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Taliban & Buddha

I can't seem to get the link open, but I assume we're talking about the huge Buddha statue at Bamiyan. The Taliban are a scourge to humanity, and an disgrace to Islam (and Buddhism too, obviously). Where are the Soviets when you need them?
Pakcik Bill & Fellow Forumites.

I read it in this page.

I don’t blame anybody for badmouthing Taliban because the real picture of Taliban is very blurr to most of us. Anyhow, IMHO, let’s don’t judge Taliban purely with western perspective! For simple reason --- we can always turn to any page of magazines or newspapers in western countries which contains reports or stories on Taliban --- none of them are giving good picture on Taliban --- sometimes those reports and stories give the reflection that Taliban is actually worst than the worst group of uncivilsed human ever exist on this planet! This very fact of course play very important role to err our view and perception on them.

If we have little time to spare --- why not we read about them from their perspective!

There is a news about Taliban in The Times of India --- by reading it we might get a glimsp about them! --- and another news to add another additional info and to understand part of their problems!

BTW, In my earlier post I did mentioned that we Muslim doesn’t have any bad thought on Sidharta Gautama Buddha --- from Muslim points of view he might be one of the Prophets sent to this earth --- BUT … we Muslim never believe in any sort of idolatary ... OR ... anything that might lead to sort of idolatory. Even if we ever found any statue that people called as Allaah SWT or any statue that people called as Muhammad SAW --- na’uuzu-bi-(A)llaah! --- we MUST destroy it --- that is not anybody’s ruling BUT that is Islamic Ruling. Meaning if ever I (ie. Mohd) found any statue in my land --- then as a Muslim it is my responsibility to destroy it!

Previous day I watched a National Geographic series on TV --- it showed some archeologist digging old cemetery somewhere in Russia --- we as a Muslim are prevented by the Islamic Rule from doing that --- Don’t tell me that if ever they found a grave belong one of the prophets --- those archeologist are ethical enough to dig it for the purpose of what they called as RESEARCH?. IMHO, digging a grave is worst than breaking stone! If I do that means that I have done a very bad thing! Disturbing those in eternal sleep! Anyhow please understand that this is an opinion in the Islamic perspective!

Pakcik Bill --- I know that you are a Buddhist --- I am so sorry! I just want to do the explaining on the issue --- I believe what Taliban going to destroy are just statues or images of Buddha --- and they are not destroying Buddha --- Buddha is in your heart --- and if Buddha is one of the Prophet sent to this earth, Buddha also is in every Mslim's heart --- nobody can destroy him! Since Taliban also Muslims they should know about this fact as well.

Please remember that Prophet Abraham also destroyed statues at his time! --- the same thing --- people at his time condemned him for his deed! --- and they threw Prophet Abraham into fire! Alhamdu-li-(A)llaah! Allaah SWT saved him! Isn’t it written in Alqur_an as well as in Torah and as well as in Injil (ie. you called it as Bible)?


[This message has been edited by mohd (edited 02-28-2001).]
Thanks for the links, Mohd. I've bookmarked them and will put them in with the other news linke to consult on Muslim perspectives.
Great and typical post by HI Conscience Officer.

I do not view a statue as anything but art and a reminder -- it is just a piece of stone that people have worked to make the stone into a piece of art. It has an energy of its own since it was created as "everything" else but it is a far cry from being "anything" else.

Blessings from the computer shack in Reno.

Uncle Bill
Himalayan Imports Website
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Himalayan Imports Archives (33,000 + posts)

[This message has been edited by Bill Martino (edited 02-28-2001).]
First, after reading about the Taliban plans to destroy all these pieces of the cultural heritage of Afghanistan, i thought it was just a clever advertisement action to
1. get rid of the statues and other museum pieces which don't fit into their religious point of view.
2. raise money by selling them to other countries/museums.

Now after they actually destroyed the statues, at least let ME judge the Taliban by their actions and not by something i read about them. For me these guys are nothing but well-armed cavemen.
I am an atheist with a catholic background and am extremely interested in history and religions. In fact, reading the bible and the coran and reading and hearing the nonsens religious people are telling is what made me an atheist. Still i think that everybody should have the right to follow whichever (non-existing) god he wants to follow, as long as he doesn't try to bother others with his religion. The only big religion i can see which is always and in the worst sense acting world wide against that is the islam.
If you take a look at the fundamental islamic countries like Iran you can see what you'll get as a little "plus" if these guys take over the government. Social, cultural and economic loss go hand in hand with slavery for women and non-muslims. It's time to act.


[This message has been edited by AchimW (edited 03-15-2001).]
Howdy, folks.

Had to get in on this one.

I worry about demonizing a particular religion because of the actions of some, even a large group.

So's you'll know who's talking, I used to call myself agnostic, but then I started reading a little from people who also called themselves agnostic and I realized I had little in common with their worldview and stopped calling myself anything. I decided I was just me and I'd have to leave it at that.

