“It hurts people’s feelings…”
Despite Islam’s being constitutionally recognized as Malaysia’s official religion, the Southeast Asian country has also declared by law that a number of non-Islamic holy days as state holidays. Nonetheless, a prominent retired judge has called out both the Hindu and Buddhist minorities for not only hurting the feelings of the nation’s Muslim majority, but also causing the followers of Muhammad to feel as if they are threatened, as reported by the news portals Malaysian Digest on April 17, 2014, and also by the Malay Mail Online on April 16, 2014.
Home to 19 million adherents to Islam, Malaysia also boasts large statues and shrines to the Hindu warrior Lord Murugan and the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kuan Yin. Yet former Appeals Court Judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah has taken a very public stance against the non-Muslim carved images that is so harsh that he’s even danced on the periphery of suggesting that the Hindus and Buddhists cover up their sacred statuary.
With the statues standing 42.7 meters (140.09 foot) and 30.2 meters (99.09 foot) tall, Mohd Noor noted that per Islamic theological teaching, images of any deity is strictly verboten:
Islam forbids images (of gods). Here, you allow images of Buddha in the country. That’s not consistent with Islam. But if you cover it up, you can allow it
Voicing his concern over delicate Muslim sensibilities, Mohd Noor also made a reference to the very real possibility that the mere presence of the statues could result in the nation’s Muslims being deeply offended:
When non-Muslims build such big idols, it hurts people’s feelings.
Officially declared “idols” by the Taliban …
Until booted from power, the Taliban destroyed the 5th-century carvings of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan. Seemingly irrelevant to then-leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the carvings were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Despite a lather large chorus of nations protesting the Taliban decision to dynamite the twin statues, the sculptures were reduced to dust in March 2001. A curious mix of dynamite, anti-aircraft fire and artillery were used to destroy the 1,500 year-old carvings.