More Taliban teachings on impermanence, as yet another Buddha bites the dust.
This time, it's in Pakistan.
Hmm. Isn't that the place that Osama Bin Laden, the guy who attacked us on 9/11, fled to? Leading to our attack on Iraq, attacking a guy who didn't attack us on 9/11? Leading to the de-stabilizing of that whole region, and strengthening medievalist Iran by taking out their worst enemy? Whilst leaving both Afghanistan and Pakistan weak and ripe for Taliban re-takeover? With Pakistan also possessing actual, not potential, nukes?
"Samsara is an ocean of suffering, unendurable, unbearably intense."
THE 'TALIBANIZATION' OF PAKISTAN
Islamists Destroy Buddhist Statue
When the Taliban destroyed two Buddhist statues in Afghanistan in the spring of 2001, there was an international outcry. B ut similar incidents are now occurring in northwest Pakistan, where radical Islamists recently blew up a sculpture of Buddha in broad daylight.
The phenomenon is new and disconcerting. Even the Pakistani government describes it as "Talibanization:" Parts of the country are now in almost exactly the same situation as neighboring Afghanistan was when the Taliban were still in power there.
This is especially the case in the formerly peaceful Swat region, where a militant Islamist leader has even proclaimed an "emirate." And just as in Afghanistan, the Islamists' hatred is directed, in part, against the traces left by the ancient Buddhist civilization in the region.
Islamists inspired by the Taliban recently destroyed an important Buddhist sculpture 40 meters (131 feet) tall and about 1,300 years old in the north-western part of the Swat Valley, reports Vishaka N. Desai, the director of the US-based Asia Society.
Drills and Explosives
In her article, which appeared in the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper on Tuesday, Buddhism expert Desai reports that the Islamists were able to act without any interference from the local administration -- in broad daylight. Their first destruction attempt left the sculpture undamaged; the second damaged the Buddha's face, shoulders and feet. The culprits had used large machines to drill shafts into the historic monument. They then filled the shafts with explosives and detonated them.
Desai, who is Indian, also reports that while Pakistani newspapers criticized the desecration extensively, the international press hardly took notice of the incident. And yet it was not the first of its kind. As recently as September of this year, gunshots were fired at a rock effigy of Buddha in the same region.
In March of 2001, when the Afghan Taliban laboriously blew up two enormous Buddha statues in Bamiyan, a district in central Afghanistan, there was an international outcry. The Taliban justified the destruction by saying the sculptures were idols and "un-Islamic." Taliban leader Mullah Omar said at the time that "Muslims should be proud to destroy idols. Our destroying them was an act of praise for God."
Only the Beginning?
Now Desai is warning that other Buddhist cultural legacies in Pakistan could also be destroyed: " There are vast numbers of important Buddhist sites in Swat and other areas of northwest Pakistan," she writes. "At this point, all of them are under threat of destruction, thanks to the influential voice of the Islamist leader Mullah Fazlullah."
Full story, here.