Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fanatics' desperate effort to destroy pre-Islamic heritage

As if the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues wasn't enough, fanatical mullahs and their constituents from Swat in the Northwest Frontier province attempt to blow up yet another statue in the name of their twisted version of Islam which is quite alien to the Subcontinent:

Suspected pro-Taleban militants have tried to blow up an ancient carving of Buddha in north-west Pakistan.
The statue, thought to date from the second century BC, sustained only minimal damage in the attack near Manglore in remote Swat district.

The area has seen a rise in attacks on "un-Islamic" targets in recent months.

This is the first such attack in Pakistan and is reminiscent of the Taleban's 2001 destruction of the giant Buddhas at Bamiyan in Afghanistan.


It is a miracle that there was only "minimal" damage, but I surely hope this serves as a wake up call to normal Pakistanis that fear this menace and to do something about it. They have no problem destroying remnants of our ancient Islamic heritage in Saudi Arabia, such as the Ottoman-era al-Ajyad fortress in Saudi Arabia, the the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, Iraq, and the Wahhabi raid of Karbala in 1801 where Imam Hussein's shrine was looted by the vandals, so what does remnants of non-Islamic heritage hurt them?

To the defenders of this lunacy, would you have been okay if suddenly the Spaniards decide to destroy remnants of their Islamic past in southern Spain? Would you accept the Hindus torching the Taj Mahal on the basis of again, being a remnant of India's Islamic past? Was the destruction of Babri Masjid by Hindu fanatics justified since it offended their sensitivities? Where does this madness end?

I know some are going to bring up the smashing of Idols in Makkah, but that's a moot point since THERE ARE NO BUDDHISTS IN SWAT OR NWFP IN THE FIRST PLACE! Buddhists don't even worship statues for crying out loud, so what Goddamn right do these fanatics have in destroying these statues? Will it improve the status of their people in that God-forsaken province? Will it help feed the poor? Instead of blowing up these statues, perhaps they can use the money they bought the explosives with and use it towards feeding their people or their families even?

How much longer before fanatics in Egypt engage in a mass-orgy of the destruction of ancient Egypt? How much longer before the pyramids of Giza are destroyed by these vigilante forces? Successive Muslim empires left them intact and did not bother to destroy them, so what logic can they suddenly start destroying them now?

If anyone in Pakistan is concerned about our culture and heritage that is currently under assault, then by all means stop these people with whatever means necessary. These wannabe mullah dogs have done nothing but ruined Pakistan AND Islam.

8 comments:

Leena said...

Great post and blog.

I agree with you, Muslims shouldn't destroy these things and they'd have a freakin' fit if anyone tried it with "Muslim" heritage sites.

But your last paragraph calling on Pakistanis to "stop these people" seems like a big command. You do know what terrorists do to people who don't agree with them? :-P

They should be stopped but they're very clever at having attempts to stop them turn into recruiting opportunities. "They're trying to strangle 'Islam'!"

And we can't kill 'em all. Sadly. But if they keep ignorantly spending all their money on bombs to put blow up mountains, maybe they'll starve themselves to death first?

The Anti-Wahhabi said...

Salam leena,

Thank you for your kind comments. I agree with you on what a joke Muslims are when it comes to holding a "supremicist belief". Sorry but we are no more wrong than others so why must we think we're higher than others?

Well the only time the Pakistanis will perhaps wake up is when an Amman-style attack occurs in either Karachi or Islamabad where the majority of the dead are Muslims. But then again, given the illiteracy rates of Pakistan vs. Jordan, and the tendency for stupid Pakistanis to indulge in conspiracy theories, who knows?

No, we can't kill them all. What we can do is engage them in a theological debate where they will try to prove that it is okay under Islam to destroy pre-Islamic or even Islamic artifacts (as evident in Saudi Arabia) even though previous Islamic empires kept care of these relics. For God's sake, Muslim scholars translated and preserved Greek works!

What I want to see is a return to the science, philosophy, and mathematics that helped define Islam in the early Golden Age, not the backwardness, the illiteracy, the fanaticism, and the childish rancor that is evident today.

WS

Bar Kochba said...

Muslims destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha, Joseph's Tomb and are conducting illegal excavations on the Temple Mount and destroying many Jewish artifacts. And these people should be trusted with a state in Judea and Samaria?

The Anti-Wahhabi said...

"Muslims destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha, Joseph's Tomb and are conducting illegal excavations on the Temple Mount and destroying many Jewish artifacts. And these people should be trusted with a state in Judea and Samaria?"

And Coptic fanatics attempted to destroy their own culture in Egypt when they controlled the country, and invading Europeans destroyed many relics of glorious civilizations that graced the Americas, what's your point?

