Why Afghanistan is Not my Favorite Country

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan’s hard-line Taliban rulers ordered the destruction Monday of all statues, including a giant 5th-century Buddha that is said to be the world’s tallest of its kind. The order came from the Taliban’s supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, who issued an edict declaring statues, including the ancient Buddhas, as insulting to Islam.

“Because God is one God and these statues are there to be worshipped and that is wrong. They should be destroyed so that they are not worshipped now or in the future,” Omar said
in his edict, published by the Taliban-run Bakhtar News Agency. Afghanistan’s ancient Buddhas are located in Bamiyan,
about 90 miles west of the Afghan capital of Kabul. One Buddha, measuring 175 feet, is said to be the world’s tallest
statue in which Buddha is standing up rather than sitting. The smaller is 120 feet tall. The two statues, which have been damaged in fighting in the area, were carved out of the Afghan mountainside in the 5th century.

. . . And does anyone notice that Mullah Mohammed Omar talks exactly like Mojo Jojo? “Because God is one God and these statues are there to be worshipped and that is wrong. They should be destroyed so that they are not worshipped now or in the future!”

Destroying art is a sacrilege!

Y’know, I think that Afghanistan is the only country in history that had a better and more enlightened goverment as a Soviet satellite than it ever had before or since.

Actually I’d blame the Soviet regime for producing the Taliban.

(Think of the Taliban as some back country fundie fucks taking over the USA.)

I was planning on opening a Pit thread on this exact topic after hearing this story. This sucks! :mad: This is a good example of why theocracy is so dangerous.

That, and pulling brick walls down on gay people’s heads and being multifariously horrible to women.

Wow, do you think it will occur to anybody they could sell the statues rather than destroy them? That would be less bad, and I’m sure there are museums that will take them.

<sigh> There are so many reasons to hate these guys.

'Course, I’m not defending the Soviets. But most countries got to be better places after they left, not worse, as happened in Afghanistan. And the place was pretty unenlightened before the Soviets ever took over. Women certainly enjoyed the greatest freedom they ever had in that country under the Reds. I’m just saying it takes a pretty thouroughly fucked-up regime to make a Soviet occupation look like “the good old days.”

Personally, not to pick on what Eve said, since she’s got a good reason to complain, but I’m more concerned with how they treat WOMEN, than with how they treat STATUES.

This is why I am glad to not live in a theocracy…
[sub]In spite of what some people here want![/sub]

Well, ok. It’s a shame. The statues are being torn down.

And this is surprising exactly how?

I mean, it’s not like it’s exclusive to theocracy, or to the Taliban. All conquerors, however motivated, have destroyed the works of the past.

It happens. It sucks. Oh well.

It’s nice to know that what with denying women basic medical care and education, they have the money to accomplish the really important stuff. :rolleyes:

Jeez, that Taliban “justification” of their iconoclasm…like the Burmese government (SLORC) and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, sad proof that, the more autocratic the government, the more insane their communiques become. If Afghanistan wasn’t such a tragic case, you could almost call that “statement” black humor. I thought the Taliban had outdone itself when they banned Leonardo DeCaprio-style haircuts, but obviously they’re not finished yet.

Uh, did you see how big these statues are? That, plus they were carved out of the mountainside.

The Corps of Engineers moved bigger when they had to move the monument to Ramses’s wife to build the Aswan Dam and it, too was carved from the rock face. If they wanted to save it-which they clearly don’t, they could. Feeling that strongly about it, I doubt they’d let anyone else save it, either.

Not that I’m an expert on the middle east or anything, but I’m pretty sure the Taliban is squarely on the US. These are the guys we backed (over the moderate, western-educated Afghanis, mind you) to force out the Soviets.

Losing those statues is a tragedy, sure, but in terms of evil, this is minor league for these guys. I liked the laws that say women can’t go to male doctors, and cannot be doctors themselves. That’s right, health care for women is illegal in Afghanistan. Compared to what passes for human rights in that country, blowing up statues is pretty insignificant.

Actually, I don’t mind so much. I figure the more effort the Taliban puts into destroying statues, the less effort they are spending on persecuting the people of Afghanistan. I’ve heard stories about barbers being sent to jail for giving people a Leonardo DiCaprio haircut. While not exactly a right that I’m particularly adament for, I think there is something seriously fucked up about a country that considers Titanic to be an evil influence. So, the loss of a few statues doesn’t exactly change my feelings about the country.

Unless this guy speaks English, the fault lies with the translator.

Well, at least the Taliban’s got something right.