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Ulama denounce Taleban decision
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

Like all civilized persons of world Muslim ‘ulama’ and intellectuals are bitterly condemning the barbaric and most un Islamic decision of the Taleban militia to destroy two thousand years old Buddha statues in Bamiyan.. Terming it as ‘worst form of bigotry’ Muslim intellectuals and ‘ulama have appealed to the Taleban supremo Mulla Umar to go through the Islamic history during the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions’ era and see whether they have ever allowed Muslim forces to destroy the places of worship of other communities even though they were in war against the Islamic forces.

Noted ‘alim and vice president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Sadiq has termed it as most barbaric, uncivilized and anti-Islamic. Speaking to MG he said: ‘Unfortunately Taleban have lips but not the brains and minds whereas Islam is the religion of brain i.e., reason. He said the Buddha idols in Bamiyan are part of the world heritage and these should be preserved in that capacity and if the Taleban were not interested in preserving them these could have been sold to any country including India or Thailand.’ He said that Islam is strictly opposed to the use force or coercive measures against the followers of other religions. He said that after the Islamic revolution in Iran all the statues of imperial era were kept in museums and were not destroyed. He appealed to the Taleban to see reason and respect the world opinion.

Another important member of the Board Maulana Sajjad Nadwi said that since contradictory news is coming, it is yet not clear whether Taleban have started destroying the idols or that they are issuing only hollow threats to invite the world attention against their isolation. But if they are actually destroying them then it is most barbaric and un-Islamic as nowhere in the Shari’ah Muslims have been asked to destroy the religious places of other religions. All the true Islamic states from the era of the first caliph have provided religious freedom to their subjects. He also condemned the international community for isolating the Taleban and doubted that this isolation may have compelled them to make such an announcement. He said that the international community should try to understand the Afghan psyche: they will die but will not bow, so the sanctions and isolation will be counter-productive. He said that both the destruction of the Babri Masjid in India and the destruction of the Buddha idols in Afghanistan are equally heinous crimes.

True to his habit, Maulana Rabey Nadwi, rector of the world-famous Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, who spoke to the MG from his Rai Bareli residence, said that it is a political as well as religious issue; so I am nobody to comment upon the matter. I am not a Mufti so I cannot issue a fatwa and I am not a politician so I cannot make any comment . However, Maulana Ghayas Nadwi, who teaches in the Govt. Unani Medical College here, termed it anti-Islamic and uncivilized. He said that Islam teaches tolerance and accommodation. They may have a legal right over their country but they have to follow the Islamic jurisprudence if they claim to be a Muslim state. Such actions give opportunity to anti Muslim forces to defame Islam, he added.

Maulana Shah Fazlur Rahman Pesh Imam of Tile Wali Masjid said that the sentiments of millions of people are related with these idols and Islam does not allow breaking of the hearts of human beings. Taleban should desist from such un-Islamic acts.

Professor MK Sherwani, general secretary of the All-India Muslim Forum termed it as anti-Islam. He said that if this would have been the teachings of Islam there would not have been even a single religious place of other religions in Muslim countries. The Holy Qur’an is very specific on this issue, i.e. no coercion in religious matters. Another prominent Muslim advocate of the capital Mr. Mushtaq Siddiqi, general secretary of the Minorities Forum of India, and Mr. MZ Rahman, a social activist, noted journalist Mr. Usman Ghani and well-known poet Irfan Siddiqui bitterly criticized Taleban and requested them to behave in an Islamic and civilized manner. 

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