Quake in Kashmir Spares Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim Religious Structures

October 12, 2005

Source: China Post

Wire Service: AP


On October 12, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Kashmir's earthquake smashed a region dotted with centuries-old Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist monuments, but most survived without major damage, archaeological officials say. 'Who can damage these religious structures? They were built by the pure, and they are guarded by angels,' said Samad Naqash, a devout Muslim in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir... The Himalayan region of Kashmir, ruled at various times by Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Afghans and Sikhs, became predominantly Muslim in the late 14th century after conversions by Muslim rulers. Hindus and Muslims have peacefully coexisted despite an ongoing Muslim separatist rebellion, and have been offered as an example of communal harmony for the rest of India, which has sharp religious fault lines. The legacies of the various religions have left their mark in the region in the forms of temples, mosques and monuments, including the 200 B.C. Shankaracharya temple. The stone temple, dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, suffered no damage."