all of Maccoby and others on the subject. I personally find his viewpoint persuasive, but then I am Jewish. Normally I avoid specific arguments about religious details and beliefs because I’m not in to attacking other’s deeply held faith. Also why try to convince others when you can’t and the process itself can? Ralph’s charge of you being anti-Jewish is dumb, simply because you said nothing that could be construed as bigoted. Also knowing a little about you, I feel safe in saying you’re not bigoted and Ralph is just being Ralph. As for ancient writings, my own belief is that they are tales that have been morphed mythically through the years and have some historical basis clouded by eons and mythmakers.

  6. orolee, I have studied Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the writings of Paul, and I’ve read dozens of books analyzing those writings on Christianity.

    After exhaustive study, I’ve concluded that Hyam Maccoby has presented the clearest and most convincing explanations of the events surrounding the death of Jesus. Maccoby’s “Revolution in Judea” and “The Mythmaker” are masterful, scholarly works that really shed light on the underlying writings that are the basis for Christianity.

    Maccoby persuasively demonstrates that Jesus was a Pharisee, and that Paul, who professed to be one, was not. In short, Jesus was a Rabbi and a Jew and the Last Supper was Passover. Christianity was largely the brainchild of Paul.

    Like Islam, Christianity at its creation was a replacement theology, and therefore, the writings written long after Jesus’s death began to tell different and conflicting stories. The idea that the Jews killed Jesus, or had a role in his death was a fiction that did not take full form until John was written. Thus, in the earlier gospels, Jesus is saying and doing Jewish things. But by the time of John, virtually all of Jesus’s Jewishness has been edited out.

    Thus, anti-Semites, such as Mel Gibson and you, rely heavily on John to support their anti-Semitic agenda. The real story that emerges from a thorough analysis of the gospels and Paul’s writings is that Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi that was crucified by the Romans because he was a threat to them. The notion that Jewish leaders “ordered” or even “persuaded” Pilate to crucify Jesus and that the “blood is on their hands” is sheer replacement theology fiction that has no historical foundation or rational support when all of the pieces of the puzzle are examined.

    Of course, all of this is totally lost on ignorant fools like you, orolee, who haven’t studied or learned anything about the topics they talk about.

  7. Ohh, orolee, that was such a sweet story. It really melted my heart. But it is pure bullshit.

    Meanwhile, back here in reality, here is a REAL story of Islam. Stuff like this goes on every minute of every day in Muslim nations. Islam and Civilization are simply not compatible. The Buddhists know this, as all informed, knowledgeable, educated, and intelligent people who value Civilization and want to protect it know this.

  8. Ralph Adamo: “Because Jesus was a threat to the Romans, Pilate ordered him crucified.”

    Oh, I don’t know — either OMG or WTF. Your choice.

    You really ought to read the Bible and learn a little New Testament history before bloviating about the trials of Jesus. The Jewish leaders practically blackmailed Pilate into crucifying Jesus.

    Or just STFU. I know I’m responding to a troll (or at least I hope you’re a troll or else you’re really sick) but Ralphie, you’re really embarrassing yourself.


  9. po, you need to shut-up and listen to the Buddhists. They are wise.

  10. A young man who had been unemployed for way too long left Houston with his wife and daughter about sundown on Saturday to drive to Phoenix where his brother, a construction worked, said a job awaited if he got to the site by Monday morning. Mid-morning Sunday the car’s engine died on I-10 in downtown El Paso, as well as any hope of a new job or even a place to stay. The little family had little in cash and nothing in any bank.

    Many a fine churchgoer — priests, pastors, deacons, elders, Sunday School teachers, and parishioners and congregants — passed by as the young man stood beside the car with its hood up that cold February morning, but no one stopped. Able, a tow truck driver who had just ended his shift and was going home, happened by. Able called his cousin and towed the car to his shop and waited until his cousin arrived.

    As his cousin worked on the car, Able took the family to his home where his wife made them something to eat. She also provided them with a bag of provisions from her pantry and fridge. Two hundred dollars were hidden in the bottom of the bag.

    The car was fixed by mid -afternoon and Able’s cousin gave the young man a severely discounted bill and told him to send payment whenever he could. The young man asked Able why his family would treat him with such kindness.

    Abdullahe, or Able, replied, “The Prophet, blessed be His name, said that ‘Whatever you spend of good is to be for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler.’ So what was I to do when I saw needy travellers? May Allah bless you.”

