Buddhism Is Not A Religion Of Peace



‘So, historically, Buddhism has been no more a religion of peace than Christianity.’  [Not Islam?]


Outstanding piece of BBC hypocrisy which shows just how incomplete and favourable the BBC’s coverage of Islam and Islamically inspired violence is as it is prepared to publish an article linking violence and mainstream Buddhism.


Here the BBC are reporting ‘A problem of anti-Islamic feeling in Burma.’  A phrase used by Rachel Burden I believe a couple of weeks ago as she reported on the violence in Burma.



Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

 Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

Aren’t Buddhist monks meant to be the good guys of religion?

However any religion starts out, sooner or later it enters into a Faustian pact with state power. Buddhist monks looked to kings, the ultimate wielders of violence, for the support, patronage and order that only they could provide. Kings looked to monks to provide the popular legitimacy that only such a high moral vision can confer.

 If you have a strong sense of the overriding moral superiority of your worldview, then the need to protect and advance it can seem the most important duty of all.

Christian crusaders, Islamist militants, or the leaders of “freedom-loving nations”, all justify what they see as necessary violence in the name of a higher good. Buddhist rulers and monks have been no exception.

So, historically, Buddhism has been no more a religion of peace than Christianity. [or Islam?]

Burmese rulers, known as “kings of righteousness”, justified wars in the name of what they called true Buddhist doctrine.

Sri Lanka’s powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was guest of honour at the opening of a Buddhist Brigade training school, and referred to the monks as those who “protect our country, religion and race”.

But the anti-Muslim message seems to have struck a chord with parts of the population.

Many Buddhists share a sense that their nations must be unified and that their religion is under threat…… they feel that if other religions are going to get tough, they had better follow suit.


 From the BBC website:

Christians and War

The main Christian view of war ethics is contained in the doctrine of the Just War.

The basic assumption of modern Christians is that war is rarely justified and should be avoided unless the Just War conditions are met.

For many centuries Christians believed that it was right and proper to use violence (and thus war) to spread the faith and deal with its opponents. They did not regard violence as an inherently bad thing: whether it was bad or not depended on what it was being used for.

From Constantine onwards Christian writers and preachers have used warlike and soldierly metaphors in their writing about the faith.

The idea that violence is not inherently bad can also be seen in some versions of the Just War doctrine – violence (war) can be a vital tool in restoring justice and peace.


Islam and war

Islam sets down clear guidelines as to when war is ethically right, and clear guidelines as to how such a war should be conducted.

In brief, war is permitted:

  • in self defence
  • when other nations have attacked an Islamic state
  • if another state is oppressing its own Muslims

Islam is in favour of peace and against violence. Murdering the innocent leads to punishment in Hell.

Islam allows war in self-defence (Qur’an 22:39), to defend Islam (rather than to spread it).

The Qur’an emphasises that war should be fought only for noble motives without seeking any earthly reward.



Buddhism and war

Non-violence is at the heart of Buddhist thinking and behaviour. The first of the five precepts that all Buddhists should follow is “Avoid killing, or harming any living thing.”

Buddhism is essentially a peaceful tradition. Nothing in Buddhist scripture gives any support to the use of violence as a way to resolve conflict.

Many Buddhists have refused to take up arms under any circumstances, even knowing that they would be killed as a result. The Buddhist code that governs the life of monks permits them to defend themselves, but it forbids them to kill, even in self-defence.



That being so, it makes you wonder why the BBC isn’t claiming that these Buddhists attacking Muslims in Burma are not ‘perverting’ Buddhism as it does for Muslim bombers in the UK?  Are they not the same mere criminals or madmen?


Is Buddhism not the religion of peace that the BBC website says it is?