Besides, the majority of the Muslim world had pleaded with the Taliban to retain the statues, but your close-minded idiocy cannot grasp that.

Raza Rumi said...

This is such an interesting blog - your posts are brilliant and the response to the last comment made me ROTFL..

And, the blog title is fantastic - I am of the view that we cannot reform Islam unless this curse is contained, corrected or at best trashed to history's dustbin

Please also visit this post on a blog-zine that I manage -
http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2007/12/07/hussein-hallaj-dissent-within-islam-and-the-birth-of-mysticism-part-i/

cheers

Raza Rumi said...

Can you tell me where you are based as I would like to cross post this entry at
pakteahouse.wordpress.com
salaam/peace
Raza

The Anti-Wahhabi said...

Raza Rumi, I'm based in Dallas. Sorry for the long response, been busy with schoolwork and all. I'll be sure to update this blog whenever I can.

Nawazish Ali said...

Has any one ever wondered about the following:

If a book (the Qur’an in this situation) is meant to be from God/Allah, why do two individuals of equivalent intelligence always come up with different interpretations of the text?

There are many contradictions in the Quran; the only people unable to see them are those completely brainwashed and have lost the ability to think rationally. They come up with all sorts of historical/non-historical justifications for these such as the arabic language/literary peculiarities etc. nothing substantial or scientific; perhaps they are not aware of this concept.

There are literally billions ans billions of galaxies and star systems in our “known” universe; supposedly we are talking about a creator that is well beyond the confines of any material boundaries; why would such a “person” even care about what goes on in individual hearts and minds on a teeny weeny planet! Why would he be upset about, for example, a woman showing off a bit of skin or someone not observing some ritual exactly how it was prescribed (when there are literally hundreds of such, very contradictory, rituals in Islam amongst the sects; not to quote countless other similar examples.

If the “Loh-e-Mahfouz” was the first thing created with the deeds of all living things and their fate already prescribed, what the hell is the meaning of “the free will”?!

If a ruler of my country wanted me to abide by ceratin rules, I would expect them to be laid down explicitly and clearly for all to understand. Otherwise, I would think they were unjust in prosecuting me for misgivings; why are there so many ambiguities as to what the “true Islam” is; that definition is certainly not unanimous by anyone’s standards as we ll know; the interpretations are so varied and far apart at times that it is mind boggling!

According to the Quran, Allah gave his blessings to the Bani Israel but they betrayed his trust many a times, so he went off them completely and chose a different people for revival of his “Only and True Message”! Are we thinking that an omniscient and omnipotent God, with the inherent knowledge of everything, transcendent through the confines of time, made a mistake!! Then he tried to correct it by chosing arabia for his chosen messanger! How odd!!

Prayer is such a contradictory term, don’t you think. If all is already decided, does God change his mind if we were to grovel before him and grants us our desires as a reward; very confusing!!

The only answers I ever got for these as a child, and many other similar questions, was that we CANNOT work out God’s will and he is the only one who does; what the hell are we doing with our assess up in the air five times a day then!!

All of the above seem to be the desires of the needy and not fullfilled “persona” (to quote Al-Razi); Is it that we have created this “persona” is OUR OWN IMAGE rather than the other way around?

Is our “conflict” with the rest of the world sheer paranoia “they are out to get us”!! and the only reason we cannot accept this is our inherent “sense of pride” so deeply indoctrinated that we cannot listen to reason.

The reason I am talking about the Islamic context here is because that is my background and I wish to discuss the very foundations of this faith. It is all very well to hide behind the “good aspects” of Islamic history and ignore the other “less desirable” aspects, but the question is what it is all based on; without foundation, there is nothing left. I criticise any dogma based on “faith” and th other so-called faiths are no exception to this; however, I prefer people from those cultures to comment on their own cultural heritages.

Problem with being “moderate” is that moderation, whatever it might mean, harbours and nurtures extremist elemnts. Extremists to me mean people who are trying to follow their “faiths” down to the last letter. This Sufism etc have nothing to do with what Islam actually is; it is a digression from the mainstream. Sufis were always at the fringes of mainstream society and their ideas of “Sulha-e-kul” etc have nothing to do with the message of Islam; though I do admit it can make Islam a bit more palatable!

If we had all the “knowledge/Ilm” in the Quran, why would we strive for more; the whole idea of “the completeness” of “Deen/way of life” is not compatible with modernity of any kind, however that is defined. Of course we can cherry pick and find quotes to justify absolutely anything that WE WANT TO; that itself is the biggest weakness of religious dogma; interpretable with vast differences of opinions between individuals of equivalent intelligence! Surely they can't ALL be true!!!!

Wake up guys and smell the coffee!