Islam’s War Against Buddhism
Posted on September 7th, 2012

Dhammajarat

 

Courtyard at the Maha Bodhi Tree

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Allahu Akbar!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The tinny P.A. system tore asunder the pre-dawn peace and quiet.

I was jolted in my mind, almost like experiencing a car wreck, suddenly and without any warning. This totally incongruous sound intruded upon and encompassed everything, causing even the birds to rustle in the darkness.
It was just after 4 a.m. I was seated underneath the holy Maha Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, in the state of Bihar in India. It was a few days past the full moon of May 2004, a few days past Veesak. This was my second visit to this unparalleled location, the site of the Lord BuddhaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s attainment of full Enlightenment over 2,500 years ago. Now, towards the end of my 10 day stay, I had applied for and been granted the great honor of permission to spend the night within the Maha Bodhi compound.

My plan was to spend the entire night practicing seated meditation, walking meditation, and circumambulation of the great Maha Bodhi Stupa. The air was warm and my practice was going very well as I alternated between the three practices, as the hours passed.

The beautiful waning full moon light filtering through the glistening leaves of the Maha Bodhi Tree, the soft fluttering of the leaves, the serene quiet, took me back to that time long ago when the Buddha himself had sat very near this same exact spot.

Or so I thought…

The musseinƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s call to prayer for the faithful of Islam, here in this most sacred location to all of Buddhism, ripped me back to modern reality. I was stunned! How could this be? Here in one of the most significant spots of Buddhism, loud speakers come on at four in the morning every day, to shock and intrude upon meditators and Buddhist practitioners using this spot for that which it has to offer in its most special way?

How could this be allowed? It isƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦

The Muslim call to prayer seemed to go on and on…20 minutes to a half-hour later, the scratchy recording thankfully ended and quiet returned.

My concentration was thoroughly blown. Instead of following my breath, I found myself looking at the great distraction and paradox I had just experienced.

I thought about Mecca!

Could any other religion intrude itself there in the holiest of places to Islam, as the tenets of Islam had so intruded itself here in the holiest place of Buddhism?

No way! I could imagine immediate death being visited upon anyone that would even try ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ that is, if they would be admitted anywhere close to the MuslimsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ holy Kabah ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ let alone be allowed to set up a loud public address system that would broadcast the message of another religion across the courtyards of the Grand Mosque, or any other Moslem religious site. The hypocrisy was astounding.

After awhile, I ceased to be so shocked and began to calm down. I began to see that this was merely a continuation of a long and sad trespass against Buddhism perpetrated by the faith of Islam.

In my previous visits to India, I had visited every site that was specific to the actual life of the Lord Buddha. At every location the pattern was the same: Just the partial foundations remaining of what had once been great Stupas or elaborate religious universities of Buddhist learning and practice. Even the place of the BuddhaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s birth had been destroyed and buried, with modern day excavations only now giving some restoration.

I had learned from guides on location, and then from further studies once I returned home, that these locations had all been laid to waste in the early Moslem invasions of India, starting in the 900ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s by Turkic hordes issuing forth from what is now Afghanistan, and continuing for over a thousand years until the Mughal era. A prolonged and calculated assault, an assault designed to wipe an entire belief, an entire religion, off the face of the Earth. The long history of Islam, being spread by the sword and by fire, had left its indelible mark on these wonderful peaceful, harmless, legacy sites of Buddhism.

I learned how the monks and nuns and religious students were slaughtered without mercy and piled up and burned, and all terrified survivors were driven like dry leaves before a strong wind, out of the region of India entirely, wherever this Islamic wind blew.

I was told this is how Buddhism actually came to Tibet and Southeast Asia, by Buddhists fleeing for their lives! My faith had been rendered a refugee faith via the tender mercies of Islam.

I learned how Islam was particularly unkind and brutal to Buddhists, because to Moslems the Buddhist represented the most reprehensible type of human personality: the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-atheistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ holding no monotheistic God image as their object of worship and veneration. We were worse even than the far more numerous Hindus, with their vast pantheon of multiple gods. The Buddhists, to the Muslims, only worshipped the image of a man, and no God higher.

Apparently they did not bother to look into the philosophies of Buddhism any more deeply. That was enough for the sword to come down and the fire to be applied. And so they have over the centuries until today.

