Jobs @ MG
World Cares More for Buddhist Statues than
By Hebah Abdalla
|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 Taleban 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
Unsurprisingly, the United States was among the first to criticize
Afghanistan's ruling regime. Relations between the Taleban 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 the Taleban foreign
minister, warning their destruction would cause "international
The European Union, along with several other industrialized nations urged
the Taleban 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 Taleban'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 Taleban begin smashing ancient
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 tha
tmost 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 (iviews). q