Philosophy East and West 66 (1):194-217 (2016)

Atif Khalil
University of Lethbridge
When the Taliban destroyed the famous statues of the Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan more than a decade ago, the outrage of the global community, including that of prominent Muslim religious leaders, was matched perhaps only by the pious euphoria of Afghanistan’s hardliners. They had finally succeeded in removing visible signs of idolatry from their landscape, and fulfilled, at least in their own eyes, a long overdue religious mission. In the words of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, “Muslims should be proud to destroy idols. Our destroying them was an act of praise for God.”1Yet such extreme acts of puritanical iconoclasm at the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, at least within modern history, have more..
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DOI 10.1353/pew.2016.0022
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