Where Was the Outrage When Islamic Terrorists Destroyed 6th Century Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan?

The Buddhas of Bamiyan were built in the 6th century and was a holy Buddhist site. It was considered a wonder because of the beauty, craftsmanship and size of the statues. The bodies were carved out of sandstone cliffs. The construction took place before Islam had travelled to the central Afghanistan region.

The taller of the two Buddhas stood at more than 170 feet high with the second statue at nearly 115 feet. They were once the world’s largest standing Buddhas before being blown up by Islamic terrorists.

In 2001, in an act that shocked the world, the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas. First, the Islamic terrorists fired at the Buddhas with tanks and artillery shells, but this proved ineffective. They then planted explosives and try to destroy them. The explosives were brought in trucks.

For three days explosives were planted around the statues. Wires were then laid all the way to a nearby mosque from where the charges were detonated amid shouts of ‘Allah Akbar’. But all this effort could only destroy the legs of the two larger statues.

More explosives were brought in by the terrorists. Further, two to three explosions were carried out each day to completely decimate the statues. The process to destroy the Buddhas took a total of 25 days, after which the Taliban celebrated. The despicability of the Taliban didn’t end here. To celebrate their ‘victory’, they brought 9 cows to slaughter.

How many of you even knew about these Buddha statues? A very few, if anyone. The reason is that the media doesn’t like to highlight events where Muslims are the aggressors. And even if it does, media around the world goes the extra mile to not lay blame on Islam, something which it does in a snap of fingers with other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.

Apparently, if someone shouts ‘Allah Akbar’ and kills dozens of innocents, then he isn’t a Muslim in the eyes of the media. But if someone is beaten up for slaughtering a cow then the one assaulting is immediately labelled as an ‘Hindu extremist’ or the act is termed as ‘Saffron terror’. Why such double-standards?

If a Hindu or a Buddhist carries out an allegedly violent activity and is stigmatised on the basis of his religion, then why doesn’t the same happen with Islamic terrorists? It’s almost as if one gets impregnable immunity if he shouts ‘Allah Akbar’ while committing an act of violence. Our motive here is to simply highlight the sheer hypocrisy of the media and not disparage any one religion like the mainstream media does. Either present all religions in the same light or, don’t do that with any religion. The destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan is another example of these double-standards. This act has been termed as an act of violence and not one of Islamic extremism. How would the seculars and liberals reacted if the same act would have been done by the people of other communities?

Vinayak Jain