Buddhist Fundamentalism? A short answer to Asoka Bandarage: “I can understand you”
Posted on August 13th, 2016

Christian Thomas Kohl, Freiburg, University of Education

Dear Asoka Bandarage, Thank you for your article “Buddhist Fundamentalism”?

In your article you mention the reasons why Buddhists in many countries of Asia had been attacked by Muslims. You explain how Buddhist are just defending against Muslim domination and Muslim aggressivities in many aspects.

That’s right. This is true. Nobody can deny this. I understand you.I can understand every Buddhist who want to defend himself and his community. I understand your point.

I am a Buddhist myself. I belong to the Tibetan Buddhism since 1984. Tibetan Buddhism belongs to the history of Indian Buddhism, in particular to the Nalanda School of Indian Buddhism.

We belong to the Nalanda tradition of Nagarjuna. I am a student of Nagarjuna. I know that the Nalanda University had been destroyed by Muslim conquerers and by inner weakness of Indian Buddhism in the 11th and 12th century.

As Buddhists we should not blame the exterior ennemy only. There exists an inner ennemy also. This inner ennemy has a name and we should speak about him:

I call him ‘egoism’ and the feeling to be a better person than others. You might call it in English ‘self-congratulating’ or self-praise’ or self-adulation.

It is the feeling to be a better person than others. One political expression for this is ‘Colonialism’. The attitude of colonialism had been well known in Africa and South America and Asia also. European ‘supermen’ took command over animals or half-animals or second-class human beings as they were considered by the white European colonial Lords.

This belongs to the time of colonialism which ended in 1950 and 1960. But this is not finished yet completely and Asians are not completely free from this feeling of being superior to others.

The majority of Myanmar how do they call Indians from India or from Bengal?

I have heard that they have a very pejorative expression for them.

Those who use these expressions might feel superior to Bengali or Indians or Rohingya or other neighbours.

This is a mistake. And we should start every international discussion by admitting our mistakes.

We should not see just the mistakes of Muslims. We should defend against Muslim terrorism.

But we should shake hand with every peaceful Muslim. And we should tell the Rohingya people: You are not animals.

And we should give up the idea of killing Rohingya and other Muslims. And we should give up anti-Islamic fear-mongering and the idea that every Muslim is our ennemy. An we should learn the two arab words: Salam Aleykum.

Christian Thomas Kohl, Freiburg, University of Education. http://ctkohl.googlepages.com


One Response to “Buddhist Fundamentalism? A short answer to Asoka Bandarage: “I can understand you””

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Pray tell me just where these peaceful Muslims are? In the face of despicable Islamist atrocities carried out against – innocent people, against women, against whom they consider infidels, against all and sundry whom they consider are against their barbaric mentality, where are the so called Peaceful Muslims standing up and protesting these abominations against humanity? The truth be told – very few. Every time the fingers are pointed at Islamists there are dozens of apologist Muslims who come to defend their faith proclaiming the atrocities are only due to a few misguided. We fail to see the so called Peaceful Muslims taking to the streets denouncing the Islamist terrorists.

    The truth is that almost every Muslim child gets coached in the tenets of Islam from a very young age at Muslim schools called Madrasas. There they are coached to know, who is “we” meaning Muslims and the “others – the un-believers – the infidels” as somebody whose life is not worth that of a lamb. It is these children who grow and in the course of time get “switched on” to become terrorists who go on to commit horrendous atrocities – all in the name of Allah! This is why we hear the familiar rhetoric ” Allahu Akbar” or God is great!”

    If one looks at the background of most famous Islamist Terrorists – they come from educated and well loved family surroundings. The world must focus on the Islamist family first to understand the root cause of the Islamist Terror. It is in a little book called the Koran!

    It is time the so called Peaceful Muslims, if in fact they are for peace in the world, examine closely the Koran and publicly give better interpretations for any verses that may be “misconstrued as Satanic. It is also time they learnt to live with the rest of the world who are not so enamoured with the tenets of Islam and Sharia as guiding principles of day to day living.

    Islamic religious bigotry must stop before the whole world go up in flames! At the same time USA must stop meddling in the rest of the world.

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