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Poll on Taliban and Buddhist Statues


Poll on Taliban Buddhist Statues

In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed two ancient Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. What should the Taliban have done with the Buddhist statues? Find out what our poll said.

Arguments For

Arguments for destruction of the statues were articulated in February 2001 by Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar:

"It has been decided to break down all statues/idols present in different parts of the country. This is because these idols have been gods of the infidels, who worshipped them, and these are respected even now and perhaps may be turned into gods again. The real God is only Allah, and all other false gods should be removed."

Arguments Against

The arguments against destruction of the statues were expressed, among others, by Naqibullah Ahmad Yarn, the president of the National Museum of Afghanistan:

"It's nothing to do with ideology... It's about the culture and history of the country... We're not opposed to this exhibition in principle because the exhibits are part of our history. And everything which happens in the country becomes part of the country and the government is obliged to preserve it."

Where It Stands

The statues have been destroyed and their stone alcoves stand empty.
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