søndag 22. august 2021

Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan Stokes Fear for Ancient Buddhist Artifacts and Sites

As the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan this week, chaotic scenes of protests and Afghanis trying to flee the country filled the news amidst questions over the U.S.’s role, what could have been done differently, and what to do now. In a newsletter from Upaya Institute and Zen Center on Tuesday, Roshi Joan Halifax wrote, “Today, as we connect to the suffering of the people in Afghanistan, we are asked to examine our views and actions regarding the role of war and violence in our society and in our lives. We must stay awake to how our practice and views can influence the choices we make that can promote or end violence.”

The destruction of a statue of Shiite militia leader Abdul Ali Mazari, who was killed by the Taliban in 1996, recalled the two giant, 1,500-year-old Buddhas of Bamiyan that the Taliban blew up 20 years ago in the same province. As Buddhistdoor reports, museums and archeologists around the country were caught off guard by the speed at which the Taliban took over, and, in light of the Taliban’s history of cultural desecration, fear for the safety of ancient artifacts and sites, and the people who protect them.