Danny Fisher, along with Buddhist leaders in the West:
As disciples of the Buddha who live in the West, we would like to take the holy month of Ramadan as an opportunity to express our growing concern about Islamophobia, both within our governments and within the Buddhist community worldwide…
In this time of conflict, we believe that the life and teachings of the Buddha can be a shining example for the world. He taught us to practice mutual respect among all people without prejudice, to work for the mutual benefit of all beings, and to try to solve our problems without resorting to violence. In those rare instances where violence is necessary, he taught us to practice restraint and to protect innocent lives. It is in this spirit that we are writing.
In our own countries, we ask law enforcement agencies to stop targeting Muslim communities with indiscriminate surveillance and profiling. And we call on Americans to see their Muslims neighbors as fellow citizens, bound together with them through the shared values of democracy, equality, and freedom.
In the wider Buddhist community, we ask our fellow Buddhists to refrain from using the
Dharma to support nationalism, ethnic conflict, and Islamophobia. We believe that these values are antithetical to the Buddha’s teachings on loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
Excerpted from “An Open Letter from the Buddhist Community on Islamophobia,” signed by over 100 American Buddhist leaders, including Sharon Salzberg, in 2012.