The Dalai Lama Respects Terrorists But Not Shugden Buddhists

On an evening in November 2015, Paris became the scene and target of one of the most brutal attacks against the city in French history. In a succession of deliberate assaults, terrorists from the group known as ISIS (Islamic States of Iraq and Syria) ripped the city apart and threw it into panic and chaos. By the time they finished, over 130 lives had been lost, and over 300 injured. In just one evening, senseless and barbaric suicide bombings and mass shootings in the streets shocked the world.

ISIS proudly claimed responsibility for this barbarity and showed itself to be most wicked when it revealed that the attacks were not in retaliation to any harm that the French had inflicted upon them nor were they part of an ongoing war between ISIS and the French people. ISIS set its destruction upon Paris because it wanted to terrorize the world and instill fear in the hearts of the people and Paris gets them this attention.

ISIS soldiers summarily executing their captives.

This callousness and blatant disregard for human lives has become synonymous with ISIS who regularly publishes disturbing videos showing its fighters punishing, torturing and killing scores of unarmed prisoners and civilians. This is after all the group that has not hesitated to post a video of its militia locking a captured Jordanian pilot in a cage, dousing him in flammable liquid and burning him alive. ISIS’s list of atrocities include selling captured women and young girls as sex slaves, massacring innocent people while they were praying, and throwing gay men off buildings as punishment for their sexual preference. At this time, it would be extremely difficult to find a more sadistic and cruel band of terrorists.

Pope Francis has condemned ISIS’s cowardly act and warned that “the road of violence and hate does not resolve the problems of humanity.” However, even as the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution declaring that all able states should join in the effort to stop this extremist horde of killers from inflicting further harm and terror, ISIS found a friendly voice in the 14th Dalai Lama who ironically has been touted for the last half a century as a man of peace.

The Dalai Lama insisted that the citizen states of the world, including those who have fallen prey to ISIS’s tyranny should listen, understand and have respect for ISIS.

To be sure, the Dalai Lama said in an interview reported on Monday by the Italian daily La Stampa, that the proper response to ISIS’s atrocities which have included beheadings, bombings and tortures is to try to respect them and try to understand them. In essence, the Dalai Lama’s statement endorses ISIS’s agenda of terror and justifies their extreme, cruel and coercive methods as legitimate tactics in negotiations. Not only is this completely insensitive to the thousands who have perished and suffered unnecessarily in the wake of ISIS’s tyranny, it is also an encouragement for ISIS and other terrorist networks to continue in their heinous, baneful and murderous ways.

An ISIS member slitting the throat of a man he captured. The Dalai Lama says acts like this deserve understanding and respect.

This is not the first time the Dalai Lama has stood with very dangerous people and criminal networks. In the past, he had also counted as his friend the shady leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, Shoko Asahara whose character and purpose the Dalai Lama had vouched for. The Dalai Lama endorsed the cult as a peaceful group looking to spread greater understanding and social wellbeing. Shoko Asahara’s group would later go on to kill thirteen innocent people and harm thousands in a Tokyo subway by releasing the nerve gas sarin.

What should be worrying to his friends, allies and supporters is how the Dalai Lama has consistently consented to terror being inflicted upon innocent people and oppressors and tyrants using heavy-handed tactics against others to get their way. He said of ISIS, that dialogue with the terror network is the only way and that “one has to listen, to understand and to have respect for the other person and that we have to do it with our heart [and] be compassionate…” If this speech sounds familiar, it is because the Dalai Lama has used and reused these lines for as long as the world has known him since he burst into the limelight. The lines sound very much like what a Buddhist saint might say, except the Dalai Lama doesn’t apply the same counsel he advocates.

The Dalai Lama himself is personally behind one of the most barefaced oppressions of human rights in the 21st century, a charge he denies but which was proven to be true as stories of his religious apartheid against a Buddhist sect began to emerge over twenty years ago. In 1996 the Dalai Lama unexpectedly announced that a Tibetan Buddhist deity the Gelugpas had been propitiating for almost four centuries was henceforth outlawed. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the exile government of the Dalai Lama went on record to demonize the deity and went as far as to criminalize its practice. No logical reason has ever been given for this radical move that is nothing short of a flagrant breach of Shugden Buddhists’ constitutional and human rights which the CTA should be protecting, not infringing since it professes to be a democracy. In a series of appalling moves, the Dalai Lama and his government suggested that all loyal Tibetans and Buddhists should set themselves upon those who practice Dorje Shugden as a mark of their loyalty to the Dalai Lama and hence the Tibetan cause.

To whip up negative sentiments against the Shugden believers, the Dalai Lama arbitrarily declared that Dorje Shugden is a malevolent spirit and its believers, demon worshippers. This is notwithstanding the fact the greatest scholars and spiritual masters of Tibetan Buddhism have historically recognized Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being.

The Dalai Lama preaches tolerance and yet he and his government-in-exile arbitrarily regard those whose religion they oppose as criminals.

