I’m not picking on Buddhism to be cruel, nor am I picking on Buddhism on accident. Let me explain. There is a perception in the Western/Christian/First-World scene, whatever you want to call this portion of the world, however right or wrong this perception is (it’s wrong though), that there are “good” religions and “bad” ones, or at least “violent” religions and “non-violent” ones. Buddhism has a mostly positive connotation in this mode of thinking, and definitely a non-violent reputation. Reality does not bear this out. The more history you look at, the wider a field of view you take, no religious group (or non-religious group) can claim to be more or less violent. Buddhism preaches non-violence. So do Islam and Christianity. So do Marx and Adam Smith, depending on how you read them. And yet, people exist in every age who will use them as justification to do every horrible thing. The Kakure are hidden (that’s what kakure means), but only if you’re not looking for them. I could have singled out any religion in this scene. I tried them all out in my head as I wrote it. None of them chipped away at a certain early-twenty-first-century sentiment as effectively as the way I wrote it, in my opinion.

Et in Arcadia ego.

↓ Transcript
Panel 1: Maida and Tahmaseb walk along a path past towering concrete pillars. Maida: "Orson just got my back up." Tahmaseb: "He does lack tact."
Panel 2: Maida: "It was more what he said about Mars than it was the hijab thing."
Panel 3: Maida: "That boy doesn't know a thing about my home planet." Tahmaseb: "Neivver do I, honestly."
Panel 4: Tahmaseb: "What really 'appened on Mars? I mean, if you can talk about it. If you want to talk about it." Maida: "No, I can."
Panel 5: Maida: "Everybody on Earth knows the end of the story. Buddhist extremists, the Kakure, are terrorizing the Hinterlands. Kidnapping and killing people." Tahmaseb: "The Kakure I know. They're aberrants, right?" They walk towards a fenced in area covered in graffiti.