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TJ KB: Taliban: Dunia Mahukan Kemusnahan Apa?
By Khalid Baig
10/3/2001 2:48 am Sat
TALIBAN: DUNIA MAHUKAN KEMUSNAHAN APA?
'Dunia yang bertamaddun' nampaknya cuba menonjolkan keperihatinan
mereka kepada warisan kemanusiaan dan nilai ugama dengan mengutuk
tindakkan Taliban memusnahkan patung. Soalnya inilah dunia yang sama yang
menafikan bantuan kepada Afghanistan sekian lama. Malah tidak ada negara lain
yang telah diboikot seteruk negara Afghanistan!!.
Patung atau batu adalah hak negara Afghanistan. Ia berhak melakukan apa
saja - lagipun patung itu bukannya sesuatu yang disembah dan bukan tempat
menyembah. Dengan menghalang Taliban memusnahkan patung negara luar cuba
menafikan hak tuan yang memilikki barang.
Bayangkan tragedi di India yang memusnahan Masjid Babri 8 tahun lepas serta
mengorbankan 2,000 nyawa yang memprotesnya. Amat malang negara ini cuba
mengutuk Taliban sebagai mengganas pula sedangkan yang tiada siapa menyembah
patung yang berada di bumi Afghan.
Dimanakah penjaga warisan budaya bila banyak masjid, perpustakaan, sekolah,
bangunan bersejarah dan muzium - kebanyakkannya bersejarah sekali - telah
dimusnahkan di Balkan? Lebih 1,200 masjid hancur di Bosnia dikerjakan oleh
Serbia. 200 biji lagi lenyap doi Kosova. Dan mereka bukan sahaja memusnahkan
tempat ibadat, malah menyembelih hidup-hidup imam-imam dan menembak makmum.
Mengapa golongan ini semua diam?
Akhbar Washington Post mengatakan patung-patung tersebut adalah identiti
Afghan. Soalnya artifaks tersebut bukannya identiti Afghan - malah ia adalah
kesan dan identiti imperialisma budaya. Identiti Afghan bukan berasal dari
situ - tetapi berasal dan berdasarkan corak hidup dan contoh Nabi-nabi.
Nabi Ibrahim memusnahkan semua patung dan tidak menghiraukan kecaman
sesiapa - walaupun 'bapa'nya sendiri membina patung itu. Begitu juga Nabi
Muhammad (saw) yang tidak meninggalkan sebiji pun patung di Mekah melainkan
dimusnahkan sahaja. Inilah warisan Islam. Kita membersihkan rumah kita
sendiri dari sebarang patung bikinan manusia. Kita tidak perlu menyimpannya
sebagai warisan budaya atau seni untuk dipuja. Dengan melakukan demikian
kita membebaskan dunia dan negara dari kesan keangkuhan sesuatu yang dicipta
manusia untuk menyesatkan manusia.
Dunia yang kita hidup kini dipenuhi dengan manusia yang lebih mementingkan
nyawa patung dan batu dari nyawa manusia. Malah manusia sanggup disembelih
hanya kerana isu menyembelih lembunya di India.
Inilah dunia yang begitu kejam dan angkuh lagi dungu. Ia cuba menjuarai
kecintaan kepada kesenian sedangkan itu bukan kesenian bangsa tetapi
satu seni menjajah melalu propaganda.
- Khalid Baig-
-TJ Kapal Berita-
Taliban: The World Needs the Iconoclasts
Published Sunday March 04, 2001
By Khalid Baig
As expected, the Taliban decision to destroy statues
from the Islamic State has created a big international
uproar. The entire "civilized world", with the UN at
its head, has been jumping up and down to condemn this
"great crime against humanity." The world leaders have
been shaking with anger. The Taliban have been warned
by the UN of a "devastating reaction" if they harm the
sacred stones. One pundit even suggested sending an
army to rescue the beleaguered Buddhas.
It is fascinating to see all these political and
cultural champions get all worked up with "moral
indignation." Through their pious pronouncements they
try to persuade us that theirs is a principled stand.
The only problem is that it is difficult to discern
what that principle is.
Is it their concern for humanity? Well, it is the same
UN that has started the project of torturing and
killing the people by the millions in the
war-devastated Afghanistan by imposing sanctions
against it. The scheme they are using --- depriving
the little children of milk, the hungry of food and
the sick of medicine --- has been perfected in Iraq
where it has killed half a million people according to
the estimates of the UN itself.
The UN Security Council first imposed sanctions on
Afghanistan in October 1999. They were tightened even
more in December 2000, under strong pressure from the
United States and Russia. According to a Global Policy
Forum report, the new sanctions were imposed despite
an August 2000 report from the UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which
highlighted the "tangible negative effect" on
Afghanistan's populace of the existing sanctions.