There were no dialogues nor discussions for Dorje Shugden practitioners despite in-depth examinations and debates being the traditional method the Gelugpa school resorts to, to settle canonical disputes. To date, tens of thousands of Tibetan Shugden worshippers and up to four million Shugden believers around the world have been affected. Monks who refused to be coerced into damning Dorje Shugden were expelled and in the communities around the world, Shugden believers were shunned, marginalized, taunted and in a number of cases, physically harmed. The Dalai Lama’s illegal religious ban turned the streets in the Tibetan exile towns into scenes more reminiscent of South Africa’s apartheid and America during the segregation years.

For a spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace laureate to malign another person’s faith is delinquent to begin with. But to do so in private and yet presume to lecture others on how to resolve conflicts arising out of differences in culture, creed and religion is offensive, deceptive and makes a mockery of the problem the world now faces with the looming threat of ISIS. The Dalai Lama would have us believe that terrorists and murderers are worthy of respect and understanding, but not peaceful and benevolent Buddhists.

Shugden Buddhists have done nothing wrong or illegal other than to keep their faith for which they are regarded as criminals. In the meantime, those who are clearly criminal such as ISIS are upheld. This incongruity is revealing and says that the Dalai Lama is anything but a ‘simple Buddhist monk’, the tag he carefully cultivated and built a following on. If the Dalai Lama sincerely believes that,

One has to listen, to understand, to have respect for the other person, regardless

and that

there is no other way

and in addition, that

…those who are intolerant harm their own faith…

then his dialogue with Shugden devotees is long overdue, especially now that the Dalai Lama has acknowledged that the intolerance he fostered and spread worldwide for over twenty years has harmed the very religion he is supposed to represent and protect. For the Dalai Lama to refuse to do so puts him at risk of being regarded as disingenuous as he is increasingly being accused of.

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  1. Since the biggest criminal group deserves respect, then the kind Dorje Shugden people deserves the same treatment. We are talking about religious freedom and human rights here. No one should advocate discrimination, unfairness, segregation, including His Holiness, to cause anyone harm or suffering.

    This post highlighted His Holiness’ contradictions and injustice – preaching kindness, compassion, equality on one hand, unlawfully created a ban on the Dorje Shugden practice on the other. His Holiness earned himself a Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violence approach in the Tibetan cause, supposedly the welfare of the Tibetans-in-exile, their citizenship, and their future. Little that people know this very person also suppressed a Buddhist tradition without reasons and sound explanations. Suppression is violence.

    There are both sides of the coin, and we shouldn’t be fixated on just one.

  2. It’s funny that this article was produced because it shows that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is very biased. Dorje Shugden practitioners do not run around killing people and yet that they are treated like animals, sometimes even worst than that. They can’t even have the basic human right to practise their religion freely, is this the idea of compassion and religious freedom? It’s not to me.

    The leadership does not only encourage the discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners, what’s worst is that they forbids them to receive medical aids even if their life is at the edge and this is all because they propitiate Dorje Shugden. How is that a democratic country? And in fact what kind of leaders are they? They are acting like barbarians.

  3. Well that’s a first! Respect the terrorist! Well done bruv! I would have been inclined to think it was a mistranslation and maybe he really meant for us to wish compassion on the ISIS lot but that’s not it. First off, this was in English and second, he’s got a history of turning up with all sorts of dictators and whatnot in pictures. No, compassion and respect are very different things. There should be no respect for these lot, but all the compassion you can muster.

    And while you’re at it, how about directing a little of that compassion our way too, you know, to the Shugden practitioners, 4 mil of whom are actually YOUR people!

  4. It’s very disturbing to read about Dalai Lama insisting that the citizen states of the world, including those who have fallen prey to ISIS’s tyranny should listen, uanderstand and have respect for ISIS. Compassion is one thing, but doesn’t that endorses ISIS and justifies their horror killings and wrong doings? What happened to all the Dalai Lama’s talks about dialogues and solving problems through peaceful means and humane ways?

    Speaking of dialogue, I understood from the protests and news that the Dalai Lama does not wish to grant dialogue to Dorje Shugden practitioners. What I don’t understand is why as the spiritual leader of Tibet/Tibetans, The Dalai Lama does not wish to have dialogue to resolve an issue within his own religious domain? It really makes Buddhism look bad. I’ve also saw video of Dalai Lama saying his teachers are wrong. So if his teachers are wrong, then what he learnt is wrong. So that means Tibetan Buddhism and Dalai Lama’s teachings are not valid source of Buddhism, then the Dalai Lama should stop teaching Tibetan Buddhism to the world, and just teach the Tibetans.

    Perhaps Buddhism is better off with Theravada and Mahayana traditions, and less scandals and politics with Tibetan lamas? The world is already very confused with the 2 Panchen Lamas, the 2 Karmapas, and now we have the Dalai Lama said his lineage and teacher is wrong, and supporting ISIS? Mind-blowing (pun intended).

