The Guardian’s Andrew Brown: ‘The most warlike religion in the world is Buddhism’

Andrew Brown, the editor of ‘Comment is Free’ Belief, asks the following question in an April 25th post: Why are religion and violence now so closely linked?

Whilst Brown devotes much of his column to a relatively interesting broader examination of secular and religious ideologies and the question of how, particularly, we should understand religious-based violence, he makes the following extraordinary claim in his introductory paragraph:

It’s a commonplace that wars and religions are closely associated. Since about 1945 there has been an increasing tendency for wars to be fought along religious, as well as ethnic, economic and cultural lines, though I don’t think many people realise that the most warlike religion in the modern world, measured by the proportion of countries at war where it has a significant following, is actually Buddhism.

That’s right – Buddhism!


Brown provides no source to back up his claim. And, whilst there are multiple ways to refute his characterization of Buddhism, we can begin by looking at the countries around the world currently involved in wars and noting that very few, in fact, have significant Buddhist populations.

However, you can also look at his crude – if not bizarre – methodology.

The implicit empirical basis of Brown’s argument – that the most violent religion can be determined by the proportion of countries at war where there is a signficant population of that faith’s adherents – is one which imputes correlation, if not outright causation, without even the most rudimentary analysis of the political, cultural and social factors at play in such conflicts.   

For instance, China has a very large Buddhist population, and also has experienced a Muslim (Uighur) insurgency.  Though the conflict has nothing to do with the nation’s Buddhists, it seems that – by Brown’s logic – this demonstrates an example of Buddhism’s warlike character.

Additionally, Nepal  – which, though largely Hindu – has a significant Buddhist population and has also been battling a bloody Maoist insurgency. Again, applying Brown’s logic, does the fact that there’s been years of war and the presence of a large number of Buddhists in the country indicate that there’s a correlation between the two?  

We could provide additional examples which undermine his facile thesis, but a careful reading of Brown’s entire post, however, may suggest that his comment concerning the ‘war-like character of Buddhism’ was a throwaway line meant to obscure his true narrative objective, which is evident in his concluding paragraph:

…this isn’t a score card. Human beings are so wonderfully imaginative and creative that we will always find ways to hate and dehumanise one another, irrespective of (a)theologies

Yes, and polemicists at the Guardian “are so wonderfully imaginative and creative” in finding ways to obfuscate the most obvious truth of our day, that not all religions generate the same number of adherents who use their faith tradition to justify the desire to commit violence to achieve political ends. 

38 replies »

  1. Can you beleive Der Guardian use word “terrorists”?But of course not to describe Hamas or other islamists.


    “….The documents, which have a remarkable contemporary resonance, reveal how British officials looked on as Jewish settlers took over more and more Arab land.

    In the weeks leading up to the partition of Palestine in 1948, when Britain gave up its UN mandate, Jewish terrorist groups were mounting increasing attacks on UK forces and Arab fighters, the Colonial Office papers show.”

    • The land that Israel is in was given to them by GOD! They were defending it as they have a right to do.

    • British proof that arabs were fleeign because of their leaders.
      “Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands. It is now obvious that the only hope of regaining their position lies in the regular armies of the Arab states.

    • Are you suggesting that there were no Jewish terrorist groups? If so your history is as faulty as your punctuation and spelling.

  2. Buddhism teaches you to be get rid of your ego and attachment. Basically you become a pussy. If you are a bunch of pussys you will get taken over by some cut throat people. Look at China and Burma the people who run those countries are cut throat, they are the ones who like war. The people are not the ones who want war. Buddhism is against war. In fact if you really follow Buddha’s teachings correctly you will not call yourself a Buddhist because it was not meant as a religion and you wouldn’t have the attachment to the ‘label’. ;-p

  3. The willingness of the Guardian to bend over backwards to defend Islamic extremism and the slaughter across the Islamic countries is mind-boggling. I can only assume that there is petro-dollar financing behind it.

  4. The Dali is in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Muslims have murdered Buddhist monks in the most heinous of manner., recently burning a Buddhist Monk alive.

    IT IS ISLAM, which masquerades as a “religion”, not Buddhism.,that is the MOST bellicose and belligerent system of tyranny and barbarism on Earth.

  5. It is Islam that is the MOST BELLICOSE system of Tyranny and barbarism on Earth. Islam is Anathema.

    • Mr Laity, i would agree with you if you mentioned this about salafists and not Islam in general. Care to back your hypothesis above with regards to sufi islam?

  6. Brown is lying.
    The most violent religion of all times is Jainism. Their famous respect shown for every living thing is only a thinly veiled fraud hiding their ultimate goal to rule the world. For achieving this they don’t hesitate to commit the most heinous crimes – ethnic cleansing, land grabbing, mass-murder etc.etc. – always using disproportionate force. They own the banks, the financial centers of the world, the film industry (apart from Pallywood), the newspapers and TV-stations (except the Guardian, the Independent, the BBC, the New York Times, France2 and the Iranian PressTV) their tentacles reach the most sensitive places of the US government, they control the senate and congress, their lobby group in Washington AIPAC AJPAC (American Jainist Public Affairs Committee) makes sure that no congressman or senator would get elected without their prior written authorization.
    They are behind the French Revolution, the October Revolution, Communism and they cooperated with the Third Reich too. They exploit their friendly connections with the citizens of the animal kingdom, they train rats, birds even sharks to attack Muslim non-Jainist targets, like Egyptian tourist resorts for example. Exploiting their control on the pharmaceutical industry they send poisoned and out of date (see Free Gaza Movement) pills to kill more Palestinian non-Jainist women and children. They are responsible for the tsunamis, all earthquakes and any other natural catastrophes not listed here. They encourage the use of fossil energy sources in order to warm up the Earth’s climate to temperatures where the brains of the gentiles non-Jainists will cease to function so they will became their subservient slaves and can be used as Shabbes-goys pujaris who can do things forbidden by their religion. Jainists who are living in accordance with their secular Zionist Jionist ideology and the Likud Jain Political Party line will be supplied with special protection devices made of the blood of gentile non-Jainist children.
    Their most atrocious act was provoking their hosts to kill six million of them so later they could exploit this to steal the land of others demanding their own independent national home. This act of provocation must be considered their most despicable project taking into account that it didn’t happen at all. naturally they suppress every free thinking persons denying this non-existent event or demanding further investigations doubting the number of victims. It must be mentionned that they weren’t able to learn their lessons of this non-existent Holocaust as some brave British LibDem MP discovered a couple of months ago. (Naturally he had to pay a very heavy price – his Party boss wagged his finger three times at him.)
    Brown should have learn his facts before writing about religions.

  7. Brown. like all the other lackeys at the Guardian is desperately trying to obscure the fact that Islamism is at war with the rest of the world. Presumably he is driven by the fear that if this fact became generally known and accepted, there would be severe consequences for European civil society.

    Unfortunately the Guardian has made a tragic miscalculation. Instead of recruiting moderate Muslims to the anti-terrorist cause, and marshalling their opposition to terror, the Guardian has promoted the terrorists’ arguments, as a way of pursuing its anti-Zionist agenda.

    The truth of the Islamist project will eventually be laid bare, and the consequences for Muslims in Europe will be disastrous.