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39 Responses to Buddhism Is Not A Religion Of Peace

  1. Guest Who says:

    This one seems to have caught the attention of a few more than those attuned to the variable outlets of expression the BBC’s broad spread of media can attract, or be invited to share their pulpits.
    It should be noted the author is not a BBC employee (or does not appear to be), and hence falls into the ‘one degree of separation’ category of ‘guest expert’ they do like to deploy.
    But this person’s opinions don’t seem to be portrayed as anything than BBC editorial. No counter views; simply a nice little credit at the top and bio at the end. Not even a ‘views my own’, twitter-styly, though the Flokk will doubtless offer this is here not necessary as it is obvious he is just one voice of many, and all readers will know and accept this.
    It is interesting though, that in all the many stories across the BBC’s vast website, what was chosen by the BBC to feature on its FaceBook selection for the day.
    And, more than this, flag with an obscure paragraph within the text that evidently had some greater appeal to those finely attuned news minds in the editorial suite.
    I just wonder which part of the Guidelines a future Pollard won’t be able to locate (seems Buddhists are not the only ones who can see codes as more observed in the breaking – lucky there’s no Siddhartha tax imposed by compulsion in the UK no matter what) that handles the odd notion of stirring up inter-faith strife with loaded analysis in guise of ‘education & information’?


  2. chrisH says:

    Let`s hope that Richard Gere, the Dalai Lama camp followers etc turn on the BBC for this travesty of an opinion.
    If the Buddhists WERE as “peaceful” as Islam, I`m pretty sure that the BBC would be risking a brick through the window and a beheading or two by stating this nonsense.
    As things stand, my instincts tell me that wherever and whenever any place, any faith or any people come up against the edge of Islamic rule or influence…there is always a war zone or conflicts to be found.
    Islam is the common denominator for all the worlds troubles re terrorism or religious wars…but only the blind guide of the BBC says otherwise.


    • DP111 says:

      Afghanistan was once a Buddhist country. Now even the the signs of Buddhism have been blown up despite worldwide protests.

      Buddhism, which is atheist in nature, was given special treatment by the Islamic rulers of India. Buddhism was virtually wiped out in India, its birthplace. It found shelter in mountainous places such Nepal and Tibet, and remote places such as Burma.

      With progress in easy travel, has come the ability for Muslim immigrants from overcrowded Bangladesh to start their Islamic colonialism in Burma, as well as Nepal.

      In Burma, Muslims thought they were sufficient in number to start the Jihad. Unfortunately for them they were too hasty. Th Islamic Jihad will also start in Nepal, and has already started in Ilford.


      • DP111 says:

        20 dead in Muslim attack on Christian funeral

        Residents reported that Friday’s violence erupted when the funeral procession of a traditional chief from the predominantly Christian Jukun ethnic group marched through a Muslim neighbourhood chanting slogans, which Muslims viewed as an act of provocation.


        Yup.Muslim always are insulted. Make a cartoon of mohammed, and they respond by trying to kill the cartoonist. In this incident they killed 20 mourners.


      • DP111 says:

        In less then 20 years, we will see attacks on churches and cathedrals in Britain. Christmas will have to be conducted under tight security, and will eventually be banned, as the state will not be able to provide nationwide security.

        Which side will the BBC be on when churches are burning and Buddhits, followed by Christians and Jews are killed.?

        Thank you Blair and Labour.


  3. Dante's Inferno says:

    This one really pulled me up sharp-the story is listed on the BBC News homepage in the features section with the question ‘Buddhists are pacifists so why are they attacking Muslims?’ Not ‘militant’ Buddhists, note. Just Buddhists. All Buddhists presumably.

    The attached article then details the history of violence perpetrated by followers of the enlightened one but-as one might expect- it is a fairly short list when considered that it covers a period of 2,500 years and an enormous range of different cultural contexts.


    • Joshaw says:

      “it is a fairly short list when considered that it covers a period of 2,500 years”

      Nothing like this list then?


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The article’s main point seems to be that this isn’t so much about religion as it is political power: the majority versus the minority. The pacifist nature of Buddhism has been, according to the author, subverted. Fair enough, I suppose.

