The meeting was about 3 hours, and had representatives from most of the major religions in Australia, with indigenous and Hindus being notable exceptions. There was a warm and inclusive feeling at the meeting, and I felt welcomed and encouraged to participate. Chatham House rule applied. Many of the representatives were very professional, in the sense that they are actively employed or formally studying in this area. As such they brought a detailed and informed perspective that I was not able to do.
The focus on the meeting was "strong harms" that people have faced due to their religion. This includes things such as physical violence, terrorist acts, abuse, and the like.
The major religions that suffer this are Islam and Judaism. While it is well known that Islam suffers from bad image—the number of negative articles in Murdoch press is quite shocking—but I did not realize how difficult it is in modern Australia for the Jewish community. Apparently they have to have serious security at events on a regular basis. One person told of when they attended a Jewish event, and their shock when their car was canned for bombs.
Accurate data is hard to come by, and it seems that Australia, unlike US, Canada, and UK, fails to keep any records of religiously-motivated harm. Some data collection is being done by the religious communities themselves, but it is very patchy. Lacking accurate data it is virtually impossible to get government to do anything.
Another area that was identified was lack of training and resources among police. Cops often do not know how to differentiate between religious or ethic/racial incidents, and of course, this is not easy. But with a proliferation of people from different backgrounds, languages, religions, and so on in Oz, it becomes essential to understand what the motivation is for an incident.
Despite the lack of data, there was a strong agreement among participants that Australia was seeing a major rise in religiously-motivated harm. This obviously relates to the rise of the alt-right globally. We did not discuss the role of Australia's current administration in enabling or promoting such views.
One proposal that was broadly supported was setting up an interfaith consultation council at the federal level. APRO has, in fact, proposed this and discussed it a number of years ago, but it has never gained traction. Perhaps this time will be different.
From a Buddhist perspective, I said that we do not experience, to my knowledge, such "serious harms". We do however suffer from many structural forms of discrimination. I mentioned, as an example, our long-term and ongoing efforts to get a more appropriate visa for Buddhist monastics. I expressed the Buddhist community's solidarity with other religious groups, and invited them to contact us whenever they need support. I also mentioned that the Buddhist community feels a strong connection with their countries of origin, and that events in the home countries, such as the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka, are felt deeply and painfully here. The Buddhist community in Australia has been very strong and pro-active in working together on an interfaith basis in response to such problems.
I was honored to take part on behalf of the Buddhist community! Please let me know if there is any other questions. Also, please feel free to use the above and modify it if you wish to share or post, etc.
A roof of the prayer hall collapsed early this morning at the Vietnamese Buddhist Center in far Southwest Houston. The Houston Fire Department tells Eyewitness News that no one was inside at the time and no one was hurt.
An alarm went off about 1:45am this morning at the temple on Synott between Old Richmond and West Bellfort, alerting the monks who live on property the building to collapse. One Buddhist follower we spoke to says he received a phone call at home and just had to come see this for himself.
A roof of the prayer hall collapsed at the Vietnamese Buddhist Center in far southwest Houston KTRK Photo/ Linh Nguyen
"At first we didn't really believe it... We drove out here. Luckily nobody was in the building," said Khoa Ngo.
The prayer hall can hold hundreds of people, and parts of the ceiling collapsed to the ground. HFD says engineers will inspect the building later today to determine what should happen next.
Two men shot in the head with a nail gun after an attack at a Buddhist temple
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812103/Two-men-shot-head-nail-gun-attack-Buddhist-temple.html#ixzz3HaZ9wRnH
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Disappeared, The Official Documentary for TwoTooMany. Released on the 26th of October, it marks 4months since the 2 Woodville High School boys where taken. Quoted from one of the main powers behind this campaign, Wathnak Vy “4 months of SADNESS”.
After these 4 months, the 2 boys have not been returned. The Immigration Minister has still made no comment upon this issue. The Woodville High School Community and the Community abroad will continue to fight for these 2 boys and all Asylum Seeker rights. JLe Productions will continue to support them all the way.
Official Correspondence: BringBackTheWoodvilleKids@gmail.com
Twitter - @two_too_many
FaceBook Group - bringbackthewoodvillekids
--- Featuring ---
Special Appearance from
--- Crew ---
Director - Jordan Le
Assistant Director – Jake Capasso and McKenzie Whyte
Producer – Kenley Walter and Jordan Le
Co-Producer – Alex
The Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia–New Zealand has received the news that the Former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam passed away in Sydney on October 21st, 2014, aged 98 years.
We Vietnamese Buddhists began arriving in Australia as refugees from communism in the mid-1970s during Mr. Whitlam’s term as Prime Minister.
From our reading we know that the Late Former Prime Minister has become a legend, and that for his near century of life all Australians are grateful to him and admire, respect and honour him. He has through his determination and strength of spirit and to the best of his ability brought progress to Australia making her an equal among free, democratic and powerful nations of the world. Through audacious and welcome reforms to education, justice, health, etc… he made Australia and its people feel reassured and more confident in the future.
Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist nor a follower of any organized religion.
The 11th Avenue resident in Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood was simply feeling hopeful in 2009 when he went to an Ace hardware store, purchased a 2-foot-high stone Buddha and installed it on a median strip in a residential area at 11th Avenue and 19th Street.
He hoped that just maybe his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime: dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.
Ai cũng có quyền được sống an toàn, lành mạnh và hạnh phúc. Vào ngày 26 tháng 06 năm 2014, các nhân viên Sở Di Trú đợi trước nhà của 2 em tị nạn Việtnam đang theo học ở Trường Trung Học Woodville. Khi hai cậu bé đi học về từ trường thì bắt đi và đưa đến Trại tạm Giam Inverbrackie ở Adelaide Hills, trong lúc bản thân hai câu bé không biết chuyện gì đang xảy ra với mình. Hôm sau đó, hai cháu được đưa đến Darwin bằng đường hàng không, và hiện đang bị giam giữ tai Wickham Point.
On December1 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, an African-American woman refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. That simple act of defiance for the cause of social justice became one of the most important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movements in the USA. That woman was Rosa Parks. The United States Congress called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. December 1 is commemorated in the US states of California and Ohio as “Rosa Parks Day”
The prison is a scary place, our mental prisons that we've created are no less terrifying. Buddhist Congress and Angulimala Fellowship bring us Ajahn Brahm as he shares his insights and wisdom on this prison-break, peppered distinctively with Ajahn's trademark Brahm Humor.
Visiting Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says that "Heaven is here and now. Don't look into the distance. The kingdom of God is really available in the here and now." San Diego, Calif. (USA) -- His head is shaved, his small frame wrapped in the brown robe of his faith. It is late morning, and Thich Nhat Hanh is bathed in a sunlit room talking about heaven.