How to distinguish a genuinely practising Buddhist monk from a Nazi with a Shaven Head in Saffron Robe

Nazi "Monk" Wirathu versus the good Buddhist monks of Mandalay 

Myanmar's notorious Nazi "monk" Wirathu espousing his extremely racist anti-Muslim view

Mandalay Peace Committee meeting, Moe Gaung Monastery, Mandalay, 

6 Jul 2014

From a Buddhist perspective, there are 3 types of actions: mental act or thought/idea/view, the act of articulating a thought/idea/view and a physical act of acting upon the thought/idea/view.

Therefore, speech itself is an act, giving away the intent of the speaker.

In the current climate wherein the world finds it hard to understand why Myanmar's (and Sri Lanka's) Buddhists - monks and lay public - alike are engaged in anti-Muslim violence it is important to know how to spot a Nazi monk and distinguish him from a good, genuine monk. For not all Saffron-robed men with shaven heads, however learned sounding, are 'noble sons of Lord Buddha'.

This 4-minutes video clip should serve as an educational vehicle for those who wish to understand the difference between a good, genuine monk and a Nazi man in saffron robe by watching radically different speech acts:

one full of ignorance, disdain and (barely concealed) hatred of a non-Buddhist faith-based community, namely Islam and its Muslim adherents and the other showing compassion, respect and understanding of non-Buddhists living in a predominantly Buddhist society.

The Saffron-robed man Wirathu, whom Time magazine dubbed “The Face of Buddhist Terror” (in Burma), explained his view about the world’s Muslims in general and Muslims of Burma in particular at the congregation held at Moe Gaung Monastery, Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar), on 6 July 2014.

Here is the transcript of various speech acts in English, if you don't have the command of Burmese.

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Wirathu’s speech act: In his own words from 00:00 till 02:45 minutes(Verbatim translation

“On the eve of India’s independence in October 1947, that country’s Muslims were staunchly opposed to the idea of non-Muslim government which would rule the Muslims there. So the Muslims there carried out Jihad chronically. They slaughtered Hindus in large numbers. The Muslims also launched arson attacks on Hindus. Then these Muslims attempted to befriend and ingratiate themselves with Mahatama Ganghi. Gandhi went on fast when the Hindus planned to retaliate the Muslims. Out of their reverence and fondness forGandhi the Hindus there chose to be tolerant towards India’s Muslims. As a consequence of this pattern of Muslim attacks and Hindu tolerance, certain provinces were cleansed of all Hindus.

Subsequently, those (Hindu) who came to hold the view that as long as Gandhi was alive India would never regain her independence and would forever remain in colonial bondage assassinated Gandhi. The assassin was a follower of Gandhi. A Hindu killing a Hindu.

I acknowledge that there is a genuine desire for (communal) peace. I also acknowledge that efforts are made to explore ways to establish peace.

When they (Muslims) feel threatened or find themselves in a crisis they would approach monks and beg for support and protection. As soon as the risks subside Muslims simply turned their back on the monks. So, do not attempt to use us, Burmese monks, the way India’s Muslims used Gandhi.

No conflict between Bama (or Myanmar “race”) and Christians has taken place. Nor has there been any conflict between Bama and Hindu. The conflict here is always Bama and Islam. Inasmuch as Hindus are worthy of our love and Christians are extremely respectable, Islam deserves only pity. Muslims deserve our pity because they are stupid, because they are ignorant and un-educated as the direct result of absence of human rights in their (communal) lives, because they are characteristically crude, crass and rough, because they lack capabilities to adjust and live in harmony with their environment, because they are superstitious, because they are narrow-minded, because they are one-tracked mind, because they have the problem of having huge egos. The world over these are the common findings/characteristics about Muslims. I really pity them. As a result of the two (Muslim) rapists this climate of fear …. “

The second monk who spoke beginning at 2:46 minutes: in his own words
“It is crucial that we get to the bottom of this conflict. Whether it is monks or lay-elements or government officials, whoever is behind instigating these conflicts aimed at destroying public tranquility, lives and properties it – it is imperative that we establish facts and truths, decisively and boldly. This is the single most important thing.”

Muslim leader who spoke after the second monk, beginning at 3:24 minutes:
“To give an example, alongside Buddhist abbots, we have travelled to (anti-Muslim conflict) spots at Meikhtila, Htan Goone, Lashio, etc. In Mandalay peace and harmony have prevailed as the result of loving kindness of venerable Buddhist monks, their relentless vigilance, and their hard monitoring work. Why is this conflict flaring up now? Well, precisely because of the (current NLD’s) push for amending Article 436 of the (military’s) Constitution we Muslims of Mandalay have been scapegoated used as pawns. Let me be really blunt. Now the push for constitutional change has come to a sudden stop.”

The last monk who spoke in this clip, beginning at 3:56 minutes:

“Although they are distinctly Islam ethnic group the essence of Buddhist teachings such as gentleness and loving kindness has seeped through the hearts (of Muslims here). The culture of Buddhism and its belief in Karma also permeate Muslim people’s lives. Muslims (in our country) genuinely believe that monks observe the societal guiding principles of Metta (universal, non-discriminatory loving), Karuna (universal kindness), Mudita (rejoicing in others’ happiness) and Uppeka (mindful indifference). That is why, Muslims here appeal to Buddhist monks for maintaining religious harmony and communal peace. The committee to maintain peace and harmony ought to study our cultures and ethnicities in-depth. We need to strive to be one big community. If Facebook and other media outlets spread rumors and false news we need to understand them for what they are: the attempts to divide all of us.”

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