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Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:33 AM

Armed Buddhists, including monks, clash with Muslims in Myanmar

Source: CNN



Buddhist monks and others armed with swords and machetes Friday stalked the streets of a city in central Myanmar, where sectarian violence that has left about 20 people dead has begun to spread to other areas, according to local officials.

Members of the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Meiktila township have clashed this week after a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers Wednesday ignited simmering communal tensions.

Rioters have set fire to houses, schools and mosques, prompting thousands of residents to flee their homes amid unrest that had echoes of sectarian troubles that killed scores of people in western Myanmar last year.

<snip>

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/22/world/asia/myanmar-clashes/?hpt=hp_t1

38 replies, 5143 views

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Reply Armed Buddhists, including monks, clash with Muslims in Myanmar (Original post)
bananas Mar 2013 OP
Lint Head Mar 2013 #1
DavidG Mar 2013 #2
jberryhill Mar 2013 #5
HiPointDem Mar 2013 #12
defacto7 Mar 2013 #6
ZombieHorde Mar 2013 #8
gordianot Mar 2013 #17
Posteritatis Mar 2013 #25
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #3
christx30 Mar 2013 #16
geek tragedy Mar 2013 #18
Jackpine Radical Mar 2013 #26
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #29
SylviaD Mar 2013 #30
jberryhill Mar 2013 #4
renate Mar 2013 #7
ZombieHorde Mar 2013 #9
renate Mar 2013 #10
ZombieHorde Mar 2013 #11
HiPointDem Mar 2013 #13
defacto7 Mar 2013 #32
UnrepentantLiberal Mar 2013 #14
HiPointDem Mar 2013 #15
modestybl Mar 2013 #19
AsahinaKimi Mar 2013 #20
a la izquierda Mar 2013 #22
AsahinaKimi Mar 2013 #23
a la izquierda Mar 2013 #24
AsahinaKimi Mar 2013 #28
freshwest Mar 2013 #36
defacto7 Mar 2013 #34
Violet_Crumble Mar 2013 #35
TM99 Mar 2013 #37
WHEN CRABS ROAR Mar 2013 #21
hrmjustin Mar 2013 #27
cosmicone Mar 2013 #31
Violet_Crumble Mar 2013 #33
cosmicone Mar 2013 #38

Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:44 AM

1. Meanwhile back in the good old USA. When people have money disputes they just shoot your baby.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:47 AM

2. Disgusting News.

 

That Buddhists are fighting and killing explodes my fond belief that there was at least one group of people on earth who did not involve themselves in violence.

Ah, well, back to the drawing board!

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Response to DavidG (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 02:06 AM

5. Who invented Kung Fu and why?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 04:41 AM

12. as well as most of the martial arts. fighting monks, who historically played the same role

 

in asia as groups like the knights templar did in the west.

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Response to DavidG (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 02:26 AM

6. It's political

No different than the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland or the Christians and the Muslims in the Middle East. It also depends on the type of Buddhist just like any religion. Not all religions with the same name are the same as every other.

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Response to DavidG (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 03:36 AM

8. Wiccans, Thelemites, and Druids seem to be peacefull now a days. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 08:03 AM

17. What other group on Earth has killed more brutally than Christians some aspects is Pacifist.

It comes down to whatever pretense they may have humans are still animals specifically Apes. It seems Apes have a dominate form humans, which are particularly brutal. Humans do seem to enjoy talking about high ideals until their self interest kicks in then watch out.

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Response to DavidG (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:05 PM

25. It could be that groups of tens of millions aren't nice, clean monoliths. (nt)

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:49 AM

3. "Armed Buddhists"?

What next..."Mennonites With Machetes"?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 06:07 AM

16. Thanks for helping me name my band. n/t

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 08:17 AM

18. Actually, there are Mennonites with machetes

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:07 PM

26. Killer Quakers &

roving bands of Unitarian fanatics.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 06:01 PM

30. This will tell you how fed up the Buddhists are. They are not taking this anymore. n/t

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 02:05 AM

4. When Buddhist monks take up arms...

...shit gets real

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 03:29 AM

7. "Armed Buddhists" are "Buddhists"

I.e., in quotes.

Buddhists are allowed to defend themselves but not to attack defenseless others. Pretty much all boys and men in Burma spend some time in a monastery as monks--for a week or for a lifetime or somewhere in between, but they're called monks while they're there regardless of their wisdom or experience. Few monks in Burma are lifers, and monks who attack others with violence are not Buddhists.