    There is a theme here, though. It’s also not unreasonable to say that the Shia vs. Sunni violence is a similar political struggle. One can say the same about a seemingly endless stream of violence among African tribal groups as well.

    But there’s an underlying connection to all of these, something which the BBC refuses to address, and something which may or may not be appreciated by many people here: these people act in what Huw Edwards once described as a “less nuanced” fashion because they are, for lack of the desire to find a better word, cavemen. That is to say, not having gone through any kind of Enlightenment or reformation, violence and putting villages to the sword and chopping off heads and hands and killing women for family honor is still the order of the day in many places.

    All of these groups were similarly violent before any of these religions existed. All of humanity has been. So blaming a religion isn’t really the only answer. People in the Levant have been slaughtering each other since the first early humans made weapons, long before Mohammed was a twinkle in his uncircumcised father’s eye.

    Have some religions grown out of a violent culture while others have developed differently? Do some need to go through an Enlightenment of some kind? Sure. Let’s have that discussion honestly, and let’s demand that the BBC does as well for once.


    • Doublethinker says:

      David I am sure you do not need to be reminded that ordinary people do not have the right to demand anything of the BBC.
      The BBC operates at level far beyond what ordinary people can understand. They regard us a little children who need to be guided through life and certainly not able to take part in discussion about big things, far less actually decide. I imagine that the BBC will soon be wanting to do away with elections altogether so that we can all live happily in their liberal utopia.


  5. noggin says:

    “the world isn t only for muslims” ….
    thats the bbc picture of significance?
    with the sentence “why have monks been using ahem! “hate speech”?!*?*! against Muslims” ?
    just underneath ….
    sorry bbc, that simply a statement of fact.
    al beeb will always be first to immediately prostrate itself to allah
    others however … will not

    Buddhists are mad as Hell and demanding an end to Islamic Halal desecration of their food supply
    Majority Buddhist population (Muslims 10%) of Sri Lanka demand end to all halal (Islamic-approved) products. After a Government Minister condemned the Halal Certification racket on Feb. 14th, the Sinhalese Buddhist group has called for the abolition of the Muslim halal system of certifying foods and other goods, as well as a ban on any new mosques.
    The Buddhist majority in the country are peace-loving and fair-minded, but they abhor the halal ritual slaughter which Muslims insist is necessary to produce halal meat – this cruel, outdated 7th Century practice is unnecessarily cruel to livestock in 21st Century Sri Lanka, four year ago Dialrel Study carried out by Veterinary Scientists from many countries of Europe concluded that halal ritual slaughter causes unnecessary suffering, and so is unacceptable to Sri Lankan Buddhists”
    sounds like fact, not hate speech to me, and that photograph says few words …
    The most popular and widely read, by muslims in modern times maududi
    does not
    Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it, no nation has the right to rule over muslims, and if they do the muslims have the right to remove them from that power, by any means neccessary.
    The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and program, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State.
    Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.


    • DP111 says:

      Buddhism was actually wiped out by Muslims in its place of birth – India. Those peaceful saffron robed Buddhist monks never really understood what hit them. I feel pity for those Buddhists – to them the Muslim invaders must have seemed like alien invaders from outer space, for the lack of compassion and mercy they showed to the defeated and surrendering Hindu and Buddhist fellow humans. Come to think of it, alien invaders from outer space, is a good analogy. If SF is any guide, aliens would behave in exactly the way as Muslims have behaved. The aliens would invade Earth with the specific objective of conquering it (fair enough), then to kill the male earthlings and take female earthlings as carriers for future aliens born on planet Earth.

      Buddhism was the dominant faith in Afghanistan – it was wiped out there and the remaining vestige of that era, the Bhummiyan Buddhas, were blown up by devout Muslims.

      And look at Afghanistan since it became Islam – forever at war with each other or others. Destitute, and their only means of sustenance, the drug trade, banditry and what is thrown in their beggars bowl by Western countries – that is Mohammed’s legacy.