  11. And now let me turn to the New-Leftist, BillMcW. You say that Begin must have been a “terrorist” because he ordered people to be killed. So the implication is that Begin was a “terrorist,” but Arafat was a “freedom-fighter.” Ahhhh, I get it. Jews bad, Nazis and Muslims good. Well, why not just say that.

    Begin was no terrorist. The British gave him that label because his group struck the King David Hotel which served as the home of the British military command and government administration, which were dedicated to subjugating the Jewish community. The British then were much like the government of Rome at the time of Jesus. Because Jesus was a threat to the Romans, Pilate ordered him crucified. If the Romans had the same verbal diarrhea skills as modern Leftists, they would have called Jesus a terrorist. And Spartacus was a terrorist too, in the Leftist handbook.

    And if you have to do a lot of killings to become a leader of a nation, tell me the crimes of Benjamin Netanyahu that got him to the top of Israel? If you don’t know anything about it, couldn’t you at least make some stuff up that sounds like he did? Every aspiring Leftist knows that you have to tell lies and make stuff up. So get with the program.

    And why didn’t you mention the USS Liberty? Surely, every anti-Semite knows that you should interject that at every opportunity? If you aspire to be a genuine New-Leftist, you have to start doing things like that. Didn’t Jeff Rense teach you anything? (The rest of you can look him up if you don’t know who he is.)

    As for the “Ford & JFK assassination,” I know all about the JFK assassination, but I didn’t know that Gerald Ford was assassinated, so you’ll have to fill me in on that. I always thought that he died of natural causes, but maybe there was some International Zionist conspiracy to get Jerry Ford that I haven’t heard about. Or perhaps you really meant that Ford had a role in the cover-up of the JFK assassination in helping to frame Oswald by lying about the evidence for the Warren Report? And that because of his “good service” in the fostering the deception, the powers-that-be made Nixon appoint him Vice President when Spiro Agnew was forced to resign, ultimately paving the way for Ford to become President when Nixon was forced to resign as well? Now, that would make some sense. But that’s a tradition in the USA, and not necessarily everywhere else in the World.

  12. MikeS, I “possess an authoritarian mindset”? You’ve said many a dumb thing on this blog, but that is the most stunod I’ve heard from you in a while. I am 100% ANTI-authoritarian. Why do you think I hate Leftists in all their many shapes and forms so much? They are Brutalitarians, that’s why. Same as the Nazis, same as the IslamoNazis. I think that you and BillMcW are cut from the same cloth.–and smelly schmattas at that, if you catch my drift. Your a Leftist and BillW is a New-Leftist. That makes you each Brutalitarians, which is my name for your philosophy.

    1. Grandpa used to say that anyone who claims to be 100% something is one 100% something indeed!

      What is this about this blog that makes people who aren’t Muslim challenge the one Muslim’s knowledge about Islam?

      By the way, I wholeheartedly agree with Mike’s : “Those that believe this form of evil is confined to any faith or philosophy are deluding themselves.”

      My original post was just a development of that wisdom.

  13. po, you know nothing about Islam, so you are completely unqualified to discuss the subject. Your views reflect a complete lack of knowledge, experience, and insight. The Buddhists are wise. Shut up. Learn from them.

  14. @ rafflaw poor song choice most dont know but lennon was a shill for the very corporations who are in charge now. and the ones who are instituting this invasive technology. listen to the complete song pay particular attention to paragraph 2 and 3 then think of what exactly the one world corporation is about

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  15. Actually, you might be surprised to know that I know some Muslims and I consider them to be friends. However, they are secular Muslims, and by that I mean that although they believe in G-d and follow many of the Muslim traditions, such as prohibition of pork, they do not believe in a replacement theology such that non-Muslims are “infidels” that must be converted or vanquished. Another indicator of their “secularity” is that they do not hate or envy Jews, and are not even against Israel as a rule. Their goals are to achieve a better life for themselves and their families, and their future families–much as most people I know who have other faiths or are even atheists or agnostics.

    But Islam as a political center of influence and power is another thing altogether. If those members of Islam are left to carry out their wishes, they will plunge the world into the dark ages, must as they are already doing where they do have such power.

    If you want to call me an Islamophobe, resorting to the lowest form of argument, be my guest. I expect that; not an intelligent understanding of the situation. And certainly not from those who adhere to the Leftist mentality. Had the Nazis of the 1940s been as “creative” in verbal diarrhea as today’s Leftists are, they would have invented the word Naziphobe and used it in the same way that Leftists do today.

