Buddhists murdered by Muslims 1

In 2001 the Taliban destroyed two ancient Buddhist statues. In Western eyes it was an unforgivable act of vandalism. It was widely reported, and the perpetrators were angrily denounced.

Even an archaeologist, K. Kris Hirst, could not keep a cool professional view of the deed entirely free of moral judgment, having this to say about it:

In March 2001, six months before the September 11th bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Taliban destroyed two ancient statues of the Buddha called Bamiyan in an attempt to cleanse the country of Afghanistan of what they perceived as Hindu heresy.

To be perfectly blunt, this is an old story. New landowners of a country move in and do their best to obliterate all traces of the conquered and now minority population. Former cultural monuments, particularly if they are of a religious nature, are pulled down, and monuments for the new group built, frequently right on the top of the foundations of the old. The old languages are forbidden or limited, along with other cultural phenomena such as marriage customs, rites of initiation, even food taboos.

The reasons the conquerors give for this trashing of the old ways and structures are varied, and include everything from modernization to saving the souls of the recently conquered. But the purpose is the same: to destroy the remnants of a culture which represents a threat to the new dominance. It happened in 16th century AD in the New World civilizations; it happened in Caesar’s Rome; it happened in the dynasties of Egypt and China. It’s what we as humans do when we are afraid. Destroy things.

So, it shouldn’t have been as shocking as it was, to see the Taliban in Afghanistan blast two enormous 3rd and 5th century AD statues of Buddha to powder with anti-aircraft guns. … It is … an ominous forewarning of the Taliban’s distaste of anything other than their own set of extremist Islamic values.

When it comes to the destruction of  Buddhists themselves by Muslims, there is less interest. Virtually none at all. But news of it crops up in obscure places.

This report comes (via Creeping Sharia) from the Hindi weekly, Organiser:

Brutal killings of hapless Chakma Buddhists living for centuries in Chittagong hill tract and burning of their houses and pagodas by powerful gangs of Muslim land mafias in Bangladesh on February 19-20 …

Apart from killings of 10 poor Chakmas, at least 200 houses in 11 Chakma villages were burnt to ashes by marauding goons on the night of February 19. At one point during the clash, the military personnel started firing indiscriminately on fleeing Chakma villagers only to help encourage attacking Muslim settlers. Chittagong is Bangladesh’s only district having a significant Buddhist population. Army was called in after a pagoda and an office of a UN-funded project were set on fire. A statue of Lord Buddha installed at the Banani Buddhist Monastery was damaged and another statue was looted… Chakmas demanded immediate withdrawal of 400 army camps from Chitagong hills alleging that Bangladesh army personnel are actually helping outsiders to settle in Chakma villages by grabbing their land

There have been many attacks on Buddhist and Hindu villages since 1997 in Bangladesh which have now become occupied by Muslim villagers and landowners…

We are waiting patiently for the denunciation of the Muslim murderers in the United Nations. Can one doubt that the UN Human Rights Council will be taking vigorous action over the matter in the very near future? (Or maybe when they’ve finished condemning Israel for renovating the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, or the site of Rachel’s Tomb on the West Bank.)