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Rohingya Muslims and Theravadan Buddhists

Discussion of Theravada Buddhism in the light of Zen.

Rohingya Muslims and Theravadan Buddhists

Postby Spike on Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:47 pm

The Rohingya minority is denied national citizenship, and subjected to first apartheid and now apparent genocide by a Buddhist majority government/country, led by a renowned female Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Is there a role for international buddhism?

Ethically, how can the perpetuation of this crisis be rationalized? Or, how can it be resisted at large?

What is the implication for the meaning and practice of being a Buddhist as "textbook ethnic cleansing" takes place, under these specific circumstances?
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow. --R.H.
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Re: Rohingya Muslims and Theravadan Buddhists

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:16 am

Spike wrote:The Rohingya minority is denied national citizenship, and subjected to first apartheid and now apparent genocide by a Buddhist majority government/country, led by a renowned female Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Is there a role for international buddhism?

Ethically, how can the perpetuation of this crisis be rationalized? Or, how can it be resisted at large?

What is the implication for the meaning and practice of being a Buddhist as "textbook ethnic cleansing" takes place, under these specific circumstances?


I would suggest publicly expessing support for the Buddhist monks who oppose the ethnic hatred whipped up by extremist Buddhist monks. This can have some impact in Burma, where nasty ethnic nationalism and “protection of Buddhism” have become fused. I would also suggest donations to Rohingya aid groups.

Sadly, this is further evidence that anything can be abused and twisted to support evil.
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Re: Rohingya Muslims and Theravadan Buddhists

Postby Guo Gu on Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:51 pm

Spike wrote:The Rohingya minority is denied national citizenship, and subjected to first apartheid and now apparent genocide by a Buddhist majority government/country, led by a renowned female Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Is there a role for international buddhism?

Ethically, how can the perpetuation of this crisis be rationalized? Or, how can it be resisted at large?

What is the implication for the meaning and practice of being a Buddhist as "textbook ethnic cleansing" takes place, under these specific circumstances?


spike,
these are all great questions. but there are no easy answers.
hatred knows no bounds and thrives on labels and views. there are no rohingyas or buddhists--just ppl holding on to their views. some are more vehement/extreme than others. so first we have to stop seeing this issue as buddhist vs rohingyas (contrary to media stories or those "buddhists" and "rohingyas" involved on the ground).
compassion sees no enemies, no self vs. others or us vs. them. it is not possible to speak of ethics or resistance if fixations are institutionalized. otherwise, there will be more suffering.
dharma practice first and foremost involves seeing through and expose how we ourselves reify views, labels, identities, and stories... so we can develop the courage not to follow or suppress them. this begins with the way we meditate, the way we relate to our own thoughts. the more free we are from views, labels, identities, and stories, the more we would be able to recognize how stories still bind ppl and we'd feel a kinship. extending help from this position would be better; the choices/solutions we make, then, would not reify or perpetuate suffering. but when we see things in terms of resistance, we perpetuate opposition (us vs them, buddhist vs rohingyas, good vs bad, victim vs. perpetrator, etc). it's the same process in our meditation practice, which is just a miniature version of how we relate to other ppl in our lives. so we have to be careful how we construct/understand/rationalize this.
transformations happen, but it takes time. the message we can spread (through social media, etc) is one of seeing through labels and views, self and others, buddhists and rohingyas and recognizing our shared humanity. if our voice is strong enough, changes will happen and sociopolitical pressures will transform the dynamics in myanmar.
the above are only principles, in response to your statement "the meaning and practice of being a Buddhist." the causes and conditions in myanmar are complicated--the reified views, labels, identities, and stories of those involved are deep. but the principles must be clear.
blessings,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.org/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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