Dalai Lama Defends Islam As Peaceful Religion

July 13th 2008

Bethlehem, PA, USA, 13 July 2008 (By Michael Rubinkam, AP) - The Dalai Lama said Sunday that "it's totally wrong, unfair" to call Islam a violent religion.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, appearing at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, offered a defense of Islam in response to a question about the rise of violent religious fundamentalism. He added that he has made a point of reaching out to Muslims since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Dalai Lama arrived at Lehigh on Thursday for a series of talks on a 600-year-old Buddhist text. He took a break Sunday to lecture on "Generating a Good Heart," and afterward took questions from Lehigh President Alice P. Gast that had been submitted in advance by the public.

Asked why so many Americans are depressed and anxious, he joked: "I'm the wrong person to ask. You should ask Americans." Then he answered that U.S. society is too competitive and that people always want "something more, something more, something more."

The Dalai Lama, who attracted a capacity crowd of about 5,000, did not mention next month's Beijing Olympics. The Chinese government has demanded that the Dalai Lama express support for the Olympics and repudiate efforts to disrupt them as a condition for continued talks.

China has governed Tibet since the 1950s. The Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid a failed uprising in 1959, has said he wants some form of autonomy that would allow Tibetans to freely practice their culture, language and religion.

The Dalai Lama, who turned 73 on July 6, said Sunday that he's looking forward to "complete retirement." He joked that he's now considered a "senior most respected adviser" to Tibet's government in exile.

He is scheduled to speak at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
 

 

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Upcoming Schedule

Teaching in Dharamsala, HP, India from June 1 to 3: His Holiness will give teachings on Domthonpa's A Tree of Faith - A Self-Exhortation from Book of Kadam at the request of Tibetan youth at the Main Tibetan Temple.

Teaching in Dharamsala, HP, India from June 7 to 9: His Holiness will continue his teachings from Chapter 4 of Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara at the request of Nalanda Shiksha at the Main Tibetan Temple. Contact Email: shantideva2016@gmail.com
 
Public Talk in Washington, DC, USA on June 13: His Holiness will give a public talk on A Peaceful Mind in a Modern World in the afternoon at the Bender Arena, American University organized by the Capital Area Tibetan Association. Contact Website: www.dalailama2016dc.com

Public Talk in Westminster, CA, USA on June 18: His Holiness will give a public talk on The Power of Compassion as Key to Accomplishing Greater Values to Self and Others in the morning at the new Dieu Ngu Temple.

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