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New Blasphemy Encouraged By Burmese Buddhist Extremism

This month in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), three men have been thrown into jail and threatened with fines and a two-year prison sentence. Their crime: Blasphemy against Buddhism.

The owner and two managers of V Gastro Bar in The city of Yangon have been accused of creating an advertisement featuring an image of the Buddha’s head, with headphones on, surrounded by a psychedelic display of color. It’s a blasphemous image, say the Buddhists of Burma, and must not be allowed.

Myanmar’s Buddhists are also known for organizing riots against religious minorities and burning down their schools.

The idea behind Myanmar’s anti-blasphemy law is that, if freedom of speech about religion is squashed, religious people will never have to get their feelings hurt by seeing or hearing anything that contradicts their beliefs. That’s why, in response to the censorship, I’m reposting the image, which will be seen by many more eyes than it would have if only Buddhist extremists had held their righteous outrage in check.

Buddhist blasphemy

2 thoughts on “New Blasphemy Encouraged By Burmese Buddhist Extremism”

  1. DrRGP says:

    Blasphemy is in the ear of the listener.

  2. Marīci says:

    This is a typical decay of religion, foretold by Kalki Purana and ancient books: not just the fact that someone uses Buddha’s face to advertise a restaurant, but more the fact that some other, who claim to be Buddhists, put such people to jail… Would Buddha put anyone to jail for “ridiculing” his face or misusing his popularity? Do many Buddhist monasteries of all types not do actually also a commercial activity, misusing Buddha’s popularity to draw huge donations from innocent devotees, from which then they buy personal luxuries like jeeps, iPods and eat out in trendy restaurants? It is the same principle. This politicized Buddhist fanatics should first put to jail themselves for blasphemy, as many of them do not keep the instructions of Buddha to live a modest, ascetic and non-violent life… Just a comparison: the more open Hindus do not mind (until now) when Shiva is used by Trance-music fans and all kinds of psychedelic arts (music, painting) as a symbol of Ganja. Shiva’s look had been million times “blasphemed” by drug-propagators, yet it did not harm Shiva’s dignity, apparently… If Shiva could be immune against blasphemy, why Buddha wouldn’t?

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