Monday, November 12, 2007

"Another Buddha destroyed, and the world answers with silence"

The article by Vishakha N. Desai concerning the recent destruction of the Swat Buddha is available via Middle East Transparent. Dr. Desai points out that there are numerous additional Buddhist cultural resources under threat from Taliban desecration:

There are vast numbers of important Buddhist sites in Swat and other areas of northwest Pakistan. At this point, all of them are under threat of destruction, thanks to the influential voice of the Islamist leader Mullah Fazlullah, whose father-in-law, Sufi Mohammad, founded one of the extremist orders.

This order was responsible for bringing more than 10,000 jihadi fighters to Afghanistan to fight alongside Taliban soldiers against the United States in 2001. While Mohammad is believed to be languishing in a regional jail, Mullah Fazlullah operates with impunity, using the radio to spread a message of hatred and intolerance. It is time that the world community not only registers its outrage against such destruction of cultural treasures, but also joins those Pakistanis who are desperately trying to pressure their government to preserve - for their sake and ours - their pre-Islamic cultural heritage. If the world does not act this time, we risk losing one of the most precious legacies of early Buddhist history.


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