It's really, really sad that this is happening anywhere, but especially in a country as devoutly Buddhist as Burma.

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Response to renate (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 03:39 AM

9. I think saying they're not Buddhists is strange.

What is the basis for this claim?

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 04:07 AM

10. you are making an excellent point

I guess I would say that self-identified Buddhists that use violence except in self-defense are like self-identified Christians who do not actually love their neighbors. They are "Buddhists" and "Christians" because they say they are and not because they are actually acting in accord with the tenets of the philosophy or religion they claim to follow.

I really don't intend to start a debate about this. I'm just saying that these monks who (presumably) call themselves Buddhist are not actually behaving in a way that meshes with Buddhist teachings. Maybe they're just imperfect Buddhists, as most if not all Buddhists are. Armed Buddhists are just very conspicuously imperfect....

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Response to renate (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 04:14 AM

11. I went to a lecture given by a Tibeten Buddhist nun,

and she said that if Buddhist monks and nuns were perfect, they would not need to be monks and nuns. She said being a monk or nun was basically admitting that you were imperfect, and needed a lot of work. I think she made a lot of sense.

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Response to renate (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 04:42 AM

13. of course they're buddhists. buddhism has a long history of association with militarism.

 

It is generally accepted in the West that Buddhism is a ‘peaceful’ religion. The Western public tends to assume that the doctrinal rejection of violence in Buddhism would make Buddhist pacifists, and often expects Buddhist societies or individual Asian Buddhists to conform to the modern Western standards of ‘peaceful’ behavior. This stereotype – which may well be termed ‘positive Orientalism,’ since it is based on assumption that an ‘Oriental’ religion would be more faithful to its original non-violent teachings than Western Christianity – has been periodically challenged by enthusiastic acquiescence by monastic Buddhism to the most brutal sorts of warfare.

This volume demolishes this stereotype, and produces instead a coherent, nuanced account on the modern Buddhist attitudes towards violence and warfare, which take into consideration both doctrinal logic of Buddhism and the socio-political situation in Asian Buddhist societies. The chapters in this book offer a deeper analysis of ‘Buddhist militarism’ and Buddhist attitudes towards violence than previous volumes, grounded in an awareness of Buddhist doctrines and the recent history of nationalism, as well as the role Buddhism plays in constructions of national identity. The international team of contributors includes scholars from Thailand, Japan, and Korea.

http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Violence-Militarism-Routledge-Religion/dp/0415536960




In "Canonical Ambiguity and Differential Practices" Frydenlund points out the complicated political and social reasons that have led monks to join in wars. "Pacifism among monks is rare. In many ways war was accepted as a regrettable part of life in the world" (p 107)".

Perhaps the most intriguing entry is Auerback's exploration of the well known book, 'Zen at War" and the general nationalistic fervor shown by Zen Buddhists in Japan for war. Auerback investigates Zen and military chaplaincy in the diary of Soen.

The variety within Buddhism is well expressed in 1977 by Kittivuddho, a leading Thai Buddhist monk, who announced that "killing Communists is not a sin" (p 177).

Nor is he merely a modern aberration. Before Christ was born, monks fought a war with Buddha's relic as a banner. And "throughout Chinese Buddhist history, monks were...seen involved in military conflict and war. In 515, a monk called Faqing rallied behind him more than 50,000 Buddhists" (p 203) to fight with him against the Northern Wei dynasty.

http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Violence-Militarism-Routledge-Religion/dp/0415536960

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:10 AM

32. as I said before...

it's all politics.

The players just wear different clothes.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:32 AM

14. Violence and ethnic cleansing.

 

Happens every time you remove a repressive regime.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:50 AM

15. it generally happens whenever you depose any power structure, whether it's what we'd

 

call repressive or not.

and the same people are still running burma, they're just neo-liberalizing. at the behest of the West.

In March 2012, a draft foreign investment law emerged, the first in more than 2 decades. Foreigners will no longer require a local partner to start a business in the country, and will be able to legally lease but not own property. The draft law also stipulates that Burmese citizens must constitute at least 25% of the firm's skilled workforce, and with subsequent training, up to 50-75%.

In 2012, the Asian Development Bank formally began re-engaging with the country, to finance infrastructure and development projects in the country. The United States, Japan and the European Union countries have also begun to reduce or eliminate economic sanctions to allow foreign direct investment which will provide the Burmese government with additional tax revenue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma#State_Ownership.2FCorporatism_and_Economic_liberalization_post_2011


I'd be inclined to believe the violence has more to do with the fallout from economic 'liberalization' than any removal of political repression.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:13 PM

19. Didn't the US get its ass handed to it by Buddhists...

... during the Viet Nam War. Not all Buddhists are pacifists....

