Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.
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They were intentionally dynamited and destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were "idols" (which are forbidden under Sharia law).
International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which was viewed as an example of the intolerance of the Taliban and of Islamism.
The Taliban states that Bamyan shall not be destroyed but protected." Afghanistan's radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on "un-Islamic" segments of Afghan society.
The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
In July 1999, Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a decree in favor of the preservation of the Bamyan Buddhas.