In 2001, the Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban on the orders of Mullah Omar.
Nations across the world found this extremely offensive, even though the Buddhas were just mud, straw, wood and stone, and the actual destruction did not physically harm anyone, and though the statues are (still) being reconstructed.
Also, the Taliban were, and are, semiliterate Afghan peasants with no vision beyond their backyards, no sense of history, and no love of culture. Nor did they earn a penny from the destruction – quite the reverse, in fact, since they turned down offers to buy the statues to save them from obliteration.
So they blew up the Buddhas with artillery, land mines and dynamite.
And the governments of the world, including Islamic ones, were outraged. Quite properly so.
Today, the government of Australia is planning to dump dredged sand and silt on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Area, meaning it belongs to the entire world, even though it is located on Australian territory.
The dumping of sand will have calamitous effects on the Reef, including the wholesale destruction of the living organisms there, including fish, algae, and the reef itself.
Let me repeat: the Great Barrier Reef, which is made up of coral, is basically not just an ecosystem, but a mass of coral, which is a living organism.
And the democratically elected, highly educated government of Australia, which sent troops to help overthrow the illiberal, undemocratic Taliban, will knowingly choke this ecosystem, this organism, to permanent and irreversible death, by dumping dredged sand which can be disposed of elsewhere.
If they go through with this, will the governments of the world, including democratic, educated ones, be outraged? And will they express it?
If they do not, I would be interested in knowing why.