    1. This is akin the traditional retort of the racists “some of my best friends are Black”. So you do know a couple of Muslims who are to your liking. Then there is the majority of other Muslims whom you know not, and have no idea what their ideas, ideals and beliefs are. And you, my friend, endowed as you are with the power to judge and group people according to your untested ignorance of them, decide who is good and who isn’t.

      You, therefore my friend, never bothered to offer any sense of discernment between the good and bad Muslims according to any rule we may recognize, instead just summarily, and fully, just equate Islam with pestilence. That is your right indeed, to be ignorant and close-minded (those two often go together) and that is also, and indeed, your right to so vehemently display that ignorance, coupled with that close-mindedness.

      I do realize I am ill-equipped to engage you in an intellectual debate here, because such debate would require us to work of a similar level of , no, not brain power, but, reasoning ability, logic and the acceptance that one’s long-held beliefs might be challengeable. Your previous posts reflect neither, therefore my friend, spout away.

  16. Wow! Ralph Adamo! Really?! Please tell us how you really feel about Muslims. Pestilence? And here I thought I heard every form of Islamophobia! Love you too, and wishing you all the blessings of this world and the next, especially guidance.

    Skip said it right: “But, really, is it ever possible for a religion to be free from corruption, violence, greed, etc., if it holds a position of overwhelming political power? Jesus doesn’t lead Christianity any more than the Buddha leads Buddhists. Religious leadership is always in the hands of “man”, and men will always be imperfect beings. Given power, religious leaders will inevitably go through periods where corruption, abuse, and other factors results in the killing of heretics within their faith, as well as non-believers.”

    We unfortunately, often mistake the symptoms for the cause. What is religion aiming to do? To take human beings with animalistic impulses, and turn them into people who can control those animalistic impulses, thereby making them better, higher beings. Were there no need to improve humanity, religion, any religion would not exist.
    Religion, as such, is simply a tool. While not a utilitarian tool however, like a spoon,which can be used to feed oneself, to feed others or to take food from others, it is a justificative tool, the intellectual or emotional justification for preemption or post-action.
    AS such, it lends itself supremely well to the animalistic/human impulse for supremacy/ power/ politics. That is why we waste much time looking at group conflicts, even the ones apparently fully religious, under that lens, instead of the single hue that colors every single conflicts between any two groups: politics. What is the difference between the conflict in Rwanda featuring the Hutus and Tsutsis, and this one featuring Buddhists and Muslims? It is singular and it features deities. Otherwise, it is about land, and it is about power. One would find these 2 aspects in every current and past conflict, whether the Balkans, the American revolution, the Israeli-Palestine, the Falkans war…

    So, let us stop being shocked that a perceived peaceful religion can be violent. No religion is inherent peaceful for no human being is inherently peaceful. And no religion is inherently perfect for no human being is perfect. This also applies to any force, any entity, any philosophy that occupies or claims primacy in a person’s life, for it is thus a belief, and that person will use violence to restore or maintain primacy for that belief, and justify it preemptively or post, whether that belief involves God or Freedom.

  17. MSpindell said: “Those that believe this form of evil is confined to any faith or philosophy are deluding themselves.”

    Are you referring to Menachem Begin and Begin’s order, as head of the terrorist group Irgun, when, in one operation, Begin ordered the bombing of the British administrative and military headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in 1946. 91 people, British, Arab and Jewish, were killed.

    To get to the top of a country’s political leadership, in ISREAL, as in the U.S., you have to earn your bones, preferably by involvement in acts that
    result in killing people and or playing a significant role in the cover-up of
    such acts. e.g., Ford & JFK assassination, GHW Boosh and the Reagan hit, Clinton and CIA’s use of Mena airport for Cocaine smuggling. Reagan’s
    order to kill Gadaffi.etc. And LBJ’s likely role in the elimination, with extreme prejudice, of several opponents + many other such actions by every U.S.
    president since JFK/

    1. Bill McW,

      As a matter of fact I agree that Begin was a terrorist. However, the difference between you and me is that I will aclnowledge evil wherever it exists. You are incapable of that self aware detachment, which is why when it comes to Jews you are a Shoah(holocaust) denier and a bigot. You and Ralph Adamo are cut from the same cloth, from different ends of the political spectrum. You both possess authoritarian mindsets that limit your critical thinking.

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