A recent New York Times article, titled "Extremism Rises Among Myanmar's Buddhists," offers important lessons on common sense and nonsense. Written by Thomas Fuller, it begins by telling of how:
After a ritual prayer atoning for past sins, Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk with a rock-star following in Myanmar, sat before an overflowing crowd of thousands of devotees and launched into a rant against what he called "the enemy"- the country's Muslim minority. "You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog," Ashin Wirathu said, referring to Muslims. "I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers."
While the article is meant to highlight the supposed "intolerance" of Myanmar's Buddhists, for those who can read between the lines-or who are familiar with Islamic teachings, history, and current events-it is clear that Buddhists are responding to existential threats posed by the Muslims living among and around them.