Author Topic: Myanmar's monks draft law banning marriage between a Buddhist and a Muslim  (Read 10582 times)

Ensapa

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oh dear....this is not good at all..

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Myanmar's monks draft law banning marriage between a Buddhist and a Muslim
PM By South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel
Updated Fri Jul 5, 2013 11:59pm AEST


The discrimination is part of a wider story on ethnic tension that has seen violent clashes between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims.

The trouble is testing the ability of Myanmar's leaders to hold the country together, as it transitions to civilian rule.

Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, is about 90 per cent Buddhist, a religion characterised by inclusiveness and tolerance.

But lately, those central elements of Buddhist teachings have been overtaken by a desire to protect Buddhism from Islam.

Monk Ashin Wirathu has been blamed in part for fanning religious violence that flared first in western Myanmar's Rakhine state last year between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, and has since boiled over elsewhere.

He has been described as "Burma's Bin Laden" due to his extremist anti-Muslim teachings, which he delivers in lectures like this around the countryside.

"They have the belief that the world should have Islamic faith," he said.

"So it's not only Buddhism, they attack, invade all other religions in the world.

"Shouldn't we use violence and hardship on those who practice against us? Also shouldn't we retaliate against those who are bad to us?"

In Meiktila in central Myanmar, when fighting broke out in March, both Muslims and Buddhists lost their homes and businesses after parts of the city were torched.

But the loss of life and property was overwhelmingly Muslim.

Now parts of town are closed off and in ruins, a few flags marking Buddhist homes lost in the vast destruction around a mosque.

Tension remains among once harmonious communities


AUDIO: Sectarian tensions continue to simmer in Myanmar (PM)
Monk U Wi Thadda sheltered Muslims from the rampaging mob during those dark days a few months ago.

He is now working with Islamic leaders to try to restore trust between the two communities.

"I teach all people, whether from Buddhism or Islam, to interact with one another based on trust whenever they come together," he said.

But Islamic leader U San Win Shein says the relationship remains tense.

"We lived like family, relatives with Buddhist people, we lived like siblings but since this happened they have fear and worry in their minds," he said.

"They don't have trust anymore and I can see that they do not have same warm feelings as before."

Muslims displaced in the fighting are staying out of town in camps which the ABC was were unable to access.

About 5,000 people remain in camps, because their houses were burnt down in the violence.

Only Muslims have so far been prosecuted over the violence. One man has been jailed for killing a Buddhist monk with a sword and setting the body on fire.

Yet no one has yet been held to account for burning down a Muslim school, killing 28 children and several teachers.

Myanmar authorities say it is only a matter of time before Buddhist offenders are also held to account, but lawyer Thein Than Oo is concerned that there is little will to do so.

"There is no-one taking action over the murder of the children and many other people," he said.

"Let's say they're not even actively unofficially investigating the situation."

The fighting has now flared in four states and in all but one it has been contained to a single town.

In some cases local residents claim that strangers have come from outside, hell bent on causing trouble

dondrup

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"They have the belief that the world should have Islamic faith," he said.

If Buddhists are strong in their faith and refuge in The Three Jewels, they should have no fear of the challenges imposed upon them by the other faiths or religions.  Furthermore everyone including Buddhist is free to choose the religion of his choice!

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"Shouldn't we use violence and hardship on those who practice against us? Also shouldn't we retaliate against those who are bad to us?"

Buddhism does not teach us to reciprocate violence and hardship on others who had done the same to us!  The Myanmar Buddhists should not retaliate with violence, hatred and discrimination against the Muslims. It is utterly unbecoming to hear this statement from a monk! There should be peaceful reconciliation of any misunderstanding between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar.

Buddhism does not prohibit marriage or marriage between persons of different faiths.  It is inappropriate of the Myanmar's monks to draft law banning marriage between a Buddhist and a Muslim!

What Monk Ashin Wirathu has been doing through his teachings to fan violence against the Muslims in Myanmar is a sign of degeneration in Myanmar Buddhism!

It is important that Buddhist Leaders in Myanmar do something urgently to ensure the ordained sangha do not corrupt the Buddhist practices passed down by Buddha Shakyamuni two thousand five hundred years ago! 

Ensapa

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"They have the belief that the world should have Islamic faith," he said.

