Dalai Lama Speaks on Dealing with Terrorism

BY: STAFF CORRESPONDENT


Apr 3, LONDON (HPI) The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told The Daily Telegraph that terrorists should be treated humanely. He also revealed the workings of his relationship with US President George W. Bush, said Westerners had become too self-absorbed and repeated his opposition to homosexuality in a wide-ranging interview.

The Dalai Lama said modern terrorism was born out of jealousy of Western lifestyles. "Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence," the 70-year-old monk said at the seat of his government-in-exile in the northern Indian hilltop town of Dharamsala.

"It prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world. This new terrorism has been brewing for many years. Much of it is caused by jealousy and frustration at the West because it looks so highly developed and successful on television. Leaders in the East use religion to counter that, to bind these cou ntries together."

Terrorists, he warned, must be treated humanely. "Otherwise, the problem will escalate. If there is one Bin Laden killed today, soon there will be 10 Bin Ladens. Awesome. Ten Bin Ladens killed, the hatred is spread; 100 bombed, and 1,000 lose members of their families."

Although he appeared not to approve of the war in Iraq, he was admiring of Bush. "He is very straightforward," said the monk. "On our first visit, I was faced with a large plate of biscuits. President Bush immediately offered me his favorites, and after that, we got on fine. On my next visit, he didn't mind when I was blunt about the war. "By my third visit, I was ushering him into the Oval Office. I was astonished by his grasp of Buddhism."

He told the broadsheet that Westerners had become self-absorbed, burdened with too much choice. "It is fascinating. In the West, you have bigger homes, yet smaller families; you have endless conveniences -- yet you never seem to have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don't bother to cross the road to meet your neighbors," he said. "I don't think people have become more selfish, but their lives have become easier and that has spoilt them. They have less resilience, they expect more, they constantly compare themselves to others and they have too much choice -- which brings no real freedom."



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