Wednesday, September 29, 2010

American Buddhists are silent about the mosque? Is that the biggest issue we face?

Danny Fisher asks why "Buddhists are sitting out the Islamaphobia debate."  This, to me, is a rather naive viewpoint, and completely and utterly misses the larger point: the brouhaha over building mosques in America is but a tiny piece of a much larger strategem by the right wing in this country in which it seeks to take power, to the detriment of all Americans.

It's but a tiny piece of a larger puzzle.  For example, it would do all well to speak out and oppose some of the nonsense that is going on in this year's ballot measures. Among them are measures which are clearly arising out of racist intent, a contempt for human existence, and a desire to cede ground on the environment. 

But, to be fair, it is somewhat unreasonable for all Buddhists to act like nice progressives on these issues; some of us aren't progressive.  I just bring up the points because the mosque issues are just one facet of a concerted effort by the right wing to divide us so they may continue to enrich themselves at our expense.  And that's a much bigger issue than the mosque- because it's the root issue of the mosque.  But, as many have routinely pointed out, "engaged" Buddhism can often wind up being one big ego trip.  As for myself, I am quite politically involved thank you very much on the left side of things.  And if you aren't trying to get the "big picture" then there's likely a whole host of issues you're missing.

Too, Fisher's characterization of "Buddhists" as passive observers in all this is quite incorrect.  Many of us have been doing that.    Furthermore, his characterization of the atheist bashing Dalai Lama  (I could  also mention "Dorje Shugden follower suppressing" ) as someone who is someone who "offer[s] ways of engaging that are rooted in practice" is itself ignorant of other forms of religious bigotry in the Buddhist camp that get a free pass from him - and other American Buddhists.

I share the concerns of Fisher regarding the rights of Muslims to build mosques anywhere they please.  But, Danny, please spare us the moralistic lectures, and the Dalai Lama isn't an example of Buddhism to American Buddhists in general.

2 comments:

Kyle said...

Well now, I'm going to need to address this oversight tomorrow in the most inappropriate way possible. :-)

And yea, total agreement about the right wing dividing. I wonder if the poor schleps that actually support the guns god gay agenda realize that those that profit off the GOP policies could give two rats asses about any of their social agenda?

Mumon said...

Kyle,
They totally don't and that's why we need to be ..uh...wise in dealing with them.

And yeah, I just want everyone to get along.  It's like that Leonard Cohen song:

<i>I'm neither left or right
I'm just stain' home tonight
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen
But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags
that time cannot decay,
I’m junk but I’m still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A</i>