They're at it again
|Islamized Buddhist Statue at Bamiyan|
Buddhist heritage eradicated
Trouble in paradise: Maldives and Islamic extremism
MALE — At the Maldives' National Museum, smashed Buddhist statues are testament to the rise of Islamic extremism and Taliban-style intolerance in a country famous as a laid-back holiday destination.
On Tuesday, as protesters backed by mutinous police toppled president Mohamed Nasheed, a handful of men stormed the Chinese-built museum and destroyed its display of priceless artefacts from the nation's pre-Islamic era.
"They have effectively erased all evidence of our Buddhist past," a senior museum official told AFP at the now shuttered building in the capital Male, asking not to be named out of fear for his own safety.
"We lost all our 12th century statues. They were made of coral stone and limestone. They are very brittle and there is no way we can restore them," he explained.
"I wept when I heard that the entire display had gone. We are good Muslims and we treated these statues only as part of our heritage. It is not against Islam to display these exhibits," he said.
Five people have since been arrested after they returned the following day to smash the CCTV cameras, he said. The authorities have banned photography of the damage, conscious that vandalism of this kind which echoes the 2001 destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban is damaging for the nation's image. The gates of the two-storeyed grey building, which opened in 2010, are padlocked and an unarmed guard keeps watch.
The Maldives, a collection of more than 1,100 coral-fringed islands surrounded by turquoise seas, is known as a "paradise" holiday destination that draws hundreds of thousands of travellers and honeymooners each year. Visitors' contact with the local population is deliberately kept at bay, however, with most foreigners simply transferring from the main international airport directly to their five-star resorts on outlying islands.
Few have any idea they are visiting a country of 330,000 Muslims with no religious freedom, where women can be flogged for extramarital sex and consuming alcohol is illegal for locals. Islam is the official religion of the Maldives and open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution.
The religious origins of the Maldivian people are not clearly established, but it is believed that a Buddhist king converted to Islam in the 12th century. Thereafter, the country practised a mostly liberal form of the religion, but more fundamentalist interpretations have spread with the arrival of money and ultra-conservative Salafist preachers from the Middle East. In 2007, following a bombing that wounded a dozen foreign tourists, the former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom banned head-to-toe coverings for women as a sign of his intent to battle conservative Islamic thinking.
At the museum, another official said that fundamentalists had threatened to attack the museum on previous occasions unless it withdrew the Buddhist display.
The country's ultra-conservative Islamic group, the Adhaalath Party, condemned the attack, but said they remained opposed to Nasheed's decision to accept three monuments from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
"Our constitution does not allow idols and that is why we objected to the monuments," General Secretary Mohamed Muizzu said, referring to the gifts to mark a South Asian summit held in November in the Maldives.
The monuments, which included one of pillar featuring Buddhist motifs, and which had been on display in the southernmost island of Addu, have all since been vandalised... More
Coercion, intimidation, thuggery and outright terrorism are intrinsic and essential features of Islam.
Islam is so intellectually moribund and ethically repulsive that it cannot compete for followers in a free marketplace of ideas, but must eliminate its critics and competitors by whatever means may be necessary.
Even 1000 year old Buddha statues are a threat to Islam.
With the massive growth of extremist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, we can only expect Jihadists attacks on Buddhism and Buddhists to increase, as this recent article from Point de Bascule makes clear
On September 7, 2011, the Dalai Lama, Tariq Ramadan and other personalities took part to the Second Global Conference on World's Religions after 9/11. It was organized in Montreal with the active cooperation of McGill University and the Université de Montréal.
During the conference a project of Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions was discussed. The article 12.4 of the Declaration claims that “Everyone has the right not to have one’s religion denigrated in the media or the academia.”
This push for censorship is part of a wider campaign led by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation representing 56 Muslim-majority countries to silence those who criticize Islam.
While this is happening, several Muslim scholars including many endorsed by Tariq Ramadan and the Muslim Brotherhood describe non-Muslim doctrines in a very denigrating way. We do not suggest that these authors should be censored or banned. We bring up this contradiction to highlight the fact that radical Islamists want it both ways.
Syed Maududi and other renowned Muslim scholars have written that kafirs (derogatory word for non-Muslims) will go to hell. They have claimed that Christianity is a distorted religion. In an Islamic Studies course set up by two Muslim Brotherhood operatives for the Edmonton Public School Board, Yusuf Ali’s Qur’an is being used as a reference book. In this book, Jews are described as “apes and swine” (p. 1742). More examples of anti-Jewish stances found in the book are listed in a FrontPage article that was published after the Los Angeles school board decided to pull all its copies of Yusuf Ali’s Qur’an from the shelves of its libraries.
The depiction of Buddhism in Muslim Brotherhood-endorsed books destined to Muslim audiences is no more positive than that of Christianity and Judaism. In fact, it is worse. Harun Yahya’s book Islam and Buddhism is a good example to illustrate where the Muslim Brotherhood and Tariq Ramadan’s “understanding of Islam” leads.
Harun Yahya is a prolific author promoted by various organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Yahya is a Turkish national born in 1956 whose real name is Adnan Oktar.
Point 4.18 of a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood internal memorandum stresses the importance of “role distribution” among the organization’s activists in order to achieve success. While Tariq Ramadan is trying to take advantage of the Dalai Lama’s reputation to legitimize censoring the critics of the Muslim Brotherhood, Harun Yahya is busy telling Brotherhood’s supporters what they should really think about Buddhism.
In 2004, Harun Yahya and his colleague Tariq Ramadan were the main speakers at a conference that Ramadan describes as the “largest Islamic event in Australia” on his website.
Harun Yahya claims that Buddhists are guilty of “association” and that their accomplishments are “destined for destruction”
In his book Islam and Buddhism, Harun Yahya concludes that Buddhists’ accomplishments are purposeless and that they are “destined for destruction” because their understanding of God and religion is incompatible with Islam. Harun Yahya accuses Buddhists of “associating” false gods with the real one:
Historically, this so-called crime of “association” has been the pretext invoked by Muslim scholars to justify the destruction and the eradication of the Buddhist civilization from India, Afghanistan and many other parts of Asia.
Ibn Khaldun (1332 - 1406) is one of many scholars endorsed by Tariq Ramadan. In his classic Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun explains why resorting to coercion and violence against Buddhists and non-Muslims in general is justified:
See No future for Buddhism in an Islamized World