If Buddhists are strong in their faith and refuge in The Three Jewels, they should have no fear of the challenges imposed upon them by the other faiths or religions.  Furthermore everyone including Buddhist is free to choose the religion of his choice!

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"Shouldn't we use violence and hardship on those who practice against us? Also shouldn't we retaliate against those who are bad to us?"

Buddhism does not teach us to reciprocate violence and hardship on others who had done the same to us!  The Myanmar Buddhists should not retaliate with violence, hatred and discrimination against the Muslims. It is utterly unbecoming to hear this statement from a monk! There should be peaceful reconciliation of any misunderstanding between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar.

Buddhism does not prohibit marriage or marriage between persons of different faiths.  It is inappropriate of the Myanmar's monks to draft law banning marriage between a Buddhist and a Muslim!

What Monk Ashin Wirathu has been doing through his teachings to fan violence against the Muslims in Myanmar is a sign of degeneration in Myanmar Buddhism!

It is important that Buddhist Leaders in Myanmar do something urgently to ensure the ordained sangha do not corrupt the Buddhist practices passed down by Buddha Shakyamuni two thousand five hundred years ago!

With his actions, I think it is very clear that he is racist and not a Buddhist. A real Buddhist monk will never be threatened by marriage to another religion and would even bless their followers to do so if they have met their soulmate but of another religion. Buddhists are not insecure as what you have mentioned. This monk does not represent Buddhism at all although he is in robes but he does not embody the Dharma. Is this a sign of the degenerate times where monks no longer embody the Dharma?

Rinchen

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With his actions, I think it is very clear that he is racist and not a Buddhist. A real Buddhist monk will never be threatened by marriage to another religion and would even bless their followers to do so if they have met their soulmate but of another religion. Buddhists are not insecure as what you have mentioned. This monk does not represent Buddhism at all although he is in robes but he does not embody the Dharma. Is this a sign of the degenerate times where monks no longer embody the Dharma?

I do even think that he understands what Buddhism is about as well. It seems as though he has twisted all Buddhist teaching and views to fit his twisted thoughts, making his thought more convincing to him about the wrong values and ideas that he has. Thus, when people ask, he would say that it is being taught in Dharma. No one should ever force anyone to be like what. Instead if the couple really loves each and other, the Buddhist monk would encourage them to practice a mutual respect for both their religion. Not creating trouble between the religions.

So I guess if the Burmese do not follow what he says, the next resort would be violence, killing those who disobey?

fruven

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"Shouldn't we use violence and hardship on those who practice against us? Also shouldn't we retaliate against those who are bad to us?"

It can be turn around and said shouldn't we use non-violence to show others that it is the best way to resolve violence?

Anyway it is not even following the scripture when one intents on using violence and domination on others. We are not even taking about motivation yet. The ten basic refuge have been broken, killing and harming others, hatred and malice towards, lying about the scripture. Even religious freedom which is basic human rights in modern society is not allowed.

bambi

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This is so NOT right! How can one think that their religion is superior and their teachings are better than others? No religion teach people to be evil but it is the person who practice it is wrong! And this is clearly some racist issue going on and it has been going on for so long. The government should appoint spoke persons from the 2 religious groups, sort something out and not let it continue to be like this.

ilikeshugden

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I find this law being drafted as an insult to both Buddhists and Muslims alike. Since we are Buddhists, we should be lovers of peace and love, we should not have to be worried about other faiths or religious beliefs affecting our personal practice.

Love cannot be torn apart by religion as that would make the religion a false one as it is tearing apart love. So, I fully disagree with this law as it would make Buddhism be a false religion.

Ensapa

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I do even think that he understands what Buddhism is about as well. It seems as though he has twisted all Buddhist teaching and views to fit his twisted thoughts, making his thought more convincing to him about the wrong values and ideas that he has. Thus, when people ask, he would say that it is being taught in Dharma. No one should ever force anyone to be like what. Instead if the couple really loves each and other, the Buddhist monk would encourage them to practice a mutual respect for both their religion. Not creating trouble between the religions.

So I guess if the Burmese do not follow what he says, the next resort would be violence, killing those who disobey?

