Some 35,000 petroglyphs located in Pakistan’s Indus River area will soon be flooded by a giant dam. An archeologist from Heidelberg is trying to save as much as he can before encroaching modernity destroys the remote area’s cultural history.” — from this article
The destruction of pre-Islamic and non-Islamic artifacts, which took place everywhere that Islam conquered, continues to this day. The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan, with Pakistani and Saudi help, was not a unique event, but merely an event that happened to take place in the last decade rather than a century or two ago. And it took place in 2001, not 1901 or 1801, because the explosives and technical know-how (Pakistani and Saudi “engineers”) had become available.
The Nazi soldiers who left explosives in trees along the streets of Florence as they retreated, and were obviously hoping to blow up a good part of that city, are the only ones comparable to the Muslims in their willingness to destroy art and artifacts.
The entire city of Constantinople might have been destroyed, had the Young Turks had their way.
In Alan Moorehead’s “Gallipoli” (the anniversary of that battle just passed) one reads the following:
“…the more ruthless of the Young Turks had already made their own arrangements for destroying the city rather than let the Allies have it. If they themselves had to go then all should go. They cared nothing for the Christian relics of Byzantium, and regarded patriotism as a higher thing than the lives of people who lived in the tumbledown wooden houses in Galata and Stamboul and along the Golden Horn.” (p. 73).
“They cared nothing for the Christian relics of Byzantium…”
The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas was no different from the 1350-year destruction of non-Muslim (and by the “pure” Wahhabis, even of Muslim) sites. The world has seen the destruction of the Greco-Bactrian culture of Central Asia, of the Hindu and Buddhist temples in Hindustan and in the East Indies (now Indonesia), of the monuments of pre-Islamic Persian civilization, of the Orthodox and Catholic churches of the Balkans, Greece, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, of the art work of every kind that has been destroyed by Muslims or at least vandalized not quite to the point of total destruction, as in the case of Hagia Sophia, where crucifixes were ripped off walls, and paintings defaced, and statues destroyed. All this has to be remembered.
So why was it that the Bamiyan Buddhas managed to survive? They managed to survive because they were so huge, and so hard to attack. But modern technology, the technology of destruction, has been exploited by Muslims to the fullest. And it was this ability to use that technology that allowed, at long last, the unfinished business of the Bamiyan Buddhas to be finished.
The crocodile tears that flowed so copiously afterwards for the sake of Western news outlets, and nowhere more copiously and crocodilily than in Saudi Arabia, were taken by some to be real. There is no end to Infidel ignorance. Just open the book on what is halal and what is haram by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most widely read Sunni cleric now on the planet. What does Qaradawi say about statuary? And what Hadith does he quote? And who do you think said, and for all time, that he wouldn’t enter a house that had a dog or a statue inside — leading Muslims who consider that man the Perfect Man, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, to believe that they must either deface or, ideally, completely destroy, all examples of statuary? If it was bad enough for Muhammad, it is bad enough for me.
Nothing else needs to be known. Was it known, was it reported? Did any story that appeared anywhere in the major newspapers of the West about the destruction of the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan explain that the Saudi expression of disapproval was completely phony, and that statuary is banned in Islam because of what Muhammad supposedly said some 1350 years ago?
Why can’t newspapers fulfill their most elementary duties? Why do they report, but almost never explain, when they report on anything involving Muslims or Islam? Why are we left so unsatisfied, so confused, so in the dark, when the explanations are quite easy and readily available?