“Buddhism – The Best Religion In The World”: Is this what The Island has sunk to?

Have you seen a recent article on the Island titled ‘Buddhism – “The Best Religion in the World” award’ ? If you haven’t, you should. This wonderful article proceeds thus:

The Geneva-based International Coalition for the Advancement of Religious and Spirituality (ICARUS) has bestowed “The Best Religion in the World” award this year on the Buddhist Community. This special award was voted on by an international round table of more than 200 religious leaders from every part of the spiritual spectrum. It was fascinating to note that many religious leaders voted for Buddhism rather than their own religion although Buddhists actually make up a tiny minority of ICARUS membership. Here are the comments by four voting members:

Jonna Hult, Director of Research for ICARUS said “It wasn’t a surprise to me that Buddhism won Best Religion in the World, because we could find literally not one single instance of a war fought in the name of Buddhism, in contrast to every other religion that seems to keep a gun in the closet just in case God makes a mistake. We were hard pressed to even find a Buddhist that had ever been in an army. These people practice what they preach to an extent we simply could not document with any other spiritual tradition.”

A Catholic Priest, Father Ted O’Shaughnessy said from Belfast, “As much as I love the Catholic Church, it has always bothered me to no end that we preach love in our scripture yet then claim to know God’s will when it comes to killing other humans. For that reason, I did have to cast my vote for the Buddhists.”

A Muslim Cleric Tal Bin Wassad agreed from Pakistan via his translator. “While I am a devout Muslim, I can see how much anger and bloodshed is channeled into religious expression rather than dealt with on a personal level. The Buddhists have that figured out.” Bin Wassad, the ICARUS voting member for Pakistan ‘s Muslim community continued, “In fact, some of my best friends are Buddhist.” And Rabbi Shmuel Wasserstein said from Jerusalem, “Of course, I love Judaism, and I think it’s the greatest religion in the world. But to be honest, I’ve been practicing Vipassana meditation every day before minyan (daily Jewish prayer) since 1993. So I get it.”

However, there was one snag – ICARUS couldn’t find anyone to give the award to. All the Buddhists they called kept saying they didn’t want the award. When asked why the Burmese Buddhist community refused the award, Buddhist monk Bhante Ghurata Hanta said from Burma, “We are grateful for the acknowledgement, but we give this award to all humanity, for Buddha nature lies within each of us.” Groehlichen went on to say “We’re going to keep calling around until we find a Buddhist who will accept it. We’ll let you know when we do.”

It’s dated September 13,2014, and is available on the island.lk, home of one of Sri Lanka’s most famous newspapers.

It’s also completely false.


This story, reported in a solemn, firsthand perspective (as if whoever was writing it was actually in Geneva, taking firsthand accounts from a meditating rabbi) is actually an old hoax that surfaced way back in July 2009 (see http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/onecity/2009/07/freedom-from-religion-buddhism-wins-best-religion-in-the-world-award.html).

However, even the shortest read through the text would lead anyone to smell a rat.  At the time, it sparked massive debates across blogposts. ICARUS – this mythical Geneva-based International Coalition for the Advancement of Religious and Spirituality – does not exist. No serious body be so stupid as to bestow an award for the best religion in the world, unless they’re that infamous troll site the Onion. Nor, for that matter, would you find a rabbi confessing to practice Vipassana before his prayers. It’s not brain surgery or rocket science. The average Sri Lankan journalist (of which there seem to be many, like Sri Lankan photographers and Sri Lankan ants) should easily be capable of figuring this out.

Unfortunately the Island (est 1981) either hires BBS militia or coma patients to write and edit their news for them, because not only are they running some nonsense dug up from a Google search, they’ve also clearly run it without performing that most basic of journalistic duties – verification.  Yes, they’re so bad that they need to be reminded of how to write news by people on Facebook and WordPress. It’s that bad. I’d take a wild guess and say the original wordslingers who ran that paper must now be flipping like salmon in their graves. I’d also say their standards are going to the dogs, except that would be an insult to perfectly respectable dogs.

Let’s give the Island a clap, folks – because clearly nobody else is going to.

22 thoughts on ““Buddhism – The Best Religion In The World”: Is this what The Island has sunk to?

  1. Ha ha excellent piece.

    I have some strong sympathies for Buddhism, there some ascpects the lack of compulsion the tolerance that are attractive. Needless to say the thing that is the state religion and widely practiced has little to do with Buddhism.

  2. Don’t worry of buddhism & be worry of this,
    Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he’s not omnipotent!
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he’s malevolent!
    Is he both able & willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?

  3. Don’t worry of buddhism & be worry of this-
    Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he’s not omnipotent!
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he’s malevolent!
    Is he both able & willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?

  4. Sri Lanka is a war criminal country. It’s majority of Sinhalese Buddhists killed more than 100,000 innocent Tamils in 2009. They raped Tamil women and young girls even 3 year old female children. And up to now no penalty was given to the people in charge for the crimes. Including the president of the country. The UN is just watching and no action had been taken up to now. Watch this video for more in detail.


