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Views of the Afghan Opposition "Destructive Frenzy in Afghanistan"
March 2, 2001

Hamid Karzai, former Deputy Foreign Minister in the ousted Afghan government of Burhanuddin Rabbani: "They are part of our heritage. Afghanistan has been a staunch Muslim country for 1,200 years and the mullahs have never tried to destroy these statues. Why wasn't the issue of these statues being against Islam raised in 1,200 years? They are trying to destroy Afghanistan's history, Afghanistan's memory."

Exiled Afghan author Latif Pedram: "Unfortunately, we must say that the order of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar to destroy these historical and cultural statues--which are not only the cultural heritage of the Afghan and Central Asian peoples, but also of all mankind--is a shocking and cruel decision. The damage will be unimaginable. By doing this, the Taliban want to destroy the deep roots of the country."

Movement for Democracy and Human Rights for Afghanistan: "Today is the darkest day in the history of Afghanistan--darker than the day when Chengiz Khan's Mongol hoards invaded our land. What they did not destroy--and perhaps did not want to destroy--is now being destoyed by a most barbaric group, the Taliban."

National Islamic Front of Afghanistan spokesman: "It is a destruction of our national heritage."

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© 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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