The July issue of the TIME magazine features a front page cover story under the headline ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror’.
First, we deplore the indiscriminate use of religion in such a senseless sensation; and naive simplicity that Time’s writer Hannah Beech portrays this long-history of conflicts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
The Time article titled “When Buddhists Go Bad” highlighting activist monk U Wirathu, it depicts the peaceful religion of Buddhism to be on par with Islamic extremists and describes it as an extremist religion.
Incidents relating to Buddhist monks in Thailand and Sri Lanka were included as cases of point in the article.
The article did connect this with the infiltration of Bengalis, which are separated from Buddhism in Myanmar, with its main aim on downgrading Buddhism.
Which is terror coverage of religion was to have been about Islam, surely Time’s writer would have face a death threat for her insult and subject to extremism.
But in this land, we Buddhists must show gentle and resonate reactions to deformed writing that looks down on Buddhism.
The ethics of the influential TIME magazine must now come under public scrutiny.
Not so long ago, Newsweek magazine ran financial calamity. We could not suspect that Time has ‘marketing’ intent in this senseless sensationalism of, arguably, the world’s most peaceful religion.
The author of this article, Hannah Beech, recently met and interviewed the top-level officials of the Myanmar government including the President.
However, in her article, she did not include the historical and the circumstances behind the present conflicts, and a balanced view from all sides.
It was simply branded a religious violence and only fingered were pointed at Buddhism with a note of sarcasm.
Furthermore, the article implies that the wars in the Kachin State have been caused by conflicts between Buddhists and Christians and the Bengali issues are conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims.
The article adds fuel to the fire and could worsen the biases in favour of the conspirators who want to manipulate the bloodbath for their line term political gains.
The Daily Eleven would like to urge all Buddhists not to forget the peacefulness of Buddhism and be articulate resonate in their responses.