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Muslims come heavily on Taliban
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman

Taliban governments' decision to destroy all statues of historical and monumental importance in Afghanistan has come in for sharp criticism by a number of leading Muslim leaders in the country. The Taleban leader Mulla Umar issued a decree on 27 February ordering the destruction of all statues in the country. Afghanistan houses a large number of statues of historical importance including some of the tallest standing Buddha statues in the world. Some of these Buddha statues date back to more than 2000 years.
Afghanistan houses a large number of historical monuments. Besides the historical Buddha statues the region is home to six bilingual Ashoka rock edicts, Buddhist viharas, stupas and remains of Kushana periods. The decree if implemented will not leave a single of these monuments standing in Afghanistan. As the news coming from Afghanistan say it is clear that they have started demolishing a number of statues of monumental and historical importance in Bamiyan and other areas of the country. It is reported that Taliban forces have deployed tanks and other heavy artillery to demolish these statues scattered in a large part of the Afghanistan.
All Muslim leaders in the country have criticized the move of the Taliban authorities calling it uncalled for, unfortunate and un-Islamic. Ulema and Muslim intelligentsia all over the country have criticized severely the move of the Taliban authorities to demolish statues and places of worship of other religions that also have great historical importance.
Maulana Muhammad Ja'far of Jama'at-e-Islami says that the step of the Afghanistan government is un-Islamic as Islam does not allow the destruction or demolition of the religious relics of any community. While talking to the Milli Gazette, the secretary general of the Jama'at-e-Islami says that had Islam allowed the destruction of religious places or the statues and places of religious importance it would have been hard to find a large number of these sort of things any where in West Asia and other parts of the world where Muslims ruled for a very long period.
Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Imam of the Fatehpuri Shahi Masjid in Delhi has also severely condemned the move of the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan and has called upon them to stop it immediately. In his view, Taleban should have asked other countries and agencies to remove these relics.
Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasimi of the Milli Council has said that if the news emanating from Afghanistan is true and they are demolishing statues and places of historical and monumental importance, it is unfortunate and un-called for. The Maulana told the Milli Gazette that Islam does not allow these sorts of steps and they should stop immediately from taking any step that defies the spirit of Islam. He further said that Hazrat Umar, the second Caliph of Islam even did not enter a church after Muslims took over Jerusalem, fearing that if he goes and offers namaz inside the church, Muslims may convert the church into a mosque. So he did not offer the namaz there though Christians had also requested him to offer prayers there. He says that Islam respects other religious minorities and their faith.
Maulana Nasim Ghazi of Sahitya Prakashan has also called the move uncalled for and has asked the Taliban to restrain from any such act.
When the MG approached GM Banatwala, MP and president of the Indian Union Muslim League, he said that the act of demolishing the monuments is unfortunates and violates the charters of the UN. He says that if a country is a member of the United Nations it should comply with the charters and the rules of the UNO. He said the same also happened in our country when a mosque of great historical and monumental value was demolished by some fanatics. He said that a large number of other monuments are also being targeted by these religious fanatics.
Syed Shahabuddin of the Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat while talking to the MG has also condemned Taliban government's move and has asked them to desist from any act that hurts the sentiments of other religions. He has asked the Taliban authorities to resist from demolishing these monuments of religious and historical importance. M. Afzal, former member of Parliament and the editor of reputed weekly Akhbar-e-Nau, says that the move of Taliban authorities is absolutely un-Islamic. They have no right to demolish places of religious, historical and monumental importance. Talking to the MG he said that this move should be condemned by all the Muslims and Muslim countries.
Naved Hamid of the MOEMIN also says that it is wrong to demolish the statues of historical and religious importance. He says that the Taliban government should stop this act immediately. Hamid adds while talking to the Milli Gazette that the international community would have stopped the Taliban from this act had it recognized the regime in Afghanistan as it would have enjoyed moral authority over the country. Shahid Siddiqi, a senior politician and the editor of Weekly Nai Duniya and daily Awam told the MG that this act goes against the spirit of Islam and should be condemned by all the Muslims in the country. He also says that Muslims should come forward to stop these acts and should convey their anger to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
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