View Full Version : Taliban and the huge Buddas

03-22-2001, 04:13 PM
I suppose this is only a loosely realted topic for this forum but what the hell.

What are people's opinions on the destruction of all religious artifacts (including the massive Buddahs carved into a mountain) in Afganistan by the ruling Taliban authority?

03-22-2001, 04:18 PM
Relax. They can always carve some more big buddas from the mountain. It's not like it's a big deal or anything. It's just some rocks.

03-22-2001, 05:27 PM
It's not just the big buddahs it's all relgious symbols. I hear they were even burning cows. But hey, we in the UK can't really comment on that we doing it to the sheep too!!!

Kung Lek
03-22-2001, 05:33 PM
it's their country.
they use islamic law which forbids graven imagery of any kind so away the statues go.

I'm sure the Buddha wouldn't mind, as they stated "they are only breaking stones".

they were very cool though and it would've been nice had they moved the statues or something.
maybe the british museum could've bought them and reinstalled them elsewhere.
I wonder why nobody made the offer?


Kung Lek

03-22-2001, 05:35 PM
Those buddha statues have enormous historical value. and not to mention what they mean to all the buddhist around the world.

Why don't we build a highway over Mecca and ask how the Taliban like that?

03-22-2001, 05:49 PM
Some Museum in the States offered to buy them ( I think it was in New York) and they refused.

What defines a graven image?

I just don't understand why they felt the need to destroy the statues.

Just because you govern the country it doesn't give you the right to do anything you want to, does it?

03-22-2001, 05:55 PM
India offered to relocate the statues if I remember correctly. The Taliban is following in the footsteps of all facsists and dictators...erase the parts of history & culture that doesn't fit your agenda. I wish people would try to become more aware of the situation in Afghanistan it's a stellar example of how horrific a theocracy can be.

"Gong Sao Mo Gong Ching Sao"
- When you talk with the hands,
best not to speak of polite hands.

03-22-2001, 06:14 PM
The New Zealanders have been doing it to their sheep for years. Sorru wrong thread
Is this the Beastiality Corner?
About the statues I know only a little, caught abit on the tele, why are they doing this?

03-22-2001, 06:23 PM
The offical response is that they are ridding the country of graven images as per Islamic law.

The real reason is anyone's guess but as BeiKongHui said "they are following in the footsteps of all facsists and dictators...erase the parts of history & culture that doesn't fit your agenda" this seems more than likely.

03-22-2001, 06:52 PM
Those statues were more than just rocks, even if you do not respect the religion they represent. As a historian, I look at them as pieces of regional culutre that stood for centuries unitl the bloody Taliban and their warped ideals came to power. These people don't even represent the interests of the entire Muslim population of Afghanistan. They are ignorant *******s with no respect for history (the destruction of the statues) or the present (look at their track record on handling their female population). This is not my opinion alone, most Islamic nations voiced their disapproval at this callous act.
The only comfort is that the Taliban will fall, like all petty tyrannts must.

monkey mind
03-22-2001, 07:42 PM
According to comments made by Muslim scholars on H-ASIA (a scholarly historical email discussion forum), the Taliban's use of Islamic law as a justification for the destruction of the statues is shaky at best. I don't know the details & OI'm not Muslim myself, but I just wanted to point out that this is not a clear cut issue within the greater Muslim community. In fact, the Egyptian gov't came out publicly against the destruction.

Also, there was NY Times interview with a Taliban representative in which he claimed that international groups did in fact offer money to help preserve the statues, but refused to give money to help the poor and hungry of Afghanistan. It was anger at this arrogance, according to the spokesman, that was the impetus for destroying the statues.

Of course, from a Buddhist point of view all things are transitory and attachments to material objects can only lead to suffering. However, from a cultural/historical point of view, it is sad that we've lost a remarkable piece of our collective human heritage. But the list of tragedies in Afghanistan today contains much more than this unfortunate episode. Just my two cents.

03-22-2001, 07:59 PM
find the buddha, kill the buddha.

03-22-2001, 08:01 PM

ditto for mt. rushmore.
ditto for the pyramids
ditto for your family's tombstones.
etc. etc.

03-22-2001, 08:17 PM
Who cares they are only statues. A buddhist should never worry about such petty things - it makes no difference to their path.

though id like to see what the Talibans would say if a rebel cult decided to destroy mosques claiming it was the 'cult/religion' law to rid places of worship.... they would be being just as fair as the Talibans were...


03-22-2001, 08:36 PM
You are assuming that if the "true Buddhists" don't care and the Taliban don't want them, than it is OK to destroy them. The point is that they were once important enough for many people to work many hours with the goal of seeing them stand. It is ignorant to walk up and destroy it. It is a human achievement, a piece of art history, and gives us insight into how people embraced Buddhism in the region rather than an ideal Buddhism that evidently was not there. "True Buddhists" might not care about the statues but the Buddhists who once lived in Afghanistan apparently did. At the least, they should have been moved if the offer was made. The Taliban can ***** about how it is arrogant to pay for statues when their people are denied aid, but the bottom line is if you offered the Taliban a billion dollars of food or a billion dollars of weaponry, I would be shocked if they didn't take the latter.... Thugs, devoid of manner or conscience! :mad:

Black Jack
03-22-2001, 08:50 PM

maybe if you live in Canada, they seem to like to tell there citizens what they should and should not have. :rolleyes:


03-22-2001, 09:35 PM
Narrow-minded intolerance is unnacceptable no matter what the reason. It's just that, sadly, the reason so often appears to be religious...

