Islamist radicals in Pakistan have attempted to destroy an ancient carving of Buddha by drilling holes in the rock and filling them with dynamite.
The 23ft high image was damaged during the attack, which brought back memories of the Taliban’s destruction six years ago of the giant Buddhas at Bamiyan, in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The Buddha, in the Swat district of north-west Pakistan, is thought to date from the seventh century AD and was considered the largest in Asia, after the two Bamiyan Buddhas.
The Buddha is thought to date from the seventh century, making it nearly as old as Islam itself.
Everyone will remember that this same thing has happened before in the region. Considered together with Islamic terrorists’ frequently, bloody attacks in Thailand, this aberrant, destructive behavior may well be part of a pattern, namely an attempt to destroy Buddhism’s significance in the region.
It’s sad that these people have nothing better to do with their time than to destroy the symbols of societies greater than their own. Of course, it’s quite likely that that the vandals consider their acts to be of the utmost importance, something that only makes them more pathetic.