The title says it all. Tough times we are living in, tough times. Living in Berlin myself and visiting the place of the attack at least once a week, I can say how I feel: shocked, disgusted and angry. Not the right attitude, I know, but it’s all so overwhelming…
Let’s share our metta with all the injured who are at the hospitals now and hope it will help them survive. They need it.
Upd.: And let’s share our metta with the guy who did it. By the Dhamma, he will need it all when facing Yama.
I find you are going a bit too far here @LXNDR. We shouldn’t judge any particular group of people based on their religion. There are deluded people in every religion - Buddhism included - and we should not judge an entire group based on that. At the end of the day, it all boils down to greed, hatred and delusion.
Moreover, the situation in European countries is not at all as is often depicted in the foreign press. But I don’t feel that this forum is the place to discuss that.
Just to make my position clear, I have a pretty extensive knowledge of Islam, its history, philosophy and culture and have quite a number of Muslim friends I am really fond of, just as I have Communist friends, hardcore conservative monarchist Orthodox friends and even one Nazi friend, which doesn’t really stop me from disagreeing with these ideologies.
We should never discriminate anyone for their religion (even Nazis and Trump supporters) and try to have metta even for terrorists, but shouldn’t we rather judge their religion? Not condemn, just give it an honest look and talk about it a bit more openly than we are currently allowed to. Point out where it’s wrong and why it’s wrong, while at the same time accepting these people and acknowledging the worth these wrong religions and ideologies may have for them. After attacks like the one in Berlin people tend either to hate all Muslims or refuse to talk about Islam in an honest way. I mean, this forum is clearly a wrong place to start this discussion, but I think we can agree upon it being necessary.
i’m not advocating starting a discussion but why should this forum be the wrong place as long as the principles of the Right speech are maintained?
it sounds like an expression of fear to openly discuss these matters, fear of coming across as not politically correct, of surfacing of one’s own defilements or fear of disturbance of one’s peace of mind
While I agree with you and Vstaken, I think this place is not the right place for the simple reason that proper boundaries cannot be properly established for such a discussion. Invariably, out of emotion, everyone will get drifted into un-chartered territory and the outcome is obvious.
Let us have Metta for everyone terrorist or otherwise.
I think it’s important to talk about religious extremism and the conditions which give rise to it, as long as right speech is maintained as you say.
But to quote from the scripture of another religion, let us first remove the plank from our own eyes before removing the speck in our brothers.
Theravada Buddhism has an issue with violent extremism where people are still being targeted and killed, and no one is talking about it. Not only this but many Buddhist countries where the sects are not even technically ‘extremist’ still have immense potential to hold back human rights and ruin hundreds of lives.
As Buddhists, isn’t it our primary responsibility to talk about and do something about this?
Very true, this is a very disconcerting thing, and I do think about it almost every day, and dealing with this unfortunate situation should be one of the highest priorities of the global Buddhist community and I’d be very happy to discuss it with anyone who would listen In fact, one of my best buddies here in Berlin is a Hindu from Bangladesh and we talk about the situation in Burma a lot
On the other hand, in the parts of the world I live in, I don’t really see that many Theravada Buddhists driving lorries into crowds, so a fair discussion of Islam seems to be kind of a more pressing concern at least for the Europeans. So far, it’s been mostly on the level of either blind hatred, aka ‘down with all Muslims because they’re all blood-thirsty fanatics’ or fear-motivated hypocrisy, aka ‘Islam is a religion of peace and the most feminist religion ever’. And of course most of the time it degenerates into an ugly discussion about Muslims and not about Islam. It’s really sad
talk maybe, do hardly, living thousands miles away from the scene and having zero influence on the population, governments and customs of those nations
what happens to Buddhism in Burma and Sri Lanka is the direct and natural result of alliance between clergy and state
such thing as quarantine is applied as a measure of protection against epidemics of diseases, why can’t such strategy be applied to bearers of certain ideologies? these can be almost as deadly and detrimental as diseases (i don’t mean concentration camps)
when sick people get quarantined after arrival from abroad we don’t get outraged at violation of their rights, do we?
then there’s such measure as outlawing certain inhumane ideologies
If this is true, do you consider Saudi Wahhabism to represent the Islam of the EITs? If not, since most of the terrorism follows Saudi Wahhabism, don’t you think it is rather strange that the Wahhabi states are firm & key political allies of the USA & NATO?