      • joe b says:

        I’m reminded of a comment by someone under an article about rampaging members of the ‘religion of peace’ a number of months ago:

        “what muslims would do well to remember is that in Europe, they are living on a continent that in recent history all but exterminated the adherents of a particular religion in a systematic and industrial manner because they were considered ‘problematic'”.


  6. stuart says:

    the bbc have a knack of spinning a story to suit its own politacal agenda,what the biased bbc has not reported is the fact that the buddhist community have complained that they has been under attack from the muslim community for years,there has been documented evidence of murder.rape and sexual assualts on young buddhist women by muslim men,only rt ( russia today on freeview)television has reported these facts,the question must be asked,why would such a peacefull and pacifist community be driven to such brutality against the muslims in burma.those are the questions the bbc will not report.


    • Guest Who says:

      I’d need to get more cross-referenced confirmations before arriving at any definitive opinion, but given the BBC’s odd notion of what constitutes ‘attack’ and ‘defence’ in the ME suggests you have opened a productive line of inquiry, as much of the BBC’s slant on such things as the actual story background.
      If provocation was grudgingly conceded if confronted often enough with evidence, one may find the narrative clicks into ‘lack of proportionality’ quite quickly.
      The BBC has an unofficial chart somewhere that measures how many abuses are acceptable, and below which the required reaction is to swallow it.
      From the sound of things today, this has been adapted for use internally as well, over many decades to the present day.
      The BBC and the mechanisms by which bullies prosper can often appear very inter-connected.


    • Ian Hills says:

      Tsk, tsk…”murder.rape and sexual assualts on young buddhist women by muslim men” should read “alleged murder.rape and sexual assualts on young slags coming from difficult backgrounds by Asian men” 😉


  7. Alex says:

    Muslims get a taste of their own medicine and they and the Islamic extremist-supporting BBC get all emotional. Meeting fire with fire, as it were, is perhaps the best way to keep fundamentalist Islam in check.


  8. Derek says:

    From the BBC webpage: ” It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority.”

    Should read “generally peaceable only because they are a small minority”.

    Really the article begs the question ‘At what per cent of the population do they become overtly militant?’, because they are certainly using other means while overt Jihadist violence would meet wide-scale resistance (by the majority UK population, not the police or government, and not by the BBC who many, many times have raised the spectre of unfair retaliation as an excuse for not fully reporting facts).

    By “generally peaceable” the BBC means using every means short of militant violence (while outnumbered) to get other people to comply with how Muslims want them to live. So long as you are a slave and do exactly what Muslims want they won’t actually need to use violence, so as far as the BBC is concerned it is everybody else’s fault, not the Muslims.

    In fact it is a militant threat, once you recognize the military tactics of propaganda, subversion and ‘fifth column’ infiltration.

    (I wonder if the BBC have a vested interest in not discussing or acknowledging such tactics, or how such enemies should be treated. I rather think the BBC answer would be ‘provide large compulsory subsidies and acknowledge their superiority’.)


    • Andrew says:

      In other words, keep paying the Danegeld.


    • Bodo says:

      Much truth in what you say. The merest hint of a violent reaction has the authorities bending over to appease.
      Aspects of sharia law have already crept into UK law, albeit unofficially. Publishers didn’t publish the Muhammad cartoons a few years ago because of the implied threats of violence. Former soldier Andrew Ryan was jailed for 70 days in 2011 for burning a koran under a rather strange interpretation of the law. The police were obviously terrified of Muslims reacting violently to the perceived offence, so adopted an attitude of “don’t you get him, we’ll get him for you”. And thus, in the blink of an eye, sharia law enters the UK legal system.

      As for the “Muslims are in the minority” argument, it should be remembered that Muslims were never a majority in Spain, but nevertheless ruled the country for 700 years.


  9. Bodo says:

    There is no more blatant example of the extent of BBC bias than their comparison of the religions as posted above.

