World Cares More for Buddhist Statues than Human Life

Category: World Affairs Topics: Afghanistan, Taliban Views: 1436
1436

Anyone who has been closely following the media reports coming out of Afghanistan this week can only come to one conclusion: that the world community cares more about ancient relics than it does human lives.

This week, shortly after Taliban leaders announced their decision to destroy two Buddhist statues carved into a sandstone cliff in the central Bamiyan province, the international community lashed out with strong condemnation.

Unsurprisingly, the United States was among the first to criticize Afghanistan's ruling regime. Relations between the Taliban and the Americans deteriorated even further after the U.S. initiated latest round of sanctions on the war-torn nation. During a State Department briefing this week, US State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said the edict against the statues "directly contradicts one of Islam's basic tenets -- tolerance for other religions".

The United Nations sent a special envoy to meet with the Taliban foreign minister, warning their destruction would cause "international outrage".

The European Union, along with several other industrialized nations urged the Taliban to reverse the decision. Shortly thereafter, a long list of countries joined the international uproar over the relics, including Malaysia, Germany, Russia, India, and Japan.

Even Egypt's spiritual leader, mufti Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel, expressed "astonishment" at the Taliban's decision, saying they had no negative impact on Muslims.

Sri Lanka and India even offered to move and protect the statues if the Afghani government would agree.

And without hesitation, the international media dutifully reported the outpouring of grief and anger over the threatened Buddhas, as one headline read, "Worldwide horror as Afghan Taliban begin smashing ancient statues".

But there was no "worldwide horror" or "international outrage" when UN officials announced Friday that more than 260 people have died in displacement camps in northern Afghanistan where an additional 117,000 people are living in miserable conditions.

There was no outpouring of grief for those refugees who mostly died of hunger and exposure to cold weather. Sadly, no one seemed to care that most of the deceased were children under the age of five, elderly men, and women who did not survive childbirth.

And there were no invitations to house these refugees as conditions in these camps are expected to deteriorate.

Perhaps the only consolation in all of this, is that these refugees may never know how much the world cared for two statues and how little it cared for them.


  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Afghanistan, Taliban
Views: 1436

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Older Comments:
KEN FROM CANADA said:
I disagree. Western civilization cares more about people then statues. This is one twisted editorial. Your title is a big lie. However the action of the Muslim Taliban was a crime against the world. That is why the world was outraged. Rightfully so. The world has had stolen a part of its history.
2005-11-01

SAMEER FROM USA said:
You guys have a wrong attitude in analyzing events. Why do you compare destroying budha statues with loss of human life? Both should be avoided. The criticism of the international international community was a pointer to the things that were to come later. Three years later, are you not ashamed of having written such an editorial? Taliban is gone and the budha's principles still are alive.

Hopefully this writing has taught you a lesson!
2003-12-17