I work in a place which is a big melting pot and attracts some REALLY smart people from all over the world. If there's a religion I haven't come across yet, it's a rare bird. I have a couple of pals who are Muslim, and they're excellent people. Wouldn't trade 'em for gold.

I also think we oughtta point out that if we looked at Christianity (which I figger is probably the most common background, if not the dominant religion, on the forum) cross-sectionally at some places and times (Salem, Inquisition, etc, etc) we'd judge it as harshly as some of the things that've been said about Islam. I'd bet good money that at every one of those times and places there were people who practiced Christianity and were sickened by what was happening. It ain't the being Christian that made it wrong, it's the being human. Everybody can go the wrong way.

I personally find rule-based morality troublesome. I have come around to the idea that there are certain human virtues that are hard to state in the form of rules, but that we agree on nonetheless, things like honesty, fortitude, reverence, etc. I figure the way to the good life is to take it on yourself to live in accordance with those virtues. When you accept that commitment on your personal honor I think that's the beginning of the right path. I think a lot of folks from a lot of different religions are on that path.

I have to condemn what the Taliban has done. I don't think it's right to destroy ages-old works of art of incredible historical and cultural significance, particularly when they are expressions of a faith I don't understand. But I know there's another way to look at it (which I think Mohd expressed). I think Confucius said "if a mind is too open, everything falls out." I can't withhold judgment just because there's another way to look at it. This is the side I've come down on and I'll stick by it.

I don't think saying that Islam is a terrible thing is correct either. If you take that position why not burn the Qu'ran instead of smash up statues? It all leads the wrong way.

My $0.02
A voice of wisdom in a maelstrom sea.
Good post Doc.

I have many of the same sentiments you do being a traditional ndn in a world of largely Christian and Christian ndns.
The nice thing about the Christian ndns I know is that they won't try to convert anyone as it's felt that religion and/or spirituality is between each person and their own Great Mystery.

I don't think anyone has the right to destroy any religious objects that belong to others and especially when it is very old and beautiful work that expresses not only religion but an example of culture.
And I feel that by doing so the destroyers are limiting their own rights of religous expression and freedom's.
To do something like the Talban have done would be the same as destroying my Sacred Pipe.



Indin word for lousy hunter.
I too agree with Doc on this. I realize that perspective dictates what is important to a person and a people, beliefs often determine what is right and wrong. I just keep thinking on how much beliefs held without empathy have cost the world as a whole. I sometimes think too few people take into account the fact that what we do now determines future history. It is in man's nature to want to leave his mark on the world, but is it worth the cost of destroying someone else's? This is a particular "pet peve" of mine and I could go on for hours but as I've come to realize, those whose beliefs are strong enough to commit such acts will not be desuaged by me. For those who are convinced of their cause there is little else. What a waste indeed.
No disrespect to Mohd; he has sincerely-held religious beliefs, and I respect him for that.

But the destruction of these irreplaceable statues is a crime against humanity - and also an action unworthy of Islam, IMHO. When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, they had the grace to spare St Sophia and many other masterpieces of Christian art and architecture, in spite of the ordinances of the Koran against idolatry. Historically, Islam has been extremely tolerant of other faiths practiced within its borders - far more so than, for example, medieval Christianity. At a time when the Christian iconoclasts of Byzantium were smashing statues and burning paintings, and the rulers of Christendom were persecuting Jews with a zeal not matched until the 20th century, Islam respected other peoples' faiths and let them be.

Works of art like the statues of Buddha are part of the heritage of all mankind, religious or atheistic, and once they're gone they can never be restored.

I respect any man's right to practice his faith in his own way, so long as he doesn't hurt me or mine or deprive me of part of my inheritance as a human being. But I can't accept a sincere faith in Islam as an excuse for cultural vandalism, just as I can't accept a sincere belief in Tezcatlipoca or Tlaloc as an excuse for human sacrifice.
To me it breaks down simply.

Does a man's religion focus inwardly on his failures and work on fixing them; or does it focus outwardly away from himself ( so he never has to look himself in the mirror ) and is practised by condemnation and scapegoating of others.

Go beyond practising your chosen religion to living it.

( As one ndn poet observes, " The west has to be seen to experience it, and it may be that it must be experienced to be seen. "

( This is known as Catch 22. )
No problem, Uncle. I just tell it like I see it.

I'm getting down to my last twelve rounds of Exploder ammo ( I don't know why they discontinued them ) for my pair of 41 mags, though.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">... let ME judge the Taliban by their actions and not by something i read about them ... these guys are nothing but well-armed cavemen ... I am an atheist ... i think that everybody should have the right to follow whichever (non-existing) god he wants to follow, as long as he doesn't try to bother others with his religion ... The only big religion i can see which is always and in the worst sense acting world wide against that is the islam ... Social, cultural and economic loss go hand in hand with slavery for women and non-muslims. It's time to act ...
Dear Forumites.

Yahdikumu-(A)llaah! This posting is just my small contribution to all of us especially Achim to unfold few hidden pages and web sites --- may Allaah give spiritual benefit to all of us!

