Taliban & Buddha

Aug 23, 1999
I wouldn't give much credence to the dissembling and the self-serving pronouncements of the Taliban's "roving ambassador." Political hacks are the same the world over.
The destruction of the statues is the latest example of a very old fundamental dispute between Islam and the world's other great religions. It doesn't have anything to do with aid to starving children. The walls of the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, one of the world's architectural wonders, tell the tale. When the Christians were in control they called it a cathedral and put up statues, frescos, tapestries dedicated to the glory of god. When the Moslems took over they tore all of that down or paved it over. But they left the building standing so it could serve as a mosque. Back and forth the two sides went, repeatedly creating religious-themed art in that building and tearing it down, as the city changed hands through the crusades and beyond. In all the centuries since, this is one issue where there's been no better understanding achieved between fundamentalist Moslems and the rest of the world. It seems to be an unbridgeable void: Non-Moslems, religous or not, see the destruction as barberic; Moslems view it as something their religion compels them to do.