Skip to comments.Taliban Resumes Blasting Buddha Statues (2001)
Posted on 02/04/2006 12:20:56 PM PST by motife
Taliban Resumes Blasting Buddha Statues Taliban leader says international appeals to save the statues will fail.
By Kathy Gannon ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 9 (AP)--Using cannons and explosives, the Taliban has reportedly resumed blowing up two towering stone statues of Buddha, a task the religious militia began a week ago. The explosions of the 3rd and 5th century statues were part of carrying out an order by Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammed Omar for all statues in Afghanistan to be demolished. The order, meant to discourage idolatry, was given two weeks ago.
The Taliban, who rule roughly 95 percent of the country, had stopped its work on the giant statues for three days to honor the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. The statues are 120 and 170 feet high and are carved into a mountain in Bamiyan.
Opposition troops led by ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani and operating in the area said Friday that the Taliban had resumed its work on the statutes Thursday afternoon. Bamiyan is about 75 miles from the capital, Kabul.
However, the troops are located several miles from the statues, said opposition spokesman Ahmed Bahram, so it was impossible for them to know the extent of the damage. However, he said opposition forces are hearing reports from locals.
The Taliban and the opposition are fighting for territory in parts of northern and central Afghanistan, including Bamiyan.
"Over the last three or four days the Taliban have been bringing in large amounts of explosives and yesterday they started blowing up the statues," Bahram said.
The Taliban were not immediately available for comment and have refused to allow anyone to go to Bamiyan to verify conflicting claims about the extent of the damage to the ancient carvings.
International appeals to save the statues will fail, said Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil.
"Our edict will be implemented. It's not reversible," Muttawakil said from the southern city of Kandahar, headquarters of the hard-line Islamic militia.
On Friday a delegation of Japanese diplomats headed to Kandahar to meet with Taliban officials to plead for the preservation of the statues.
A special UNESCO envoy, Pierre Lafrance, met earlier with the Taliban and said he hoped to return to Afghanistan on Saturday to make fresh efforts to save the war-ruined nation's pre-Islamic past.
In an interview in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Thursday, Lafrance acknowledged that the international community has no leverage and said the only hope of overturning the Taliban's order lies with Islamic clerics.
"The Islamic community has expressed its dismay at such a strange interpretation of their religion," he said. "Their Islamic scholars might be of some help and could provide some food for thought to the Taliban."
If not, Lafrance warned that the destruction of the statues could "open the door for religious fanaticism from all sides."
The taller of the two statues is believed to be the world's tallest standing Buddha. The smaller one is believed by people in Bamiyan to be female, although no body parts are visible.
Omar declared the statues idolatrous and against Islam.
Since then Islamic nations have disputed his interpretation of Islam and pleaded for the safeguard of the statues. He has refused, saying their opposition is political and designed to appease Western sentiments.
This is a bit dated
This article is either several years old, or looking a month into the future.
Highlighting double standards when it comes to religious desecration.
The date on this article is way wrong. This happened years ago when the Taliban did rule Afghanistan.
They don't now.
March 9 20??
March 9, 2001.
The copyright is 2001. Why isn't this in Breaking News or at least breaking wind?
This article and others were written in March 2001.
Did you just get this news in Iowa now?
Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil "Wacky Guy" Ahmed Muttawakil.
People, it is old but.. this is a comparison of dessecration of religious symbols etc.. you don't see christians or budhists burning up embasssies...
The point is Muslims are probably the most intolerant faith on the planet. They burn Christian churches in Pakistan, are rabid anti-Semites, and anti-Hindu. Yet, no faith is more sensitive to slights against itself.
They don't respect any one else's religion. Why are they surprised when people call them out on what they really are? Murderers, suicide bombers, kidnappers, filled with hate for all humanity?
One group of satanists removing another group's artifacts...
Not sure if I understand: are you calling Buddhists "Satanists"?
There is only ONE God ...The God of Abraham,Isaac & Jacob
ALL others are masquerades of the same anti-God entity
once upon a time he was known as Lucifer after the fall he is now known as Satan..
Anyone who worships a false god or who denies the One true God worships Satan..
A man's very thoughts and actions are his worship...
Not much difference between you and the Islamists, eh?
Paint yourself with the same brush for that remark Rembrandt
S0rry I'm an infidel we arent allowed to touch the queeranne