Mail Call

Newsweek International, April 16, 2001 | Go to article overview

Mail Call


The Taliban Strikes Again

Our March 12 story on the Taliban's plan to destroy ancient Buddhist statues prompted many readers to deplore what one called "a dastardly act." Another remarked, "The Taliban is laying waste to its nation's art and history." Some, however, asserted that the indignant response of some Western nations was hypocritical. "The whole world has suffered from the destruction of natural and cultural riches by industrialized nations," commented one critical reader.

Doing Away With History

You're right, NEWSWEEK, the Taliban has "succeeded only in angering the world" by going on a rampage against Buddhist idols ("Destroying the Afghan Past," SOCIETY & THE ARTS, March 12). But the world has had to reckon with many such Philistines through the ages. Nearly a decade back, the Babri Mosque in Ajodhya, India, was completely demolished by members of the party that is in power today. And yet now the Indian government has come out strongly against what happened in Bamiyan. It is difficult to digest such hypocritical self-righteousness on their part.

Ratna Sansar Shrestha--Katmandu, Nepal

The destruction of Buddhist temples and statues is nothing new in the history of Islam in West and South Asia. The reason there are virtually no ancient Hindu or Buddhist temples anywhere in northern India is that they were razed by marauding Muslim conquerors nearly a millennium ago. Visitors to Delhi's Quwwat ul-Islam mosque (India's oldest) can discover that it is constructed of stones from demolished Hindu temples, the images nearly obliterated but still visible. The Katmandu Valley in Nepal, by contrast, is so rich in ancient Hindu and Buddhist shrines and manuscripts precisely because it was largely spared the ravages of Muslim invasion and iconoclasm. Some Muslim communities, on the other hand, have preserved the sacred art of other faiths with respect and loving care. I was delighted to come across one of the most extraordinary collections of Buddhist statuary I've ever seen in the municipal museum of Peshawar in Pakistan, 50 miles from the Afghan frontier.

Bill Templer--Shumen University

Shumen, Bulgaria

I did not believe that such barbarians still existed in this age of high-tech globalization until I read your article about the Taliban. That the entire world, including Muslim countries, is against this mad rampage shows that what the fanatical rulers of Taliban are doing is not only harming Buddhism but destroying world heritage. We in Sri Lanka--Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike--condemn this dastardly act by the Taliban with one voice because every religious man must respect another's faith.

Lionel Rajapakse--Kandy, Sri Lanka

Although I do not approve of the Taliban's destruction of Buddhist statues, I find the outrage over it arrogant and hypocritical, especially when expressed by Europeans and Americans. After all, the whole world has suffered and continues to suffer from the destruction of natural and cultural riches by the industrialized nations. Our forefathers blindly sacked and eradicated the Mayan and Inca civilizations, enslaved Africans, humiliated Native Americans and imposed their religion, language and political systems on the peoples of the Southern Hemisphere. And it is the North American and European multinationals that, by way of their ever-growing financial power, continue to dictate economic and cultural choices and wreak ecological havoc on the rest of the world. Western colonialists are the real destroyers of cultural identity. I do not support the Taliban's policies, especially with regard to women, but shame for the cultural crimes committed by my country and continent prevents me from joining the outrage over their demolition of idols.

Georges Pfeiffenschneider-- Luxembourg

The cultural vandalism of the Taliban just goes to show how the cancer of religious fundamentalism has taken hold, has debilitated the Afghan population and is spreading by laying waste to the nation's art and history. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mail Call
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.