    1. If your parents gives you Teachings of morality, teached you goodness and humanity, never told you to do criminal activities… even then you do Rapes and murders. So… what is the fault of yours Parents ?? Tell me. Are they responsible for yours crimes ?? It was you, yours mind.. that made you do criminal activities.

      Similarly, in BUDDHISM “PRAGYA, SHEEL, KARUNA” that means ” PURE WISDOM, MORALITY, KINDNESS” these are the BASIC Teachings of Buddhism / Buddha Dhamm. There is nothing WRITTEN / ADVICED / MENTIONED Thing which is against the Humanity in Buddhism. So if Buddhist community people do wrong things / activities… what is the fault of Buddha Dhamm ?? It’s people, their mind… that make them do criminal activities and it’s the fault of their mind…. that could not follow the Good / Nice teachings of Buddhism.

  5. Be a buddhist, with the fourth priciple, you should not lie.
    This award is really just an onion, Buddhism doesn’t need to be the best, why ? Everything at its best top (unìversal) will collapse. Buddhism must stand in its way: the way of center.

  6. The buddha’s ways are not for Buddhism. The Buddha’s ways are all for people to get peaceful mind and body. So, please give this award for all people that we wish. One of the Buddha’s teaching is ‘ don’t believe him, do your best all good things. We have only cause and effect. Think firstly, before you do something. The Buddha said he can’t help us. We can help ourself.
    He never create you. we create ourself. Cause and effect create us. For example, If I kill someone , I will go to prison, killing is cause and going to prison is effect. So, The Buddha is Guide and Teacher. The Buddha want everybody to take meditation to find ourself and escape from trouble for everybody. So, whatever your religions , you can take meditation and get peaceful mind and get no dead place. Buddha’s teaching and guiding are for all people. Thank you so much.

    1. I am glad to hear that you all realize Lord Buddha”s teachings! Actually Lord Buddha explained us how to stop sadness permanently . not temporally. I love Buddhism.

  7. I was a so called Buddhist since my birth in the fifties. I knew myself as so called because I studied and practiced the religion and noticed that very few members of my family as well as neighboring community could maintain or observed the basic “PANCHASHILA” prescribed by Gautama Buddha, as they could hardly avoid drinking wine, slaughtering poultries , hunting birds and deer, etc. Although, the Buddha’s advice was not to believe anything blindly but the people are following Buddha so blindly that they did not hesitate to call Buddha as the “Bogowan or Iswar” which means God; whereas they are not aware of the Buddha’s silence in the great question about the God almighty. In 2004 I became a citizen of the United states and subsequently I was baptized as a Christian as God worked in me to be so. Though the world of my spirituality is poor, the believe in God encouraged me to explore the realm of God. Something was murmuring in me and daringly started a research in religions of the world particularly the major ones, that is the Buddhism, Christianity and the Islam . As I am poor in spiritual knowledge, so I intended to use the spiritual miscelleny of the major religions as the ingredient and focus of my tiny research. My research is still going on. I have come into conclusion that Secularism is the best, because He intentionally created to make the human being understand and know thy-selves. I understood that religions are like vehicles or transportations to go to i the realm of God, eternity, heaven or Nivvana. Here different religion means different vehicle in different models and make as for example: Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, KIA, etc. Though these vehicle different in style and appearance, basically are made of same system of combusting engine. I noticed that, though Buddha did not speak about the supremacy of God and remained silent in this question, but I discovered that the scripture of the Buddhism TRIPITAK (Binoy, Suttra, and Abhidharma) is full of God’s words. These god words were reflected and echoed in al l religions of the world. We can say the Buddhism is the foundation of all religions of the world, if not the best. During the last chapter of Buddha’s life He advised His disciples, after His death if my teachings echo in their teaching you can also follow him. The creation of different religions, is the act of God’s evolutionary process according to the needs of different kind of human being to suit accordingly. In the bible, Jesus said, ” I did not come to abrogate the teaching of the earlier time, I have come to fulfill add something” It may be mentioned that Buddha kept His teaching incomplete on account of His silence about Gods. Now my suggestion to the Buddhist world to acknowledge the supremacy of God the unseen power, which is present in all creatures and His creation proportionately. In Buddhism, It is a great sin to kill a any creature, which was kept unexplained. Now we understand that there is God in all of His creation, the life and the force of unseen God! So if you are a good buyer of a car you certainly look for the latest model. I prefer this when Go to buy something.
    In my research, I have picked up some miscellaneous matter as to why the Muslims and many Christian do not eat Pork. My presumption is that as Gaotama the Buddha died of a serious disease after eating a meal cocked with pork offered by a low cast Hindu. I believe that Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ was fully aware of the Buddha and his religion. The Ten Commandments in the Bible made me remember about the Ten fold advice (Doshashilaa) of Buddha to his disciples. The similarity plazarism. I have comments, I am stopping here, because I have no time.

