On March 12, 2001 someone named Azizah Hibri, a professor at University of Richmond, issued a FATWA against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's demolition of Budhha monuments. Her views reflect the position of an important segment of pro-U.S.-government Muslim organizations in America. As she herself states, she was "asked by concerned American and Canadian Muslim organizations" to comment on the Taliban's position. Thus an entire group of Muslim organizations considered Prof. Hibri their worthy spokesperson.
The entire structure of Prof. Hibri's views is very shaky and one wonders how she can possibly be taken seriously by anyone who knows of the war being waged against Islam by the western powers, particularly the Zionist lobby in USA.
Her very first paragraph indicates that she is out of touch with reality because she bases her views on a statement published in The Washington Post. Not that the Post is always wrong on Islamic issues (even a stopped clock is correct twice in 24 hours) but to base a supposedly Islamic Fatwa on a news item in the Washington Post indicates the mindset of the person who gave the Fatwa.
In Paragraph two Prof. Hibri claims that she relies "primarily on the Qur'an and Sunnah." But her statements in the same paragraph belie this possibility for she writes "in matters of jurisprudence I rely heavily on a fatwa issued earlier by Dr. Taha Jaber al-Alwani on a related matter" and that "in matters of Islamic history and world religions, I rely on statements made by Professor Seyyed Hussain Nasr on this and other occasions." Dr. al-Alwani is the same gentleman who supported the pro-government organizations' (CAIR, AMC, AMA etc) bid to get the Muslim community stuck in the swamp of U.S. presidential politics. The extent of Dr. Alwani's pro-U.S. government leanings can be guaged from the fact that he legitimized voting in a kafir power-structure for a kafir candidate and thus permitted the waste of massive Muslim resources urgently needed by Muslims in America and around the world. Alwani's Fatwa went against the Qur'an, the authentic hadith and the consensus of Muslim scholars for 1400 years. It went against Syed Qutb (who preferred death to acceptance of a secular government even though it was Muslim in name), against Maudoodi (who would not accept voting and elections even in an Islamic country, Pakistan, if the country did not formally accept Allah as soveriegn) and Dr. Omar 'Abdel Rahman (who does not compromise with this oppressive power even though he is in solitary confinement in a cell in Rochester, Minnesota). Thus in jurisprudence, Prof. Hibri has taken a source which is of no Islamic value.
As for Prof. Nasr, the less said the better. Whatever exalted heights of sufiism he might live on, there is no denying the fact that he did not support the Islamic revolution in his home country led by the illustrious Imam Khomeini.
Let us look at Prof. Hibri's methodology. She is giving a Fatwa about the Buddhist monuments but she begins by commenting on the Taliban's "oppressive limitations on Muslim women's rights." Other than the Washington Post, she has not given a source for her views on the Taliban. If she had read other views, she would have found that women are quite safe in Afghanistan and the Taliban are re-building the entire educational structure. Inspite of the ravages of war, 36,000 women are back to school in Kabul alone. Thus Prof. Hibri's pontification about the right to education etc of women (para.5) (in her attempt to discredit the Taliban) only indicates her lack of real information about Afghanistan. Impartial accounts, both Muslim and non-Muslim, indicate that women are active in every sphere of life in Afghanistan. Only the westernized, pro-Communist women in Kabul were subjected to restrictions after the city was taken by storm by the Taliban. As compared to the history of other conquered cities (the Americans in Nuremburg, the Russians in Berlin, the Americans in Vietnam), the Taliban's treatment of the conquered people was humane.
In her academic zeal, Prof. Hibri forgot the entire context of the situation in Afghanistan. Here is a country which was ravaged by Russian occupation and gave 1.5 million martyrs. I wonder if Prof. Hibri ever took the help of the organizations she supports to visit the women and children of Afghanistan when the Jihad was on in every Afghan village.