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:42 PM

20. This makes me sad...

These actions reflect on all Buddhists.. and teachings. It makes the haters, feel more justified.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 04:05 PM

22. The long knives are already out on this thread...

as I'm sure you've noticed.
Shame that religion inspires democrats to be as intolerant as republicans.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:02 PM

24. That thread made me want to vomit...

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #24)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:12 PM

28. I had

a similar reaction.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 01:43 AM

36. I'm sorry. I participated but didn't believe any of what he said about Buddhists.

It was the extra-terrestrial stuff that I was interested in, since I don't have cable and love SciFi.

But I want you to know that was why I posted in that thread.

Ignore the haters, they're out in force today in several threads.

Peace and good night, AK.



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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:16 AM

34. I wouldn't worry too much about how it's viewed...

Buddhism IS how you practice it. The practice of others is their own.

The insane acts of humanity in general is what is really sickening no matter what the label.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:20 AM

35. I didn't realise there was a problem with anti-Buddhist bigotry in the US...

Not like there is when it comes to things like antisemitism or Islamophobia. fwiw, I don't see what's bigoted about pointing out that the Dalai Lama isn't perfection personified. I know he's the figurehead of resistance to an occupation, which get a big tick from me, but, well, I'll let John Safran speak for me with The Pope vs The Dalai Lama. It's illuminating!

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 03:59 AM

37. Except that thread was not about factual criticisms.

No one, including myself who was in that thread & who personally knows H.H. the Dalai Lama, made any claim to him being 'perfection personified'.

I responded to the lies and myths. These included the Dalai Lama being a CIA stooge, a Nazi sympathizer, and a theocratic tyrant.

There were also many misconceptions about Tibetan Buddhism itself concerning 'gods & goddesses', the differences between various schools, whether Buddhism should be considered atheistic or not, etc.

Buddhism like all ethical systems -- religious, philosophical, or non-theistic -- has a fundamental code of conduct. Not killing is one of those and is a part of the first five precepts taken. All human beings are prone to expressions of violence and war. To become a Buddhist and take precepts, one is to renounce violence. Some schools, like Tibetan Buddhism, will take it so far as to be pacifistic. Others like Zen will allow violence or killing only in self-defense. Traditional martial arts were a way to be defensive without necessarily killing an attacker.

So I am not surprised that there are humans who label themselves Buddhists and are even calling themselves monks who, like all of us, are not perfect. They are killing and are at war. That is deeply saddening, as it is violating one of the foundational precepts of Buddhism.

I would like to respond to your video as well. I have read Beyond Dogma where he is sourcing the quotes from H.H. the Dalai Lama. The statements about abortion are taken completely out of context. If a religion is based on extreme non-violence, then yes, abortion is a violation of that, correct? Even someone who is progressive (and I am really beginning to dislike that label) who is pro-choice may still be anti abortion. That is totally compatible with Buddhism as well. Your choices are your choices. The consequences are your consequences. There are no sins as the Catholic church would call them. There are simply skillful and unskillful actions. I can support that all woman have the choice to have an abortion. I do not condone its use as a form of irresponsible birth control for instance. I also believe that both men and women who have sex should realize that pregnancy is a natural outcome if contraception is not used. So, that is hardly incongruent. The section on sexual misconduct is the same. I would suggest reading the book yourself, observe the context of the questions asked, instead of watching a pseudo-documentary for your knowledge.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 03:45 PM

21. consistently practicing love and forgiveness

is hard for anyone to achieve.
As a nation we have failed to do so.
As a individual I have failed as well.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 05:11 PM

27. This is just so sad. Over a simple dispute in a store 20 people have lost their lives.

just so sad.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 07:20 PM

31. Go buddhists!!

No minority community has a right to take over the majority by violence. We see this too often in the world from Chechnya to Kashmir.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:14 AM

33. Yr cheering on Buddhist violence? Seriously?

There's absolutely nothing to cheer about this situation. Everything about Myammar is so rotten it's not funny...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:03 AM

38. Buddhist violence is not a new concept.

Have you not heard of Sri Lanka where buddhist sinhalese slaughtered Hindu Tamils and are still doing it?


At least in this case, it is for self defense and not naked violence driven by bigotry.

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