anthropology, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, South Asia, Terrorism, War on Terror

Not only freedom: the dark ethnic side of the Tibetan Buddhist revolt

No stereotype seems harder to die than the idea that Buddhists are peaceful and non-violent by default, as if they possessed a kind of genetic resistance to an illness affecting the majority of humanity: hate. Since the revolt in Tibet, the majority of the mass media (with few exceptions) have based their reports of the Tibetan uprising through the lens of such a stereotype and their myopia of the reality of Tibet. The stories report the revolt principally as a struggle for independence from the oppressive power of China which started in October 1950. Surely, there is some truth in this. But the mass media, as unfortunately academics, and even anthropologists specialised in Tibetan Buddhism, have hidden what I call the ‘dark ethnic side’ of the revolt. The reasons are multiple and I will not discuss them here, as I will not discuss here the figure of the Dalai Lama, who surely emanates lots of ‘enlightening wisdom’, but also many, often totally unreported and answered, shadows. Continue reading

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