Visit the link to see Hindoos burning the Quran!!!!
Afghan Statues Outcry Grows; Taliban Leader Defiant
NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) - Hindu hard-liners in India burned a copy of
the Muslim holy book, the Koran, Monday as international outrage grew at
the destruction by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers of historic statues in the
name of Islam.
As Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar defended his destruction order, a
German minister compared the attack on the statues to the book-burning
purges of the Nazis, and an Afghan news agency said Japan had warned the
drought and war-ravaged nation that aid could be hit.
The United States joined the international outcry, saying it had raised
its concerns with Taliban representatives in the Pakistani capital
The purist Islamic Taliban has vowed to destroy all statues in its
country, including two massive and ancient Buddhas in Bamiyan, towering
175 feet and 120 feet and carved into sandstone cliffs.
The Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, said
Monday the destruction of the two statues began March 4.
``Explosions caused one quarter of the two statues to be blown up,'' the
Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press quoted him as saying.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the ancient statues were
``an important part of the world's cultural legacy and the cultural
heritage of Afghanistan.''
``The United States joins...other governments in urging a halt to the
destruction by the Taliban of a significant aspect of Afghan's cultural
heritage,'' he said.
Earlier Monday the U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, said talks with Taliban
Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil led it to hope that all doors to
saving the statues had not yet closed.
Iran urged the Organization of Islamic Conference, the world's largest
Islamic body, to take serious action to stop the Taliban, and Greece
offered to buy statues left behind from the days of Alexander the Great's
conquests in Asia.
More than 2,000 people turned out for a protest rally in Kathmandu, the
capital of Nepal, where Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born more
than 2,600 years ago.
Mainly Buddhist Thailand and predominantly Muslim Malaysia added their
voices to a chorus of criticism. The European Union denounced the start of
the destruction of statues as ``an act of cultural barbarism and religious
But a Kashmiri separatist group, based in Pakistan, expressed support for
the Taliban stand.
In a message quoted by the official Voice of Shariat radio, Omar dismissed
criticism of his destruction call and said Afghan Muslims should be proud
of smashing the statues.
``I ask the Muslim people of Afghanistan not to be afraid of the infidels'
pressure,'' he added. ``I ask Afghans and world's Muslims to use their
sound wisdom. ... Do you prefer to be a breaker of idols or a seller of
The Taliban say it has smashed major statue collections in several parts
of the country since last week when Omar first issued his decree.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said
its special representative, Pierre Lafrance, had hinted at a solution to
the plight of the two Buddhas after talks in the southern Afghan city of
Kandahar with the Afghan foreign minister.
``All doors have not closed,'' a statement quoted him as saying.
``Contacts are going on and new consultations of religious leaders are
taking place in Afghanistan.''
Lafrance, a French official sent by the Paris-based agency last week in a
bid to save the priceless statues in central Afghanistan, confirmed that
small Buddhist statues had been smashed in Ghazni and Herat.
Afghanistan was a center of Buddhist culture before the arrival of Islam
more than 1,200 years ago.
About 200 right-wing Indian Hindus burned a copy of the Koran and tore up
posters of Islamic shrines in New Delhi Monday to protest the Taliban's
destruction of statues.
``Down with the Taliban. We will break Mecca and Medina,'' shouted the
protesters outside U.N. offices in the city.
Sorrow And Dismay
The EU, in a statement issued in Pakistan by Sweden, which holds its
rotating presidency, expressed sorrow and dismay that the destruction of
statues had begun.
In Germany, the mass-circulation daily Bild quoted German Culture Minister
Julian Nida-Ruemelin as likening the smashing of the statues to Nazis
burning books considered un-German in 1933.
``I feel myself uncannily reminded of the book burning by the Nazis. This
is about a piece of global cultural heritage which the rest of the world
cannot be indifferent to,'' he said.
The head of anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan, its internationally
recognized president, condemned the Taliban campaign to destroy the
country's pre-Islamic heritage.
``We strongly condemn and oppose the Taliban's anti-national and
anti-cultural action,'' Burhanuddin Rabbani said in a statement prepared
in his remote northern headquarters.
The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said Japan's ambassador to
Pakistan, Sadaki Numata, had urged the Taliban not to destroy the statues,
saying that Japanese aid could be compromised if Buddhist statues were
ININ List Archives Found Here: http://www.egroups.com/messages/inin
To subscribe to ININ please e-mail majordomo@...
In the body of the message type in: "subscribe inin-net" (without the
To unsubscribe from ININ please e-mail majordomo@...
In the body of the message type in: "unsubscribe inin-net" (without the
CANADA'S ONLINE ISLAMIC BOOKSTORE: HTTP://WWW.ISLAMICBOOKSCANADA.COM
ISLAMIC NEWS AND INFORMATION NETWORK: HTTP://WWW.ININ.NET