Do you find it also strange that every Western government & mainstream media is supporting the Wahhabi & Jihadi extremists that were expelled (safely by buses) from secular Aleppo over the past week or so?
Is not the German government also in favour of ‘regime change’ in secular Syria & supporting the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ who have openly & unambigously said they would establish a Saudi-style state in Syria (even though the Islam of the EITs itself, aka Koran, is secular)?
Since the current European refugee & terrorist crisis seems to correlate with the US-NATO interventions in Iraq, Libya & Syria, why do you keep attributing cause (hetu) to Islam?
Did we makes posts about ‘Metta for Iraq’ in 2003, ‘Metta for Libya’ in 2011, ‘Metta for Syria’ in 2012, ‘Metta for Yemen’ in 2015?
I have no problem with what happened in Iraq and Lybia, I think those were justified and not too imoral, I’m a standard neocon in this respect.
A valid question, I agree they are as necessary as this very post. Especially the one about Yemen, literally every large nation seems to be ignoring this war that is potentially even worse the one in Syria.
Is you understand EITs as the Early Islamic Tradition, than well, Wahhabism seems to me to be a more faithful reconstruction of the earliest Islam than the mainstream Sunnism in the legal and social matters including warfare. The strictly theological positions of Wahhabism (e.g. whether God has face or hands) are more debatable, mostly for the simple reason that there was no theology in the earliest Islamic tradition, i.e. at the time of the Prophet. Even more debatable is the position of its more rigorous followers whether the non-Wahhabi Muslims are kufar. Yet, the majority of the modern Wahhabis believe they are not. That’s the short answer, let’s delve in this deeper in private messages, if you wish.
Well, if you consider that one of the full official titles of the khalifs was khalifatu-l-lahi ‘successor of God’ and the non-Muslims either had less rights or were often subject to rigorous prosecutions (in case of pagans) under the Shariah law, which is an essentially religious law, I don’t really see how you can consider the EIT secular. Which is just as true for Christianity in the time period. Which leads to my next question.
There are thousands of Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria. Still more many Christians are living in these countries. How many terrorist attacks did they commit? If religion is irrelevant, why are there nor radical Christian, Druze, Alevite groups in the Near East? Besides, for my money, the Iranian official ideology is not really much better that the Saudi one, but you can hardly say it is US-backed. Once again, if you want to talk about it more, let’s do it it via PMs.
Finally, I wish to remind everyone so that they don’t think I hate Muslims or think refugees to be inferior. The overwhelming majority of the Muslims are nice people, the overwhelming majority of the refugees are nice people. These nice people are not the problem, they are not the big threat and deserve our metta just as much as the victims of this terrorist attacks. If some of them have wrong views, I think it would be appropriate and benfeicial to talk about this in appropriate places in accordance with the principles of the Right Speech.
In think it would be enough if the police and security agencies would be doing a proper job. The Pakistani arrested on the night of the attack is a known small criminal and was found out to have several IDs after living for merely a year in Germany. Despite that, he was neither prosecuted for identity fraud nor sent back to Pakistan but released, so he immediately disappereaed into thin air. The same is true for the murderer of a German girl, a pretty nasty story that happened lately. He had had to serve a ten-year sentence in Greece for pushing a girl from a high rock but was released after serving just a few months. Despite his criminal record and an opportunity to stay in Greece where nothing threatened his life, he was allowed to enter Germany. The real perpetrator of the truck attack was a know Islamic radical and was even classified as a person ready to commit a violent attack, yet no measure were taken to prevent this. What all these stories show is that the major reason for violence among refugees is a huge lack of competence among German state institutions, both among politicians and law enforcement agencies. The politicians didn’t think the things through when the refugee crisis started and are hardly thinking them through now, and the police aren’t reacting even when it is needed - sometimes fearing they will be accused of racism as it happened in the UK.