    1. EVERONE MUST READ THIS BOOK TO KNOW BUDDHISM CORRECTLY AND BUDDHA’s TEACHINGS : ‘”BUDDHA AND HIS DHAMM” WRITTEN BY Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. You can free download it in pdf digital vesion from Japanene website http://WWW.BAIAE.ORG

      And Goutam Buddha was a human it is right but he is called as a God or Bhagvaan by buddhist people because he deserve for the “Definition of God or Bhagvaan”. Meaning of God or Bhagvaan is not any creator / supreme power of the world because the world is not created by any god but the world / nature/ human being all are came in existence due to gradual development ( Vikaas) and not by creation directly with any thing. Tathagat Buddha was GOOD and GREAT….. in his whole life and even also in his last other BIRTHS too. That’s why He is considered as a God or Bhagvan. If people worship him, pray him…. then it is not for any DESIRE…. FALSE EXPECTATION and WISH ; but it’s for self CALMNESS, FOR paying HOMAGE to that SAMYAK SAMBUDDH, to keep ones mind PURE / GOOD etc. good reason and Not for any false desire. YOU READ THAT BOOK AND YOU WILL KNOW- BUDDHA REJECTED CREATOR GOD, BUDDHA REJECTED CREATOR BRAHMA (AS HINDUISM SUPPOSE). EVERYONE MUST KNOW FIRST WHAT IS RIGHT ABOUT BUDDHISM, THEN THEY SHOULD COMMENT..

  8. If any one really have DESIRE and DARING to know the TRUTHS , to know FALSE MYTHS SPREAD BY foolish people about Buddhism then he / she MUST read That above mentioned book ” BHAGVAN BUDDHA AND HIS DHAMMA” which is like a Bible of Christians, Holy Quran of Muslims for all Buddhist People. This is the most accurate compilation about the life of Buddha and his teachings (His Dhamm). Unfortunately MOST OF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS great book of Buddhism (Buddha’s teaching) and they comment whatever fall in their mind about buddhism. Like – it’s a negative religion, neutral religion etc etc..

    Indeed Buddhism is not a Religion ( Hindi meaning of religion- Dharm) but it is a superior / great thing than Dharm (Religion) which is known as “DHAMM” or ” Buddha Dhamma”. Now to know the difference and details about this information… read the book and know yourself. Buddhism was / is always greatest and will be greatest… you will consider yourself after reading this book and knowing the Buddhism, no matter it won any prize of greatest religion or not.


    1. I think Shikkhism has no future scope my dear brother. I do not see any single person also who converted to sikkhism from any other religion. It is constant in stage. Any religion whose rituals or thoughts binds a man with obligations that will have no future scope. In Sikkhism you can not cut your beard and you have to wear Pagadi everyday, always. Which makes you different than others and you do not look similar to all others. Most of people who respect human freedom they deny these like rituals. In Islam also there are so much obligations for human to follow. They can not marry with other religion people. They have to keep fastings for whole month during Ramjaan/Ramadaan. During these months they can not live normally as like other people. And this reduces their performance in school, college, workplace etc. Only Buddhism give you freedom to think, to wear clothes, to act, to work according to yours wish and it guides your life and your thoughts with the great teachings of a great teacher. Buddhism has a great future ahead. Most of Christians are converting themselves in Buddhism. See videos related to Buddhism on youtube you will see lots of monks are there were earlier Christians. Buddhism is pure, honest, scientifically approved and great religion for all human beings. And it must be given best religion of award if any award ceremony happens. Thank you.

      1. I hate to tell you this, but Islam is growing the fastest of all religions, and the number of converts is astounding. I don’t think that people are converting to Sikkhi for three reasons.
        #1: There just aren’t that many Sikhs.
        #2: The turban obligation definitely discourages people.
        #3: It is very much bound up with being Punjabi.
        #4: There are no missionary or conversion efforts being made.
        The door to being a Sikh is wide open, but it is not being followed by many. Most Indian religions (targeting Sikki and Hinduism), although not technically linked to ethnicity such as Judaism or Druze, often have an insular component. The biggest issue is that there simply aren’t advertising. I am sure that if they advertised, they would find willing converts. Secondly, there is the ethnic issue. These religions are overwhelmingly linked to being Indian / Punjabi, to the point where it is said that to be Hindu is to be born Indian.

        Now, Islam doesn’t make very large demands in life. Just these:
        1. Pray 5x daily (Prayers take ~10 minutes)
        2. Avoid pork and booze
        3. Fast from sunup to sundown for 30 days once a year.

        Muslims also seek converts and also teach a religion somewhat familiar to most of the world, given the enormous impact Christianity has had worldwide. If someone in Mexico grows up knowing about Jesus, then someone tells them about Mohammed being like Jesus, that will be far more understandable than trying to explain to him about Vajra, Ganesha, and Samsara.

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