    Everywhere that is Islam has any power it has been spread by force. Moreover it is maintained by force with the death penalty for anyone who seeks to leave the religion – and I have never heard any muslim criticise the death penalty for apostasy. (*)

    For the BBC to overlook this fact, and yet criticise Christianity for (in their words) using war to evangelise is a case of double standards taken to breathtaking levels.

    (*) A good test of how benign and peaceful a religion is – what happens if you try to leave? For Islam the sentence is death. For many people this one simple aspect of the religion redefines it as more of a cult. Such cults usually attract attention from the authorities in the west and would have any children indoctrinated in its ways seized by social services.


  10. Jeff Waters says:

    ‘Buddhists are pacifists – so why are they attacking Muslims?’

    Not the words of Abu Hamza, but the BBC. Words fail me…



  11. petrossa says:

    Over the ages Buddhists have slaughtered their way through history. Against anyone, regardless of color,creed.
    Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth


    • Dante's Inferno says:

      Anything written by Michael Parenti has to be taken with a huge pinch of salt owing to his Marxist background. The article you link to is virtually identical to the sort of propaganda and agitprop that various Chinese state media pump out about Tibet.


      • Dante's Inferno says:

        Although, to be fair, Parenti does criticise China in the article it does however, in my opinion, gloss over the worst excesses of Mao’s regime in relation to Tibet.


  12. hadda says:

    Buddhist monks are also attacking Christians in Sri Lanka. But it seems it’s only when it’s against Muslims that it becomes newsworthy for al-Beeb.


  13. Alex says:

    I only could bear to read the first paragraph of this typically sycophantic, nauseating and biased pro-Islamic garbage from the BBC…


    Pathetic and downright misleading!


  14. Teddy Bear says:

    I remember during the Vietnam War that the world was struck at how Buddhist monks made a ceremony where they would sit cross legged, pour gasoline over themselves, and set themselves on fire as a protest.

    Shows a completely different mindset from Islamists.

    No sign of this story on the BBC

    In January, an American Christian was sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence on charges of “endangering national security” in Iran. A 32-year-old married father of two from Boise, Idaho, Pastor Saeed Abedini traveled to his country of origin last year to visit family and help build an orphanage, only to be arrested and sent to Tehran’s brutal Evin prison.

    According to Fox News, Abedini, a Muslim convert to Christianity—also known as an apostate deserving of death under Islamic Sharia law—is “facing physical and psychological torture at the hands of captors demanding he renounce his beliefs.” In a recent letter smuggled to family members, he recounted the “horrific pressures” and “death threats” he endures: “My eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky… They are only waiting for one thing… for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me.”

    Indeed, the authorities’ words are “Deny your faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam or else you will not be released from prison. We will make sure you are kept here even after your 8 year sentence is finished.”

    While Pastor Abedini’s medieval-style sufferings may come as a surprise to many Americans, they are regular features of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Recall the persecution of Pastor Youssef Nadarkhani, another Muslim who converted to Christianity. He too was imprisoned, placed on death row, and tortured to renounce Christ for nearly three years. Then, likely due to the international scandal his story caused for Iran, he was released—only to be rearrested again, on Christmas Day, adding insult to injury.

    The fact that Iran responded to International criticism on Nadarkhani, although as soon as focus left, they re-arrested him, shows there is an effect.

    The BBC prefers to avoid criticism of Islam, the real violent mindset, and focus on Buddhists, knowing they are safe from violent repercussions.


  15. Teddy Bear says:

    A Google search shows how many Buddhist statues have been destroyed in many Islamic dominated countries.

    It’s a fact that the BBC scholar doesn’t introduce into his article to show the underlying forces that might be operating here. Perfect for BBC purposes.


  16. Teddy Bear says:

    The BBC use this picture in their article

    Although the author refers to ‘hate speech’ against Muslims, the photo suggests something else going on to cause resentment. I’m sure many of us in this country feel similarly resentful to what some Muslims have been doing to others here, and left to continue, at some point there may be similar reactions from the public against them.


  17. Ian Hills says:

    Islam is the only religion in the world that brings out the beast in every ethnic group it touches, and I don’t blame anyone, in any country, for standing up to it. People know that they – or their wives and daughters – could be next.


