- Islamic intellectuals condemn
- The Times of India News Service
NEW DELHI (March 5, 2001): Over 70
top-ranking Islamic intellectuals from across the world have unanimously condemned the
destruction of the globally famous Buddha statues, including those at Bamiyan, and other
idols in Afghanistan under the decree of the ruling Islamist fundamentalist Taliban.
Terming the destruction by guns and
rockets as ``unwarranted'' and ``totally un-Islamic'', the body of Islamic intellectuals
stressed: ``Islam orders us to respect the places of worship of other religions. Islam
does not allow destruction of religious places of any community.''
Describing the Taliban decree as
``unfortunate,'' the intellectuals in a joint statement said, ``historical monuments are
the heritage of all mankind and do not belong to any government or people.'' The
demolition was ``totally un-Islamic and unwarranted'', they said.
The signatories include Fatehpuri Jama Masjid shahi imam
Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Islamic Centre president Maulana Waheeduddin Khan, Hamdard
University vice-chancellor Syed Hamid, former MP Syed Shahbuddin, Bharati Majlis chairman
Javed Habib, Asghar Ali Engineer, Jamia Millia professors Farida Khanum, Zubair Ahmad
Farooqi and Shafiq Ahmad Khan Nadwi, London-based Muslim Institute director M Ghayasuddin,
Jerusalem-based journalist Khalid Amayreh, Jawaid Quddus of the University of Michigan,
Zafar Iqbal from Washington, Parwaiz Wahid of the US' Northeastern University,
Athens-based journalist Nawab Khan, CM Naim of the University of Chicago, artist Javed
Akhtar, and Institute of Islamic and Arab Studies director Zafarul Islam Khan.