I remember, some years back, before the gripping situations that we face today had quite come in to focus for many of us, I followed the story of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan, in sad and war torn Afghanistan. The Russian war was over, and the rein of the Taliban was in full force, but they were not content to merely rule the people with an iron hand by the strictest applications of Sharia law. They had to physically erase the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-infidelƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ past, as well.

I remember shedding tears as I saw the footage of those magnificent Buddhas, the tallest ancient statues in the world, being reduced to rubble by explosive charges and artillery shells. I remembered hearing on the news footage, that same cry of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Allahu Akbar!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ as the dust of Bamiyan settled to reveal the emptiness of the destruction. The same cry that destroyed my meditative absorption under the Bodhi Tree.

Now, I pray we never hear this call in this our home, America. Not until and unless Islam totally and completely reforms itself after over a thousand years of ravaging and sweeping all others before it.

I feel, through my direct experiences of it, that Islam has not changed its ways in the least. In fact it has become more aggressive now than at any time since its period of greatest expansion in the 900s to the 1200s. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ModernƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Islam seeks to return humanity to those very same times ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” a revival of the dark ages of Islamic slaughter, mayhem, and pillage ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ all in the name of Allah.

We Buddhists must realize that we, and our cherished practices, would be swept away entirely and crushed utterly, should Islam ever gain ascendancy in this world in which we live. Islam is the only belief that propagates itself thus ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ by the sword.

And it is very patient.

Satu.

Dhammajarat is the pen name of a Buddhist author.The following was written byƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Dhammajarat and originally published in FrontPage MagazineƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=26040

3 Responses to “Islam’s War Against Buddhism”

  1. nandimitra Says:

    There is a new method of destabilisation of the third world. Shia vs Sunni, Muslim vs Hindus and now Muslim against Buddhists all created through Arabs by the vanishing empire. Colombo is a night mare Mosques built every 2 miles sponsored by arabic countries with a govt that is impotent to deal with it. It is time the Arabs are told to mind their own business and arab embassies closed and sent home.

  2. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    My experience of meditation under the Bodhi tree for 3 months in Buddhagaya in 2008 ended up writing a protest letter to the Budhagaya Temple Management Committee. The disturbance caused by this blast of Islam is only one aspect of the problem. Even most Buddhist bhikkus and laypersons deliver sermons using megaphones and ruin the tranquility, the Nobel silence in the premise.
    My protest letter covered various problems at this holiest site such as the conducting of various poojas near the tree uttering verses of admiration of Thathagata, using megaphones. The Hindus who visited the temple were unruly and shouting, disturbing the people at pray and meditation. There is a very loud gathering in March of a practice of ancient ritual called Pindata(?) by Hindus beating drums and loud music, which goes back to King Asoka era. Many people were taking photos from mobile phones and talking to people over the phones. As a consequence the letter the committee put up Silence notices and banned mobile phones and now a notice board appears in the vicinity of the main entrance, to this effect. The meditation area on one side of the tree has being demarcated.
    When I visited Buddhagaya in 2010 I found the place in relative peace and tranquility, however still buddhist monks especially from Sri Lanka who visit in groups resort to deliver sermons using megaphones. When I protested to a monk who was one of the golayas of Ven.Kiribathgoda Gnananada thero, he angrily asked me to do my meditaion in the adjoining park. I vehemently opposed it and told him I wanted to meditate under the Bodhi tree. These ignorant bhikkus has no understanding of Thathagata’s vital doctrine but engage in prose and hope for a heavenly birth and ignore the goal of Nibbana, misleading the laypersons too. I even suggested to declare a Zone of Silence around the whole area – a 1 kilometer radius, but the problem with the Mosque will never go away as its not only a social issue but a political one as a large number of muslims live near this area. The committee is also dominated by Hindus overseeing the activities of a Buddhist site, funny situation indeed. Relocating the Mosque will be a herculean task. The Muslims do this just to irritate the Buddhists pilgrims and they see it as a domineering move, emulating their ancestors who did wipe out Buddhism from the face of India.
    Some constructive reforms are now taking place to eliminate all trading stalls and even the hotels in the vicinity of the temple. Again eventually politics will hamper this move.

  3. Dham Says:

    How can Sinhalas can stop this Hukbar if they cannot stop it in Colombo, 5.30 am ?
    If you are meditating, why not hear it as a voice only without Hukbar ?

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