There has been an international outcry since Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader, issued a special edict on Feb 26 ordering the destruction of all non-Islamic statues.
Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary-General, had pleaded with the Taliban's foreign minister, Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, in Islamabad yesterday to save Afghanistan's cultural heritage.
He said: "They will be doing themselves a great deal of disservice and no religious leaders from the Islamic world have supported the edict.
Islam began in the Arabian Peninsula and reached India in the ninth century, well established by the thirteenth century.
Since Buddhism attracted a large number of adherents many years after the death of the historical Buddha, a visual culture was introduced to aid the practitioner.
Hinduism, which was not originally a faith with statues of deities, was forced to follow suite in order to remain competitive with Buddhism as it spread through India and other parts of the Himalayan region and Southeast Asia.
A close analysis exercise: Assign this video on the Great Stupa (Māhā Stupa) before class to ground students in a common Buddhist practice—pilgrimage and ritual circumambulation. These are just some examples of questions that the instructor can pose to the class to facilitate a discussion through close looking and through revisiting past lecture materials. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an excellent section devoted to South Asian art and culture, The Buddha, and the Mauryan Empire (c. PBS provides an overall history of India (PBS: The Story of India), while a history of Buddhism is addressed in The Big View.
Project a slide of the stupa and ask “what qualities does this share with other monuments we have previously discussed? Additional information can be found in several Smarthistory links, including sections dedicated to stupas, the Ashoka Pillars, the Lion Capital, and Buddhist Monasteries.
The great palaces and cities were made from brick and wood and did not survive the heat and humidity of the region.