Perhaps I was wrong to assume that Buddhism was one of the very few religions exempt of criticism because of its peaceful nature?
On the other hand, it is true that, being in Vietnam, where the only permitted religions are state-sponsored, it could well be that the belligerent monks were, in fact, state sponsored to quell what was effectively a protest against the government.
Still, I have some sympathy for Buddhism. Although it’s a religion which enshrines everything that is not rational, at least it can argue its points better than any Muslim, Christian or Jew and, for one, it’s 100% peaceful (I don’t know what to make of the news article). There is one case I can recall of a Buddhist who committed suicide for political reasons, and that was back in the Vietnam of Nguyen Van Thieu when a monk burnt himself to make a point against the police attacks on Buddhist temples (some of which were justified in that these temples sheltered Vietcong). Yet Buddhism does not canvass or recruit. In fact, one of the distinct positive aspects of Buddhism is that it doesn’t really concern itself all that much with the material world, which is something other religious authorities could do well in taking a leaf out of.