Sunday, March 7, 2010

Japan Asked To Convert To Islam

Do you remember the Bamiyan Buddhas ? For those who are not too young, you probably must have read in newspaper / seen on TV about the Bamiyan Buddhas or rather their destruction by the Taliban regime back in 2001 ( i still remember it vividly as it was on the news everywhere at that time ) . For those who are unfamiliar , the Bamiyan Buddhas were two 1500 years old giant size Buddhas carved out from the mountain in Afghanistan but both are no longer standing, no thanks to the descipable act of the Taliban.

The Bamiyan Buddha - Before (left) and after (right) the destruction

During the process of obliteration

After almost a decade ( time passes damn fast ), some interesting information about the Bamiyan Buddhas were revealed by a former member of the Taliban regime. Abdul Salam Zaaef who was the ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan and imprisoned in Guatanamao Bay from 2002 to 2005, wrote in his recently released memoir My Life With The Taliban that Japan was the most active country in pressing the Taliban not to destroy the two giant statues.

The extemist Taliban said that the two Buddhas statues were " idols " which is forbidden in Islam and ought to be brought down ( True but no one asked the Afghan muslims to worship the statues. Can Buddhist majority country example Japan destroy mosques in Japan ? ) In his memoirs Abdul Salam says that Japan sent a delegation together with a smaller delegation from Sri Lanka to Afghanistan to " negotiate " with the Taliban. Japan told the Taliban that the two Buddhas could be " removed " without the need to destroy them. It made two proposals to the Taliban. Japan told the regime that it was willing to remove the Buddhas piece by piece and then assemble them elsewhere (abroad). Alternatively Japan proposed to "hide" both statues by covering them from head to toe until they could not been seen at all. The Japanese told the Taliban that they were willing to protect the Buddhas because Buddhism has been a religious belief of Japan for many centuries. However the Japanese must have got a shocked reply they did not quite expect it. Not only their proposals were rejected outright by the Taliban but the regime called Buddhism as a "Void Religion" and asked the Japanese to convert to Islam instead ( the Japanese delegation probably had expected the rejection but i am sure they were stunned and speechless when asked to convert to Islam by the Taliban ).

Despite pleas from various countries ( Buddhist and non-Buddhist countries alike ), the Taliban were adamant in their decision and finally in March 2001, the two Buddhas were obliterated. Abdul Salam wrote that the destruction of the two Buddhas was within the Islamic law ( seems like he is still unrepented ) but it's timing was the right because a couple of months later, Afghanistan was attacked by the US and the Taliban defeated ( Hello !, Abdul Salam, that was not "wrong timing" but because " you reap what you sow " or the Buddhists call Karma. Your country was attacked because your regime hijacked aircrafts to hit the US on 9th September 2001 )

This is the book - My Life With The Taliban