If monks going on the rampage against Muslims doesn't sound very Buddhist to you, then the Dalai Lama is in agreement. At a celebration high in the Himalayas to mark his 79th birthday, the religious leader spoke out against attacks on the Muslim minorities in Burma and Sri Lanka, Al Jazeera reports. "I urge the Buddhists in these countries to imagine an image of Buddha before they commit such a crime," he said in the Indian town of Leh.
"Buddha preaches love and compassion," he said before a crowd of tens of thousands of Buddhists, including Richard Gere. "If the Buddha is there, he will protect the Muslims whom the Buddhists are attacking." Outbreaks of religious violence have killed at least 200 people in Burma since 2012, with a curfew imposed on the city of Mandalay last week after riots killed two people, CNN reports. In Sri Lanka, four people were killed last month when rioting Buddhist mobs attacked Muslim neighborhoods. Rights groups say that in both countries, extremist monks helped incite the violence and were present in the mobs.