Another draft OCHA report has said that "no poor
country has ever been sanctioned the way Afghanistan
has." So much for their concern for humanity.
Is it their concern for religious freedom? It is
important to remember that the Taliban are not
destroying any place of worship or anything belonging
to a place of worship. And although it is not apparent
from the heated condemnations, the Taliban are not
doing anything illegal either. The stone artifacts
belong to their country; no body else holds title to
them. If one buys a home and it comes with some
statues, he has a right to keep them, sell them,
destroy them or throw them away. Similarly, whether or
not others like it or agree with it, the Afghans have
a right to do what they want with the mountains,
stones, and statues in their country, as long as they
do not cause a danger to anybody else.
Things become more interesting if we begin to check
the credentials of the anti-Taliban campaign itself on
the issue of religious freedom. Consider India, a
leader in the current crusade, where the same people
are ruling today who had led frenzied mobs to destroy
the historical Babri Mosque just eight years ago and
had killed 2000 people in the ensuing protests. It is
amazing that the butchers have been prompt to display
righteous anger over this "medieval barbarism."
Given that the record of our beloved "International
Community" on humanity and religious freedom is rather
appalling, let us look at something more plausible,
like a concern for universal cultural heritage. The
results are no better here. For one must ask where
were our guardians of cultural heritage when mosques,
libraries, schools, historic buildings, and museums
---many of them great historic monuments ---- were
being destroyed in the Balkans. More than 1200 mosques
were destroyed in Bosnia by the European fanatics
known as Serbs. More than 200 were destroyed in
Kosova. Of course, unlike the Taliban they also killed
the Imams and the rest of the population with the
historic monuments they were destroying. Of course
they committed other crimes so grisly that their
cultural vandalism appeared to be a non-issue in
comparison. And of course, the guardians of cultural
heritage, of religious freedom, and of humanity were
happily strolling through their art galleries when the
butchery was going on.
So if there is a principle behind their "principled
stand," we are unable to find it. In a rare case the
Washington Post tried to find an answer to the
question as to why Afghans must keep and preserve the
statues: "These old buildings are Afghanistan's
identity. And when you lose your identity, you've lost
your soul." The problem is these artifacts are NOT
Afghanistan's identity. And the assertion is nothing
but unvarnished cultural imperialism. Afghanistan's
identity derives from the life and example of the
Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi-salam, destroyed the idols,
even though his own father was the idol maker. He was
threatened with the wrath of gods. (Today, his
followers are being threatened with the wrath of the
"International Community," which is the same thing).
He did not care. And in the process he exposed the
weakness of the idols and the wickedness of the
idol-worshippers. Later on, in Makkah he said the
prayer: "O my Lord! Make this city one of peace and
security and preserve me and my sons from worshipping
idols. O my Lord! They [the idols] have indeed led
astray many among mankind." [Ibrahim 14:35-36]
When the pagans later on filled the Ka'ba he had
rebuilt with idols, Allah sent Prophet Muhammad,
Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Again he destroyed all
of the idols there, forever. He did not preserve them
as cultural heritage. Rather, with every stroke of the
hammer, he declared, "Truth has come and falsehood has
This is the Islamic heritage. You clean your own life
and your own house of the idols. You do not preserve
them as your cultural heritage or as a cherished work
of art. And in doing so you will liberate the world.
So is there a principle behind the "International
Community's" stand? May be there is an underlying
principle, but it is a sinister one. One "expert"
summed up the mood of this commotion while talking to
the Los Angeles Times. "I would send in the army, I
really would," Pratapaditya Pal, a visiting curator to
the US, said. "It is of course very difficult to
compare [a statue] with a human life, but don't forget
that we [humans] can reproduce. These Buddhas . . .
are destroyed forever."
There it is. We are living in a world in which animals
are more valuable than humans (In India, for example,
men have been slaughtered over the issue of cow
slaughter). And now even the stones are more valuable
than the humans. And to top it off, those who have
developed such inverted values are the self-declared
champions of human dignity. And why not? Those who
have hearts of stone are naturally showing their love
This is a cruel, self-conceited, arrogant, wicked and
ignorant world. It has incessantly talked about its
love of art but the only art at work here is the art
of propaganda. It needs someone who can expose that.
It needs the iconoclasts who would refuse to continue
the business as usual; who would challenge its
hegemony and tyranny; and who would rid it of its
cruelty, self-conceit, arrogance, and ignorance.
Khalid Baig is editor of al-balagh.net.