Here are a few points mentioned by the sheikh that I am listing for the benefit of those who may not have read/seen the interview:
(1) He and other scholars did not go there to save the statues as has been propagated, but "to meet those brothers" and to assist Taliban in their problems. Qaradawi spelled the difficulties they are facing in some detail. The statues were 90% destroyed before they even went, so how could they have gone to save them?
(2) This was not the first time he went to Afghanistan, he has been there before to make peace between warring factions.
(3) One of the reasons he mentioned for destroying the statues was Taliban fear that outsiders might come to Afghanistan and worship them...Qaradawi actually said they were seen being worshipped! Qaradawi did not criticise the action of the Taleban, rather he considered their act Islamically legitimate, but was concerned about its timing and effect on Muslim minorities in Buddhist and other non-Muslim countries. He gave evidences to show that a legitimate act might be delayed because of the consequences it might produce.
(4) It seems he had a change of heart after visiting the country as he said, 'listening is not like seeing.' He praised Taliban and their dedication to Shariah, but, he commented, they are living more in the past than in the present. In response to a question, he confirmed they are Hanafi and not Wahhabi!
(5) He was against the sanctions imposed on them and called West hypocrite for not raising their voice on al-Aqsa and Babri Masjid, etc, but on these statues. He also said those who co-operate in imposing these sanctions are sinful unless they are powerless.
(6) He said Taleban have not touched the idols of Sikhs and Hindus as they are protected as Ahl ul-Dhimma by the Islamic Law.
(7) Qaradawi said Qatari rep agreed to open an institute for teaching Arabic with aid of $50,000 in Afghanistan at Taliban request and Arabic instructors will be provided.
(8) Qaradawi confirmed the Taliban have NOT prohibited women from getting education and they are not against women's education, but they are limited for resources. He gave the story of a Western diplomat who visited the Taliban rep in Pakistan and complained about this issue. When the Taliban rep asked for money to open schools for women, the diplomat never showedback! He mentioned that Mulla Omar is taking steps for educating boys and girls in masajid using the local imams and khatibs as instructors. Qaradawi also found out that they have medical colleges where some 1200 women are studying. Some Westerners are teaching because they do not have qualified staff of their own.
(9) A very important point mentioned by Qaradawi was that the Muslims in Afghanistan before Taliban had disfigured the faces of these statues (apparently not being able to destroy them completely). He also gave Shariah evidence for this action.
(10) He also praised their effort to eradicate poppy cultivation.
And Allah knows best.