  18. Jeff Waters says:

    Wikipedia’s entry on Bhuddism and violence – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_violence

    ‘In 1930s Rangoon, nationalist monks stabbed four europeans.’

    Bloody hell! If you see a Bhuddist monk cross the street and avoid all eye contact!


  19. Wong says:

    Thank you so much for voicing out what we couldn’t. Mainstream media nowadays are very biased and many don’t know about it. Buddhism was always a peaceful religion and we don’t bxcth about a lot of things like some sensitive religion and yet we are still getting bullied and accused of~ Thank you for voicing the truth. BBC is truly biased~ (p.s recently 4 Thai Buddhist were killed by Muslims but we don’t see BBC putting a big caption on it~ soon we will see title saying Buddhist kill Muslim in Thailand instead~)


  20. Gunn says:

    Buddhist doctrine is often misunderstood by westerners, who perhaps see the injunctions against violence in scripture being rules of behaviour, without understanding that the deeper idea is that entanglement in the world is what keeps the soul from realizing nirvana. In a sense, all entanglement is violent in nature (as by forming attachment, the soul is violating its true nature), hence non-violence is the centrepiece of the faith.

    I imagine that the buddhists (I’m not so knowledgeable about their faith as some of the other dharmic faiths) worked in a higher principle however, which is the idea that actions performed because they are necessary and done without attachment (i.e. without ego and a sense that one is doing ‘good’) do not create karmic repercussion.

    All these subtleties are of course lost on the BBC’s sockpuppet ‘expert’, who seems merely content to ask a witless rhetorical question in semi-bovine fashion, hoping to insinuate in the reader the idea of absolute moral equivalence of all religions.

    Painting muslims as undeserving victims in these situations is intended, I think, to promote the narrative that far from being rapacious (often literally!) immigrant groups that seek to bring their own 7th century ‘culture’ into their hosts culture (usually with violence once they have a sizeable enough presence, e.g. see how some areas of London are increasingly subject to vigilante attacks by muslim groups who want to impose sharia conditions on the local population in strict opposition to UK law) they are really just misunderstood victims who are oppressed by everyone else.

    I think one of the BBC’s biggest fears is that their audience will learn the ghastly truth that the best way to combat this muslim incursion is in fact to actually combat it. Recall for example the excessive wringing of hands from the BBC at the 10 year anniversary of the Gujarat riots that left 1000+ muslims dead. They tried to paint Gujarati politicians as complicit enablers of the pogrom, and put together many wrenching stories from the victims’ perspective. What they didn’t mention is that after the riots, Gujarat is probably one of the safest places in India because the local muslim populations know that if they step out of order, they will suffer asymmetrical consequences.

    Is it ideal? No. Does it work to protect the host culture and keep the peace? Yes. This is the dirty truth that the BBC is scared will leak out.


    • Guest Who says:

      But I thought Islam was a religion of peace?
      Sorry to be flip, but as already been pointed out, this was the response by the world’s most trusted to propagandise broadcaster when the narrative leaned in a direction that suited it.
      This whole thing is for sure in #2wrongs territory, and looking at much in there one is reliant on as much hard-to-assess counter-claim as a Syrian Army WMD outrage video Bowen’s translator’s dogwalker’s hairdresser ‘found’ on their doorstep.
      However, given the past history and context, it seems that the BBC sees any form of reaction or defence to intrusion, provocation or threat as excuse to weigh in with ‘balance’ and its trusty ‘proportionality’ moral equivalences, leaving the original perps either free of spotlight or elevated to special victim status.
      That is naked propaganda.
      Not what one should be compelled to pay £145.50 to fund.


  21. joe b says:

    “in self defence”

    Islam considers itself to be “attacked” when non-muslims do not allow the free, unobstructed spread of Islam and Sharia law. Muslims can then legitimately “defend” it.

    The attack of 9/11 was a defensive move.