Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis
"Life is dear to all. Comparing others with oneself, one should neither kill nor cause to kill." - Dhammapada
Lately, more Buddhists have been in the news – and the press is none too good.
A Burmese court has sentenced 25 Buddhists to up to 15 years in prison for murder and other crimes during a night of rioting, burning and killing in central Burma, after weeks in which it seemed only Muslims were being punished for sectarian violence aimed largely at them.
But the sentences handed down on Wednesday and Thursday did not erase a sense of unequal justice: a day earlier, a Muslim received a life sentence for murdering one of 43 people killed in March in the central Burmese town of Meikhtila.
A wave of violence in the past year in the largely Buddhist country has left more than 250 people dead and 140,000 others fleeing their homes, most of them Muslim. The attacks, and the government's inability to stop them, have marred the south-east Asian country's image abroad as it moves toward democracy and greater freedom after nearly five decades of military rule.
Many of the sentences were handed down on Wednesday, and the toughest stemmed from the deadliest incident of the Meikhtila riots: a brutal mob attack on an Islamic school, its students and teachers that killed 36 people.
Buddhist mobs torched Mingalar Zayone Islamic boarding school, Muslim firms and all but one of the city's 13 mosques after a row between a Muslim and a Buddhist at a gold shop and the burning to death of a Buddhist monk by four Muslim men.
Buddhism often promotes unproven nonsense concepts such as reincarnation and karma –again proving my repeated insistence that the idea of an afterlife - and as a transient factor the comic book idea that all deeds are written down in some invisible ledger to be paid off at some indeterminate point in the future – only pours gasoline on the fire.
The afterlife poisons all that it touches – regardless of which culture it hails from.
Till the next post, then.