K. Mark Hoover

03-22-2001, 09:40 PM
Kind of makes ya wonder......What will they blow up next?

03-23-2001, 02:57 AM
"maybe if you live in Canada, they seem to like to tell there citizens what they should and should not have. "

Not quite sure what this statement means?

Could you expand a little on it?

I have actually spent some time in Canada and really don't understand what you are asking me/insinuating.

Are you merciless in disguise?

fiercest tiger
03-23-2001, 08:36 AM
the towels on their heads are to tight, they cant think properly. do they ever???

lets all blow up islamic churches and artefacts see if they respect that! :mad:

2 words = a$$ holes



03-23-2001, 10:19 AM
Perhaps one of the worse parts about this is how so many people who preach having an open mind, are opposed to someone else interpreting their religion in their own way...


yi beng, kan xue

03-23-2001, 02:37 PM
Sin Loi,

Are you lining up with the Taliban?

03-23-2001, 11:54 PM
Sin Loi, it is OK to interpret your religion in your own way, as long as it doesn't mean the opression of a section of the community.

If it is OK to interpret your religion in your own way, no questions asked, then the KKK in the US should not be banned, neither should most white supremecist groups. In those cases, they 'interpreted' the Bible in a way that suited them.

The Taliban does the same thing. Look at they way they treat women. The destruction of those statues was a huge waste of a unique cultural artifact. If they didn't want them, they should have allowed someone to remove them for preservation.

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-24-2001, 05:29 AM
I have to agree with Stranger on this one. Would it be okay for me to destroy Stonehenge because the real Druids don't mind? And although the Taliban claimed that it was required by Islamic law, all the other muslim countries in the middle east formally asked them not to do it.

monkey mind
03-24-2001, 06:18 PM
"If it is OK to interpret your religion in your own way, no questions asked, then the KKK in the US should not be banned, neither should most white supremecist groups. In those cases, they 'interpreted' the Bible in a way that suited them."

ABandit - I'm not sure exactly how you meant this, but just to be clear, the KKK & most white supremacist groups are NOT banned in the US. It is only when they are caught in the act of attacking someone, as in the recent Aryan Nations case, that such groups can be legally challenged. Even then though, the legal remedy is to confiscate their assets for punitive damages, not to ban the group. Sorry if you already understood this, it just wasn't clear to me from your post.

03-24-2001, 07:05 PM
Sorry to inform you, but the KKK is not banned in the United States, nor are any number of racially based organizations regardless of their religious inclinations.

Second, and in no way is this intended to be a Taliban defense... Taliban rules are just as strict when directed towards men as they are towards women. It's a little discussed fact that all men over the age of 16 are required to have a beard. Failure to possess the ability to grow a beard resulted in a fairly large number of executions of young men when Taliban control was brought to an area.

The qoran does not forbid "graven images" it forbids creating images in the likeness of living things. This includes print as well. I'm not sure what the take on photographs are, but all artistic representations of people and animals, not just religious ones are being destroyed. They are not burning cows or anything dumb like that.

As to the comments about stonehenge, it's a little known fact outside the UK that the british government is actually rebuilding stone henge. Historians are in a minor uproar about it, since there are not indications that they are rebuilding it "correctly". From a historical POV they are doing just as much damage if not more to potential research on the Stone Henge Site, in the name of Tourism, as the Talibans did to the Bhuddas.

03-24-2001, 10:40 PM
I am in no way lining up with the Taliban. Ijust think that people who preach having an open mind are so offended when another group acts on their faith.
Many other governments have been involved in the distruction of religious artifacts, buildings, and persecution of people of faith. A few of them would be China, Soviet Russia, Spain, most mid eastern islamic countries, half of Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, France, Germany, USA, Mexico, Canada, etc...
All people should be allowed to express their faith in a free market of ideas. The problem with most of these countries is that they do not allow the free expression of faith. There is no free market of ideas in most places. The three countries that have the closest thing to this would be USA, Brazil, and theoretically, India. However they are not perfect in this matter.
In the US it is quite permissible to belong to a racist organization. There are many. Heck, some even have members in congress!
And just to heat things up a little... :)
There is nothing wrong with discrimation!


yi beng, kan xue

03-25-2001, 12:28 AM
OK, I obviously misunderstood the status of the KKK in the US. My bad :(. Thanks for enlightening me.

Shin, I believe that the Taliban's treatment of women is far worse than its treatment of men.

Actually Sin Loi, to a certain degreee I agree with you on discrimmination. It is a part of human nature that can't be avoided. I feel that discrimmination is bad when it is unreasonable or unjust eg. discrimmination based on race.

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-25-2001, 01:42 AM
People are intitled to descriminaton if that is their opinion. I see no problem with this provided that it remains an opinion. Once action motivated by descrimination occurs then this is a problem. The organisation and institutionalisation of discrimination seems to be what the Taliban is practicing. The destruction of these statues is not just religous intolerance but also a judgement on the value of history. Rebuilding Stonhenge may harm the authenticity of the site but it is not total destruction. Totally removing an edefice simply because it is just "a pile of stones" is ridiculous.

03-25-2001, 04:43 PM

Your view is based on biased western media representations and not on actual research. If you look into it, you will find yourself to be incorrect.