Another cycle of violence between angry mobs representing the majority religion flares up in another nation. What could be truly “new” in this news? This week it was in Sri Lanka, but there was a difference. The mob were Buddhists and their victims were the Moslem minority at prayer in a mosque. It seems to be a spillover from the much more violent confrontations in Myanmar where hundreds have been killed at the hands of “Radical Buddhists” who destroyed the homes of over 400 Moslem families. Has the world gone completely mad?
The short answer is yes, the whole world is going mad. But the apparent rise of violent Buddhist radicals and fundamentalists has to be seen in a larger context of the rise of fundamentalism generally. There is a growing backlash against pluralism, tolerance, and globalism itself. Groups everywhere are being pitted against each other in a desperate bid to preserve the old ways and forge a sense of social cohesiveness. That includes the USofA – and indeed frames the recent legislative battles in Texas and North Carolina in a way that makes a twisted sense of the whole mess. And it doesn’t seem likely to end soon.