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  • If youve watched our videos on the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, youll know that Buddhist

  • violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority is a serious problem. Buddhist violence contradicts

  • most people's perceptions of the religion as built on nonviolence and pacifism. But

  • with these and other instances of Buddhist aggression, we wanted to know: Can Buddhism

  • be violent?

  • One of Buddha's Five Precepts teaches not to kill or hurt another living being, and

  • historically buddhists have refused to take part in violent conflicts. Despite this, in

  • countries like Japan, Tibet and Myanmar, followers of Buddhism have engaged in sectarian violence

  • and oppression.

  • In Japan in the mid 1990s, a doomsday offshoot of Buddhism, called Aum Shinrikyo , was responsible

  • for a deadly chemical weapons attack on the general public. Members of the cult released

  • nerve gas into crowded commuter trains, killing a dozen, and injuring hundreds. In feudal

  • Japan, there were also warrior-Buddhist-monks, called the Sohei, whose teachings included

  • "The mercy of Buddha should be recompensed even by pounding flesh to pieces.”

  • During Tibet’s 2008 political unrest against Chinese rule, local reports alleged that 800

  • Buddhist monks rioted in the streets for independence, killing several civilians. The Chinese government

  • claim that the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, incited the violence,

  • and that thousands of pounds of explosives were hidden in Buddhist temples. However the

  • validity of these claims has been disputed.

  • The ongoing crisis in Myanmar can be attributed to a long standing history of minority repression.

  • But most recently in 2013, a buddhist monk who’s been called theBurmese bin Laden”,

  • became the well-known spokesperson for the anti-MuslimNINE-SIX-NINE movement.”

  • The group takes its name from the numbered virtues of the Buddha. While supporters claim

  • the movement preaches peace, the NINE-SIX-NINE movement has widely been labeledIslamophobic”.

  • In recent years, waves of violence against minorities have been led by supporters of

  • the NINE-SIX-NINE movement. The UN estimates that over one-hundred thousand people, most

  • of whom are Rohingya Muslims, remain displaced near the Myanmar coastline as a result of

  • this violence.

  • Most Buddhists throughout the world abhor violence. The Dalai Lama has said that he

  • hopes the radical Buddhist monks in Myanmar will, quotethink of the face of Buddha”,

  • who had been a PROTECTOR of muslims. Some have blamed the spike in violence on a minority

  • outcropping within the Buddhist population. But the rise in extremism just goes to show

  • that sectarian, racial, and political differences have the power to trump even one of the world’s

  • most peaceful religions.

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Rohingya people, who have been called the most persecuted

  • people in the worldtake a look at our full video explainer. And make sure you check

  • out the latest video of my new show Rituals, where we met a woman who has conquered the

  • seven deadliest swims in the world. Thanks for watching!

If youve watched our videos on the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, youll know that Buddhist

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Can Buddhism Be Violent?

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    羅紹桀 posted on 2015/06/28
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