Friday, 23 September 2016

Why there is hope for Islam

“A religion founded by a criminal is a criminal religion”.
At first glance Islam seems to confirm this old adage (actually I just made it up). Also at second, third  and fourth glances, by the way.
But nonetheless I am convinced that one day a purified Islam will arise, purged of its brutality, bitchiness and meanness,
The proof: Buddhism is founded on the principle of universal compassion for all living creatures. Yet many of the Mongol hordes that invaded West Asia and Eastern Europe in the 12th century or so were at least formally Buddhist, even though they took delight in torturing and mutilating women and Christian priests.
And nowadays we see a further sign of Buddhist callousness: the indifferent attitude of the Buddhist clergy toward the plight of the Burmese Mohammedans called the  Rohingya.
In a documentary I saw yesterday on Al Jazeera English, a Burmese Buddhist monk gave the same bland, evasive replies regarding the fate of the Rohingya as I became accustomed to hearing from German Fascists when asked after the fate of the Jews.  I once lived in Germany.
And I think that if Buddhism in Burma has been able to distance itself so much from its compassionate roots, then a humane, sensible Islam must also be possible, indeed it might even exist already in some places.