At this time the issue is that of children starving in Afghanistan,(although 95% of Afghanistan has achieved peace and unity under the Taliban.) Islam makes it incumbent on every Muslim to help the children of Afghanistan by BREAKING THE U.S. EMBARGO. The real issue is not that of the statues, but of the children. The Qur'an is very clear: THE BELIEVERS ARE NONE OTHER THAN ONE BROTHERHOOD/SISTERHOOD.
If Prof. Hibri is following the Qur'an, then she must speak and write against the sanctions and take emergency help to the children of Afghanistan.
Prof. Hibri has entirely misunderstood the Taliban's position on the statues. They have demolished the statues NOT BECAUSE ANYONE IS WORSHIPPING THEM. In fact the Taliban have assured the few Hindus in Afghanistan that their statues are quite safe.
The action against the statues has nothing to do with any antagonism towards Buddhism either. There are no Buddhists in Afghanistan and the Buddhists in other countries have no claims on Afghanistan and in fact were totally unaware of any such statues till the Zionist media raised a hue and cry about them.
The Taliban acted against the statues when they found that the UNITED NATIONS (the tool of U.S. imperialism) was acting as if it is custodian of the statues. The same UNO which sanctioned US embargo on Iraq resulting in the death of 750,000 children and has okayed US sanctions on Afghanistan, is interested in the safety of the statues!
It was the issue of children versus statues.
Mullah Umar, who knows at least as much Qur'an and Hadith as Prof. Hibri and Dr. Alwani, struck a blow at the unbelievers which made them stand naked in front of the whole world for the great wrongs they have done not only to Afghanistan but to every Muslim country. As the Prophet (pbuh) has taught: WAR IS DECEPTION. That is strike at the enemy in a way which he least expected.
READ MULLAH UMAR's HISTORIC ANSWER TO the SHAIKH OF AZHAR AND YUSUF QARADAWI: Why don't you go to Babri masjid?
That, dear Muslims, is the key question: Did these azhari shaikhs go to Babri masjid? Why are they accepting U.S. pressure to go to Afghanistan to teach Islam to mullah Umar (mujahid, Mu'min). Mullah Umar's blow has uncovered the worldwide oppression against Islam. Muslims are talking as never before about:
1. Mosques destroyed in Palestine.
2. Mosques destroyed in Chechnia
3. Mosques destroyed in Kashmir
4. Mosques destroyed in India
5. Mosques destroyed in Iraq
6. Mosques destroyed in Afghanistan (during Soviet occupation and then by 25 U.S.missiles during monica-gate.)
7. Mosques destroyed in Bosnia
8. Mosques destroyed in Kosova
9. Mosques destroyed in Macedonia
10. Mosques destroyed in various parts of ex-USSR
11. Use of beautiful Turkish mosques by pro-US generals for making dollars off tourists.
BEAUTIFUL ARTIFACTS IN IRAQ, perhaps the oldest civilization in the world, have been damaged and put in serious jeopardy by annual bombing raids by the British and US airforces and by the U.S. of uranium-tipped ammunition during the assault on Iraq.
Prof. Hibri and Alwani, etc also show their very narrow pro-US bias by ignoring the great wrongs done to artifacts of other nations.
1. Beautiful German churches and museums destroyed in Dresden, Hamburg and 35 German cities during area bombing by US/British air forces (WWII).
2. Destruction of Buddhist temples in Tokyo fire raids, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
3. Hindu army's invasion and desecration of the Sikh Temple in Amritsar.
Islam is not the name of a narrow pro-US tilt against a tiny Muslim country being targeted because it has given refuge to an Arabian mujahid. Islam must safeguard first the mosque of al-Aqsa and rebuild all the mosques which have been destroyed. Today even Makka and Madinah are under the shadow of the USA naval armadas.
Justice is not an academic exercise. It involves a wholeness of view. A fragmented vision which is blind to the tremendous evil of the sanctions against Iraq, Afganistan and Sudan should not presume to give fatwas about the destruction of historic relics. ONE AFGHANI CHILD IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN ALL THE STATUES OF BYGONE AGES. (To paraphrase the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh: the honor of the Muslim is more precious than the Ka'aba itself.