Understanding Buddhist-Muslim relations in Burma (Myanmar)

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This post is part of the Interfaith Ramadan: Shared Vision of Inclusion & Co-Existence series, cross-posted there at Interfaith Ramadan here. As our series host Sara Ager writes: Ramadan is a time when Muslim communities traditionally come together – to fast, to pray, to reflect, and to encourage one another. In that spirit, the Interfaith Ramadan blog series aims to extend that sense of community to people of all faiths and none. The series provides an inclusive platform where people from a … [Read more...]

“Why am I here?” – a post-event interview with veteran journalist and university teacher, Eileen Flynn

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Wrapping up what has been an unexpectedly interview-filled month here at American Buddhist Perspectives, I am pleased to present Eileen Flynn, who co-moderated last week’s interfaith panel on the topic of “why am I here?” Video from the event should be up at Deily.org on March 1st.  My hope is that between this interview and the earlier one with Rev. Dr. David Zuniga, more people will go see the video and feel encouraged to start conversations like this in their own communities.  So, getting … [Read more...]

“Some wish for peace, I make it happen” – a guest post by Bhikkhu Subhuti on Bringing Buddhists and Muslims together in Burma/Myanmar

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I just got back from inviting 2 Muslims to serve at the head of the meal line for Tomorrow's lunch at Pa-Auk. Everyone thought I was crazy and that the Muslims would kill me or at least shout at me as soon as I entered the compound. Instead they sat us down and offered us apples, and fruit juice with a happy and warm welcoming smiles.  I explained my story to him through a translator, my trusty senior friend Venerable Pannygavesaka, who is game for almost any crazy wholesome idea I have. You … [Read more...]

The Future or Death of Religion: an Interfaith Discussion

An Interfaith Discussion, The Future or Death of Religion

February 25, 1pm PST.Mark your calendars.I will be speaking with three amazing representatives of different religions, hosted by Mark W. Gura, on the topic of the future of religion. Here is the official blurb:An Interfaith Discussion About The Future Or Death Of Religion Hosted By Mark W. Gura With the turn of the new year and recent depictions of religion in the media, many are asking where religion is heading in 2014. The Rise of the Nones, the recent Pew Study on Religious … [Read more...]

Announcing the Death of the International 969 Movement

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As of now:The 969movement website is down. The 969movement twitter account hasn't been updated since Oct 29. The "inspirational" Islamophobic video, apparently from an Australian 969movement supporter (linked here) is down, as are others by the same individual.Although it may simply be dormant at the moment, it seems that the international 969 Movement (as opposed to the Burmese 969 Movement which inspired it) is no more.In a post written in August, I discussed my interactions wi … [Read more...]

The Onion satirizes Buddhism: “Extremist Cell Vows to Unleash Tranquility On West”

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You can read the full story for yourself at The Onion.But after settling in for what I thought would be a light-hearted parody on Buddhism's ever-so-peaceful image in the West, I began to feel a bit uneasy. The article is clever enough (although the mish-mash of Buddhist traditions leaves much to be desired) but the parody instead is on the Western image of Islamic terrorism (principally that of al-Qaeda).It may just be that I recently finished a grueling up-and-down week of teaching … [Read more...]

We were fighting in Egypt… Leonard Cohen and hope for the future

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In 1985, Leonard Cohen sang his newly-written song, "The Night Comes On," for an audience in Warsaw, Poland, then still behind the Iron Curtain slowly crumbling amidst the last death throes of soviet socialism. It came on my radio today and the lyrics, highlighted below, caught my ear. Given recent events in Egypt (Death toll in Egypt crackdown hits 525) it felt timely that this song would play. I remember watching the first days of the 'Arab Spring' from India and then various hotel lobbies in B … [Read more...]

Ethnicity, Ideologies, and the unraveling of modern Burma

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This Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of the 8/8/88 uprising in Burma, which will hopefully spur some much needed discussion about the situation in the country (officially renamed Myanmar by the military junta in 1989, but still called Burma by those who deny the legitimacy of that government).Three articles have already popped up in the last few days that deserve mention, if only for the varying perspectives in them - all dealing specifically with recent Buddhist-Muslim violence. The … [Read more...]


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