Well he's just one of the many people who use the name of Buddhism to his own ends and reasons and it is unfortunate that his own ends will result in a lot more problems for Buddhists all around the world as it will anger muslims and create chaos in the world. And he does not care because people were never in his interest but only his own ideas are no matter how damaging they are for others and the rest of the world. These people should really be imprisoned and defrocked to prevent more damage.

vajrastorm

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Monks, like Asin Wirathu, are deliberately drawing a sharper divide between Buddhists and Muslims.Currently, the conflict in Myanmar is between Buddhists and Muslims. Not so long ago, it was between the militant government and the country's freedom fighters, including Aung San Su Kyi.  So conflict in Myanmar has taken on a new face. A while ago, the monks were involved with the laymen in a combined fight for freedom from the militant regime. In that long-term conflict, Aung San Su Kyi won the hearts of many everywhere else in the world, by her peaceful resistance of the strong-arm tactic of the militant government.

Now, I don't think world sympathy is any longer there for the Myanmar Buddhists. Instead of peaceful negotiations, the Buddhist monks have violated their vows ,as both Buddhists and monks - ten and 253- by resorting to violence, breaking the 2600 Buddhist code of peace, harmony and tolerance.

Conflict,by any name , is against all religious principles.

Yet, it is to be noted that in this sea of conflict, there are pockets of peace.Monk U Wi Thadda has been sheltering Muslims in the height of the conflict.He is now working with Islamic leaders to restore peace.However, monks, like Asin Wirathu, ought to be isolated somewhere and allowed limited access to others and only given all he needs to do his monk's duties.

All in all, this is a political issue and monks should never be involved in politics. It's like the Shugden conflict all over again, where there should have been a separation between politics and religion in the first place.


brian

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I hope this news is not true. As far as i am concerned, Buddhists do not discriminate others (let alone beings). To have a law banning interfaith marriage is so not right. Why would monks even want to interfere in politics and secular matters? I thought it is not the responsibility of monks to dictate who should marry who and who should not marry who. Furthermore, this will just enrage the people even further and the conflict doesn't seem to head to the improvement level. I hope this conflict will end by finding a solution soon.

pgdharma

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In terms of human rights, this type of restriction would be an abuse and the proposed law would violate basic human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 16 states that “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.

There are no religious laws in Buddhism compelling a person to be married. Buddhism allows each individual the freedom to decide for himself all the issues pertaining to marriage.  If two people with differing religious views can be happily married, then it’s their choice; no one has the right to dictate or propose law to ban marriage between Buddhist and Muslim.

DS Star

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On secular level, this seems very bad and discriminating to Muslims.

The fact is Muslims, and also Christians, cannot marry anyone from different faith. The other person need to convert into their faith before they can get married. So this new law drafted by Myanmar monks banning marriage between a Buddhist and a Muslim will not make much difference from the current situation.

This is to say, only a non-practicing Muslim will marry a person from another faith and this is a non issue as these moderate and non-practicing Muslims will not be a threat to the survival of Buddhism in Myanmar. This law is unnecessary and will only cause bad feeling and unfriendly sentiments. That is all it will be actually.

Positive Change

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How such an archaic law be proposed is beyond me... but then again, degeneration is really about moving backwards. To impose anything upon someone is not exactly Buddhist is it?

However, being devil's advocate, I can see why this is so, given the tense and often fragile social situation in Myanmar. Such laws are often thought to be the best way as it "resolves" the conflict... but in actual fact it further fans the fire as it will cause the very rip in the fiber of society... creating division between an already tumultuous country. And this would not only cause this rift now, but in the future among the younger generation whereby they would lose the reason why it is so and tend to look upon the other as "untouchables". Do we really want this for our children? Such useless segregation was alarmingly glaring in our history, why rehash something that did not work in the first place?

Q

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Unfortunately, despite knowing I should not express my dislike on a Sangha, however after reading what Ashin Wirathu has to say... no monk would utter such words, or cause disharmony between religions, disrespect others and even committing hate crimes towards others.... causing the death of children, innocent people.

Everything he has done have gone against what a monk should do, and if it was the Tibetan Buddhist sect, he probably get a very good stern eye opener from his Guru before all the problem even started. Its sad to see such extremity seen in Buddhism when the path of enlightenment is to follow the middle way. 

Jessie Fong

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Why would one even begin to restrict the marriage choice of individuals? The marriage of 2 parties be it of the same faith or different can only be determined by the parties involved, no other.

For the Sangha to come out and restrict the marriage of Buddhists with non-Buddhists orMuslims for the matter, is undaerd of and unnecessary.

The sanctity of marriage is by and of the 2 parties and no religious parties should intervene.