"A classification system used to categorise humans into distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation.”
Racism can be defined as:
“The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”
When a group of people are labeled according to a certain religious belief or affiliation and their access to public services, jobs, livelihoods and social freedoms are denied or restricted on the basis of this belief or affiliation this is racism.
What is a Ban?
The Dalai Lama today (25th Aug 14) continued his teachings in Hamburg and over the course of the day made two important points that relate to the issue of Dorje Shugden practice amongst the Tibetan exile community.
In the first he said, “The point I want to make here is that I haven’t banned the practice they are talking about. My duty is to make the situation clear, no more than that. Whether other people pay attention is up to them.”
The second point was in response to a question from the audience which accused him of going against the instructions of his teacher H.H. Trijang Rinpoche. The audience member continued by somewhat rudely interrupting the Dalai Lama's reply to tell him to stop lying, to which the Dalai Lama said, "I am Buddhist monk now 80 year, almost 80 year old, even political stuff we never tell lie."
If the Dalai Lama is telling the truth then he has never lied, and he hasn't banned the practice of Dorje Shugden. Previously I have shown that the Dalai Lama lied in a DBTV interview in Oslo on this subject (click here to read), now it seems the Dalai Lama continues to refuse to accept that there is a ban and also that he lied about it.
As explained, following the 1996 resolution of parliament prohibiting the practice of Dorje Shugden amongst government employees letters were sent to people telling them to quit their practice of Dorje Shugden or quit their jobs.
Tenzin Peljor admitted to me this had taken place stating, "To enable a fair and democratic government in exile government members had to stop Shugden practice or to leave."
It has also been shown that the Dalai Lama had to approve this resolution according to statements from various members of the Tibetan Government, including the ex-Prime Minister, Samdhong Rinpoche (click here).
So the question now is what exactly is a ban?
Surely if people have to resign from their jobs in order to continue their religious practice it demonstrates that there is a ban on the practice amongst government employees?
This is supported by a Wall Street Journal article examining proposed legislation to restrict public employees from wearing religious items by the Quebec Government (click here to read the article). In the article they state, "The measures, if passed, would ban public employees from wearing visible religious symbols".
The definition of ban is an "official or legal prohibition". If we compare the situation proposed by the Quebec Government to the situation passed by the Tibetan Government I find it impossible to conclude that there is no ban. The resolution of 1996 is very clearly an official prohibition.
Following the 1996 resolution all Tibetan public employees were, and still are, prohibited from practising Dorje Shugden. This is laid out in the text of the resolution on the Tibetan Government's own website (click here to see), it is also supported by individual's statements and in official documents such as the Deutschen Buddhistischen Ordensgemeinschaft press release that states, “In any society it is necessary for the protection of freedom of the majority to restrict religious extremism and to exclude their advocates from public institutions.” (click here for more details)
The problem is that the Dalai Lama refuses to acknowledge that there is a ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. He seems to believe that if people can carry on their practice at home by ignoring his advice, or resolution of parliament, then he hasn't banned it.
Unfortunately for the Dalai Lama that isn't true.
What is frustrating is that he continues to publicly lie about the existence of the ban despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The Dalai Lama then goes on to lie about lying, so you just end up going round in circles.
It's rather like debating with a child that's been caught stealing - it's as frustrating as it is ridiculous.
How much longer this charade of the Dalai Lama being a completely faultless, god incarnate will continue is anyone's guess. I suppose for as long as he is prepared to lie and has the funds to afford good media spin doctors we will continue to see the same stalemate.
The protesters will continue shouting and banging their drums, the Dalai Lama will continue living in his state of denial, meanwhile all the time the unfortunate Tibetan exile community will continue to suffer discrimination and persecution.
I'm reminded of the words of Mark Twain:
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."