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Destruction at Bamiyan

   It's indeed a sad day.
While the the media has highlighted this recent spat of destruction, what
isn't well known is that the Taliban have been just as aggressive when it
comes to historic works of Islamic art that they have deemed offensive since
they contain paintings, or poetry by calligraphic masters that mention taboo
subject such as wine drinking.  They censor what they don't agree with, and
other Muslims have been their main target.

   I must agree with the statement that decorative art which consists of
"tightly organized space" cannot be considered terrorist art.  It is just
this type of highly decorative work that organizations such as Taliban
consider unlawful (haram), or "innovation" (bida), among other unkind
accusations thrown about by contemporary Islamic fundamentalists.  If you
consider that many of the motifs utilized in later Islamic art are images
from mainly flora and few fauna, it can be implied that these works are a
celebration of a kind sacred geometry inherent in nature....

   Perhaps the attention Taliban is now paying to Buddhist artifacts has
arisen due to the fact that they've run out of other Muslims to bash.
Meanwhile children have been freezing to death in refugee camps in Herat
that have almost no food or water...

   So, my only hope is that through the efforts of scholars there can be a
compilation of these destroyed artifacts from photographic archives across
the world.  Then we won't forget.  A similar effort is currently ongoing
with regard to collections destroyed in Bosnia.

Jake Benson

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