Buddha Bar news story in The West newspaper

In response to the news article “Officials bar Buddha from restaurant name” published in The West today, the Buddhist Council of Western Australia’s statement is as follows:

Thank you for contacting us on the “Buddha bar” news article you published in The West today.

The Buddhist Council of WA feels that the use of the name of the Buddha or for that matter any religious or respected figure should only be used when it is appropriate and respectful to do so.

Rather than having a blanket rule, the council favours a case-by-case approach to the suitability of names using the word “Buddha”. Certainly in the case “Buddha bar” we do not support such a name because it makes a mockery of what the Buddha stood for. One of the five basic precepts of Buddhists is to avoid the use of intoxicants.

We do not oppose the “Buddha Bar” business name on religious grounds because we believe that religion per se should not confer any special rights nor impose its views on others. We reject this name on ethical grounds; on the grounds of common decency and respect for one another.

The name “Buddha Bar” is from our view, just as inappropriate as “Jesus Bar” or “Mohammed Bar”. We hope the owners of the bar in question will come up with a better name and note that all the publicity that has gathered around this will help them in their business. We wish them every success with a better named establishment.

We would like to thank the Department of Commerce for doing their job of rejecting applications to register business names that are likely to be offensive.


Follow-up article in The West published on 2nd July 2011: