filed in the Current Events/Engaged Buddhism section.

Ken Spiker took exception to the Chris Hedges column linked to recently: 4-16-12 - First they came for the Muslims

Ken has some great Suzuki Roshi memories here on cuke. No time now to look for them. You do it - just put his name in the search box on the home page at the bottom or What's New page at the top.

Dear David,

I went to view the website today and was rather disturbed to see that right at the top of the 'What's New' page there's a highly partisan political rant by one Chris Hedges concerning a convicted home-grown terrorist. This is about as out of place as a clown suit at a funeral and I wondered why you would want to mix in leftist politics on a site dedicated to the legacy of Rev. Suzuki.

I don't know a awful lot about the Mehanna case of except that the government must have had significant evidence to convince a jury. He may very well be guilty. Contrary to the interpretation of the article that Mehanna was just an innocuous believer, I have to inform you that conspiring to kill Americans, promoting jihad and abetting violence against innocents can very well be a crime. Remember, Osama bin Laden did not personally, physically, commit any act of violence against U.S. citizens, and neither did Charles Manson actually kill those people in Los Angeles. Mehanna wasn't prosecuted for his beliefs, but his actions. Here is an article with the opposite point of view from the one you linked to:

The main doctrine of Islam since its inception embodies absolute hostility toward any other religion (or lack of religion) and the obligation to promote the conquest of the world by Islam through violence and deception (jihad). In fact, jihad is considered a duty to all young muslim men. Everywhere in the world "The Religion of Peace" is committing acts of insane brutality against innocents on a daily basis:

I got a link to the original court documents in the Mehanna case. This is probably the most important link of all as it gives in detail the evidence against him. Then you can judge for yourself if the prosecution met their burden.

Of course there are many moderate Muslims, perhaps they are the majority. They don't take jihad seriously just as many Catholics don't take the prohibition against birth control seriously. But obviously Mehanna isn't one of them. He is violently anti-American, promoted the interests of Al Qaeda and advocated violent jihad. This not a nice guy, and definitely not a liberal.

It would seem obvious that along with the Jews, Buddhists are also targets of jihad. Recall the destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues at Bamiyan not to mention the ongoing slaughter of Buddhists in Southern Thailand by Islamists. It seems strange that you would link to an article that virtually excuses a point of view that wishes death to Buddhists, as well as Jews and Christians. The jihadists concur with the Nazis on almost every point concerning the Jews, and in the 1940s the close relationship between Berlin and the Arabs was significant.

Defense attorney Downs goes on to say: “Justice is now justice for corporations,” he went on. “Anybody who interferes with the corporations, who interferes with their profits, who interferes with their rights, will become labeled ‘terrorists.’ They become people we need to get rid of. Judges, politicians and lawyers all feed at the same corporate trough. And that is why their decisions increasingly are corporate decisions.”

But Mehanna didn't interfere with any corporation, he was promoting the destruction of the United States and the supremacy of Islam. This is merely an attempt to link the promotion Islamic fascism with the class warfare meme of the Occupy movement. As we learned on 9/11, the Islamists aren't particularly interested in criticizing capitalism as such, but revel in the slaughter of civilians. That leftists should make common cause with them, no doubt because leftists hate America as much as do the jihadists, is a deal made with the devil. Like the Hitler-Stalin Pact, no good can come from it.

I tend to think that Suzuki and other Buddhists would care to distance themselves from polarized political factions and look at the human beings involved. They may see human conflict as delusion which must be seen through. I kind of expected to see that stance to be evident in your website, but instead I see a overheated, and in fact, highly biased editorial which accuses the courts of trying to railroad some innocent lad simply because of his religion. Yes, we can certainly have opinions on the issues of the day, but there's something, uh...unseemly, about it popping up in the middle of a Suzuki web site. I never thought that Buddhism was about being so liberal your brains fall out.

Otherwise, I love the site. (wink) Keep up the good work,

Ken Spiker