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Islamic intellectuals condemn Taliban
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.


Updated: 5-3-2001

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