Tag: Buddhas

“An attempt to wipe out history”: The destruction of the Bamian Buddha colossi in 2001

On 26 February 2001, the leader of the Afghan Taleban movement, Mullah Muhammad Omar, ordered from his headquarters in Kandahar that “all statues and non-Islamic shrines in the different areas of the Islamic Emirate must be broken” because they were worshipped by people of non-Islamic religious beliefs and were therefore ‘idols.’ This kind of worship, […]

Guest Blog: Why the Buddhas of Bamian were destroyed

It would have been possible to save the Bamian Buddhas from destruction. But it was not an important enough issue for the western powers to intervene over. And the outsiders who did consider the Buddhas important were not prepared to contemplate the kind of intervention that might have worked. The Buddhas were abandoned, argues our […]

The Destruction of the Bamian Buddhas (2)

28 February 2000: The Taleban want to destroy all non-Islamic images of human beings in Afghanistan as ‘idols’. With this decision, they threaten the rich cultural heritage of their country. International experts react with horror. A contemporary article by Thomas Ruttig. The Quran bans all displays of human images because Allah – as the God […]

The Destruction of the Bamian Buddhas (1)

Together with the systematic exclusion of women from almost all spheres of social life, public executions in stadiums and massacres of minority groups that had resisted their takeover of certain parts of the country, it was the iconoclastic destruction of the two ancient Buddhist statues in early March 2001 which shaped the world’s image of […]