  5. Holy molly so killing people in broad day light, bombing people deserve understanding but Dorje Shugden practice and practitioners do not deserve understanding????! That is the first I heard!

    Something seriously needs to be checked up and investigated here. Why is the Dalai Lama so harsh with His own people and seem so lenient with others even terrorist. I would accept this if the Dalai Lama did not persecute His own people. I would then really believe He is Buddha of Compassion like what all the rest of His sheep like followers say so but when the Dalai Lama does something like this, He is in fact telling us He is not really Buddha of Compassion.

    Well maybe this is all a divine play some may say and this is His way to filter out all the good, the bad, the loyal one and the corrupt ones, perhaps so, but at this moment my believe in His way of treating His own people is really on the negative end which put all His teachings, all His fund raising and all His charitable works in question. Just what exactly Has the Dalai Lama accomplished in this life?

    He failed to protect His country, He failed to bring solidarity to His people, He failed to improve the welfare of exile Tibetans and now He faiedl in even teaching because He says His Gurus are all wrong and well Guru Devotion and keeping your commitments is not important and basically contradicts the whole Vajrayana teachings.

    The only thing He has succeeded in doing is becoming a media darling which is dwindling as perhaps making Tiebtan Buddhism well known and now Dorje Shugden too. I guess you could say He is “promoting” the Dharma one way or another.

  6. Respect for ruthless cold-blooded ISIS, but not pure and kind Shugden monks? This is fake compassion. It sounds good, feel good, until one knows how the Dalai Lama treated Shugden practitioners and what kind of suppression he created on them. Totally unBuddhist.

  7. Dear

    Thank you for this article. I found the Dalai Lama’s suggestion on ISIS quite unthinkable. Few words from him can help to move his supporters to condemn what ISIS did. I don’t quite understand why the Dalai Lama preached tolerance toward the ISIS who clearly have done many terrible things and yet he condemn the Shugden Buddhist without mercy.

    I hope the Dalai Lama and his administration send the right message to the world.


  8. Never in the history of mankind had we witnessed “the road of violence and hate resolved the problems of humanity”. Seeing that many fanatical organization still stood by violence methods, we should not condone the actions of these organizations and hopefully through mass awareness, economic and diplomatic restraint, these organizations would lack the resources to continue their madness. Unfortunately, we saw that the 14th Dalai Lama befriended and gave support to violent organization such as the ISIS, and previously Aum Shinrikyo cult that kill thirteen innocent people and harm thousands in a Tokyo subway by releasing the nerve gas sarin. Yet the 14th Dalai Lama was identified as the force behind oppressive instruction against a Buddhist sect since twenty years ago. It is appalling for a spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace laureate to malign another person’s faith. I cannot agree more that the 14th Dalai Lama would rather have us believe that terrorists and murderers are worthy of respect and understanding, but not peaceful and benevolent Buddhists.

  9. ISIS may feel that their plight is a grave one. They may think that they deserve better treatment from the rest of the world. We can try to understand their plight. But, the actions they take to put their point across is barbaric. There is no place in the world for such actions and the people that does nor the people who condone. There will be no end to violence once it has started. It takes on a life of its own.

    I cannot understand how a Nobel Peace Prize winner can ask for respect for these murderous bunch. What baffles me even more is that Buddhism teaches equality for all sentient beings. It teaches us to love and be kind to sentient beings, even animals. If we are supposed to be kind to animals, we should also be kind to human beings. And, by that I do mean the victims of ISIS. No one should be able to say that the end justifies the means here. No killing should ever be condoned.

    Now, I begin to see why the CTA has not spoken against those who have threatened violence against Shugden practitioners. I think they even encourage the violence hoping to instill fear and submission from the Shugdenpas. Buddhism is degenerating among the Tibetan and it is very disheartening.

  10. I am utterly dismayed and shocked if whatever Dalai Lama has said it publicly is true that slitting a throat of an innocent man deserve understanding and respect.
    This is not the man the world has known, a man with compassion, love and respected by all alike including Dorje Shudgen practitioners. By saying that he endorsed Aum Shinrikyo cultism acts of murdering innocents human beings is tantamount to the greatest sin in the Buddhist beliefs on killing.
    I really cannot understand and fathom any logic in my years as a adult even with right thinking would believe and think that Dalai lama would support such unforgivable crime of the century acts of these criminals.
    While supporting these gruesome acts of killing innocent human he at the same time denounced Dorje Shudgen as a demon not to be worshiped even though when he had at one time practiced it and many high lamas before him such as his tutor Trijang Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe and many renowned
    respected and highly attained Lamas, Rinpoches and masters.
    It is definitely beyond my human comprehension as much and as hard as I try to understand all these statements presumably made by him. And I certainly with fervent hope that all these are not true.

  11. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.


  12. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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