“It hurts people’s feelings…”
Despite Islam constitutionally recognized as the nation’s official religion, the South East 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 of not only hurting the feelings of the nation’s Muslim majority, but also causing the followers of Mohammed feel threatened, as reported by the news portals Malaysian Digest on April 17, 2014, and also by the Malay Mail Online on April 16, 2014.
Besides being home to 19 million adherents of Islam, Malaysia also boasts of the large statues and shrines of the Hindu warrior diety Lord Murugan (photo, above), as well as 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 so harsh, he’s even danced on the periphery of suggesting that the Hindus and Buddhists cover up their sacred statuary.
With the statues respectively 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 sensitivities, 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 the US Armed Forces and an alliance of numerous other nations, the Taliban destroyed the 5th century carvings of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan (see video). Seemingly irrelevant to then-leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the carvings were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Despite a lather large chorus of nations protested the Taliban decision to dynamite the twin statues, they were reduced to dust during March of 2001. A curious mix of dynamite, anti-aircraft fire and artillery were used to destroy the 1,500 year-old carvings.