It happened to me that I just read comments about women in Islam from few western women which I guess could enhance our views about it. Please check it in here, here, here, here and here.

I also have came across with a new terminology ie. Islamophobia. It just means a sort of phobia which initiated by what actually called as Myths About Islam.

IMHO --- The burning Of Alqur_an is not a new fenomenon --- Lots of books, manuals and especialy Alqur_an were burned in Baghdad by the Mongol and also in Andalusia (ie. Spain). Very few mosques are still existed there (ie. in Spain) and now being used as Musium etc. The rest were destroyed. The latest burning of Alqur_an is in India. Alqur_an were recently burned in Ambon Indonesia (as well as the Muslim schools and the Muslim students), in China during The Cultural Revolution, in Southern Thai (about 15 to 20 years ago) ... and so many incidents that took place at so many places. How about in USSR during and after The Revolution!

Historical Babri Mosque in India was totally destroyed on December 6, 1992. Please check in here, and here. What do we say about it? Why we didn’t say anything about it at that time? About 2000 Indian Muslims were killed in their trial to defend that Babri Mosque! Where are we at that time?

I guess nobody can give any judgement without thinking. Our thinking is not new --- it is an an old one --- of course it is the result of the number of past years of learning, hearing, reading, seeing, experiencing and analysing etc --- updated from time to time! One very important thing is the fact that the standard mental paradigm of a Muslim is different from the standard mental paradigm of a non-Muslim --- the truth and the false --- the good and the bad --- the right and the wrong --- the clean and the dirt --- the permissable and the unpermissable --- the acceptable and the rejectable! People say that we should be more open minded ... but how come? ... Why for example there are so many western countries that still doesn’t permit Muslim women from wearing their head cover or Muslim dress at schools or offices?

We have to accept the fact that sometimes deep in our mind exist what so called as prajudice --- no doubt it is very hard to overide the already deeply rooted prajudice in our mind --- when we have prajudice towards Islam and Muslim, then Islam and Muslim are seen as a scary shadows that waiting at any time to strangle our neck to death! --- hatred! --- anger! --- When a winning group of brave Muslim like Taliban came into the scene --- then it creates unnecessary eerie feelings in our hearts! --- more hatred! --- more anger! --- Their actions and their words are a challenge and a threat that should be terminated a.s.a.p by whatever actions! Why not we take a look at this page and this page as well.

BTW, Taliban also destroyed opium but very few peoples care about it! Very few peoples noticed about it!

Sometimes I do have a doubt --- Is it the destroy of Buddha statues at Bamian that really matters OR is it just to make use of that issue to make part of certain hidden agendas against Taliban work? Angkor Watt is also destroyed slowly, looted and being left just like that ... and NO ISSUE! I don’t know ... !

Please! --- English is my third language --- I tried my best not to say something that might hurt any of us --- hurting peoples feelings is not my intention --- please don’t misunderstand me!


[This message has been edited by mohd (edited 03-19-2001).]
I don't think there's any offense taken here, friend Mohd. Your strength in your beliefs earns you nothing but respect in my book.

I agree with you that an insistence on "open-mindedness" (however that's currently defined) as an end in itself is just another form of close-mindedness.

Here is something I can't help but think about: Here in the U.S. we have people from all over, and all sorts of different religions. Barring the occasional jackasses that inevitably crop up, one doesn't hear often about a Catholic militia running out to burn a mosque, or muslims marching into a Christian church and taking down crucifixes, or such things. (Which ain't to say we don't have other problems, or that it's never happened.) It just seems that men of good will find a way to live together.

Seems to me there can be two explanations for why that is. One is that the fear that your neighbor's going to split your skull (or some equivalent consequence) if you try it keeps you in check. The other is that you find it discourteous to insult your neighbor's faith in his own "house." I guess I've seen too much of the human animal to think the first isn't a factor. But I also know which motive would make me think more highly of a people. It seems that one way to determine which is which is to see what happens when the neighbors aren't home. The Taliban's neighbors aren't home. It looks bad on them.

Burning mosques is wrong. Burning holy books is wrong. Tearing up religious items is wrong. I can't really think of any situation where I'd call those things right. I guess the point I was trying to make is that the Golden Rule applies to everybody, even governments. Saying that bad things have been done to people of one's own faith seems to me to be acknowledging that doing such things is wrong, and that nobody should do them.

In your previous post, I was moved by your thought that the prophets are in the heart. Reminded me of a parable, I think from the Zen school of thought (anybody who knows the story better correct me):

There was a bitter cold night. A monk in the abbey took one of the wooden Buddha statues, broke it up, and started a fire. The abbot came in incensed and put the fire out. He asked the monk what he thought he was doing.
"Trying to obtain the spirit of the Buddha," he said.
"How can you obtain the spirit of the holy one from a wooden statue?" the abbot asked him.
"Well, if there are no holy spirits in the statues, let's burn the rest of them and stay warm."

(Just had to make the subject even MORE murky, didn't I?

Be well, all.