I did not want to destroy the Bamiyan Buddha. In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains. This shocked me. I thought, these callous people have no regard for thousands of living human beings — the Afghans who are dying of hunger, but they are so concerned about non-living objects like the Buddha. This was extremely deplorable. That is why I ordered its destruction. Had they come for humanitarian work, I would have never ordered the Buddha’s destruction. – Mullah Mohammed Omar
A prime example of the kinds of talking points these groups make up after the fact. It was a Japanese organization that wanted to restore the statue. They had nothing to do with the UN embargo, which was started because the Taliban were thought to be harboring fugitives wanted for the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings.
In fact, they could of just as easily of gotten paid for having the statues moved out of the country, they could of just as easily of created a win-win situation while feeding the hungry. Win-win situations are never taken by these kinds of groups, there is always an evil antagonist forcing their hand to commit more destruction and violence. Officials around the world had been trying to get them moved after locals defaced the Budhha’s and drilled holes for explosives in the statues:
Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating in the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas in 1997 even before he had taken control of the valley. Once he was in control of Bamiyan in 1998, Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas’ heads for explosives. He was prevented from taking further action by the local governor and direct order of Mullah Omar, although tyres were burnt on the head of the great Buddha. In July 1999, Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a decree in favor of the preservation of the Bamiyan Buddha’s statue. Because Afghanistan’s Buddhist population no longer exists, which removed the possibility of the statues being worshiped, he added: “The government considers the Bamiyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors. The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected.” In early 2000, local Taliban authorities asked for UN assistance to rebuild drainage ditches around tops of the alcoves in which the Buddhas were set.
However, Afghanistan’s radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on “un-Islamic” segments of Afghan society. The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.
Information and Culture Minister Qadratullah Jamal told Associated Press of a decision by 400 religious clerics from across Afghanistan declaring the Buddhist statues against the tenets of Islam. “They came out with a consensus that the statues were against Islam,” said Jamal.
According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted. All OIC states – including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government – joined the protest to spare the monuments. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates later condemned the destruction as “savage”. Although India never recognised the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, New Delhi offered to arrange for the transfer of all the artifacts in question to India, “where they would be kept safely and preserved for all mankind.”, but these overtures were rejected by the Taliban. Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sent Moinuddin Haider to Kabul to try to prevent the destruction, by arguing that it was un-Islamic and unprecedented. According to Taliban minister, Abdul Salam Zaeef, UNESCO sent the Taliban government 36 letters objecting to the proposed destruction. He asserted that the Chinese, Japanese and Sri Lankan delegates were the most strident advocates for preserving the Buddhas. The Japanese in particular proposed a variety of different solutions to the issue, these included removing the statues to Japan, covering the statues from view and the payment of money.
A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law. Abdul Salam Zaeef held that the destruction of the Buddhas was finally ordered by Abdul Wali, the Minister for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Again, we see that political concessions have very little effect. If you want to deal with them, become the biggest tribe and negotiate from a position of strength. Terrorism is slightly different in poorer countries like Afghanistan versus the 1st world, in many cases local militias will recruit young men who are poor because their family was widowed. The target is not the political structure, instead dissolve the social and the economic bonds beneath them. The same approach should be taken with other irrationally militant groups. Whatever political platform is in fashion does not dictate the actions of these groups, the underlying psychology must be understood.
For example, several of the 9/11 hijackers planned to fight in Chechnya, but they didn’t have the right paperwork so they attacked America instead. The mujahedeen had no idea whom they would attack after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, so they sat around until they came up with a new enemy: America. Pakistani terrorists regularly defect to another terrorist group with a totally different political platform. Link
There will never be a shortage of talking points to inspire outrage, always look deeper and strike the root of the problem.
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