DHARAMSHALA, September 8: “If you criticize Islam due to a few mischievous Muslims, then you have to criticise all world religions," the Dalai Lama said in a keynote address at an interfaith meet explaining that “all religions - including his own - have faithful who carry the seeds of destructive emotions within them.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the World Religions After 9/11 Conference in Montreal, September 7, 2011. (Photo/ John Mahoney, The Gazette)
The Tibetan spiritual leader was speaking Wednesday in Montreal at a conference examining how religions can foster peace in the post-9-11 world. The event, Second Global Congress on World’s Religions after September 11 took place just days before the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Violence in the name of moral principle is very sad," the Dalai Lama said, comparing it to a "medicine that is supposed to cure you but only makes you sicker."
Stressing on the need to promote dialogue as the only means to resolve conflict, the Dalai Lama said that the bloodshed of 20th century failed to resolve human problems.
"We will not achieve understanding through prayers to God or Buddha," the Dalai Lama said. "We have to make an effort to talk to each other."
Talking on the role of individuals in building a better world, the Dalai Lama said that individuals, not governments, have the power to bring more honesty into the world.
“The practice of compassion must start with one individual, then share with your own family members,” said the Dalai Lama, who was granted honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006.
The Nobel laureate shared his views on how to tackle global challenges like climate change and corruption.
"Corruption is some new kind of disease on the planet," the Dalai Lama said.
The Dalai Lama also chided Chinese communism for having "no ethics" and warned against mining in the Himalayas. "You can change political mistakes, but for ecology it is more difficult," he said.
The Tibetan exiled spiritual leader was quoted by AFP
as saying that China should allow information to flow more freely and to create an independent judiciary.
A quick transition in China from communism to democracy "would create many problems. For now, what China needs is free information and an independent judiciary," the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying.
The one-day conference also featured a panel discussion by prominent religious scholars and spiritual thinkers -- including Oxford University Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan and author Deepak Chopra along with experts representing Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.