China’s crackdown on Falun Gong (FLG) is frequently cited in the west as evidence of human rights abuse and suppression of religion. On the other hand, some of the FLG followers make it really difficult to sympathize with their cause.
Case in point, there are reports of FLG followers publicly cheering the Sichuan earthquake as a karmic response from heaven on the Chinese Communist Party. ESWN provided a translation of a report from Ming Pao dated May 21, 2008:
The confrontation between Queens county residents and the FLG practitioners is now on its fourth day …
Yesterday at 10am, several dozen FLG member appeared in front of the Flushing Public Library. Just like the past three days before, they unfurled banners that pronounced “The Heavens destroy the Chinese Communists,” “Experts sent Sichuan earthquake prediction report confidentially to authorities” and so on to show the passer-bys. Some of the FLG members said that they have been criticising the Chinese Communist regime and they thought that the Sichuan earthquake revealed the evil nature of the Chinese Communists. Some FLG members even said that the Sichuan earthquake was the result of the violent rule of the Chinese Communists.
The New Voice also had an entry. Please note that some FLG supporters disputed the nature of the confrontation in the comment section. I find it difficult, however, to interpret the “天滅中共” (Heaven is destroying the CCP) signs so prominently displayed by the FLG protesters as anything other than their perspective on the Sichuan earthquake. This understanding is further supported by another commenter and eye witness named
… I live in Jamaica, New York, about two miles from the Flushing library where the protest took place and this report originated. I can absolutely confirm that the Falun Gong practitioners were gleeful about the earthquake. It was a pretty stupid thing for the FG to do. There were lots of angry people in the streets; angry at the Falun Gong for kicking China when its down. Who can blame them. It was a boneheaded thing to do.
I won’t bother to argue it is wrong and despicable to invoke God or heaven in explaining the happening of the Sichuan earthquake as many have already touched on this topic. (e.g. see “What have they done to deserve this?” at Sun Bin) As Mr. Hillgardner put it, “it was a pretty stupid thing for the FLG to do.”
Perhaps there could be a silver lining to this event. Surely there would be a large number of reports in the newspapers of this multi-day and ongoing confrontation involving large number of people and police in New York, which is one of the best covered regions in the world, news media wise. And maybe, just maybe, some of the habitual criticizers of China would read about such behaviors of the rabid FLG followers, look into their beliefs and acts, and take a more nuanced view of CCP vs. FLG in the future. Right?
However, this is not going to happen since they won’t be able to read about it anywhere, except, on the Epoch Times, which happens to be the propaganda arm of the FLG and where this confrontation is described as another case of CCP paid agents harrasing peaceful FLG protesters. Seriously, try typing in “Falun Gong Flushing” or some other variations in the Google News Search and see what you get.