Mali Islamists destroy holy Timbuktu sites

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Galaxy, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Islamists destroy Timbuktu treasures listed as UNESCO World Heritage site


    By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES || Saturday, 30 June 2012

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    Hardline Islamists occupying northern Mali went on the rampage in Timbuktu on Saturday, destroying ancient tombs of Muslim saints and threatening to wipe out every religious shrine in the fabled city.

    The onslaught by armed militants from the fundamentalist Ansar Dine group was launched just two days after UNESCO named the city an endangered world heritage site because of the unrest in the vast desert north of Mali.

    “They have raped Timbuktu today. It is a crime,” said a source close to a local imam in the town known as the “City of 333 Saints”.

    Witnesses said the Islamists had destroyed the ancient tomb of one revered Muslim figure after encircling a cemetery in the north of the Timbuktu, and were on the attack against another in the east.

    “This is tragic news for us all,” Alissandra Cummins, chair of UNESCO’s executive committee, said in a statement to AFP in Russia, where the body is meeting this week, describing the attacks as “wanton damage”.

    “I appeal to all those engaged in the conflict in Timbuktu to exercise their responsibility.”

    Ansar Dine, one of the hardline Islamist groups which seized control of the vast desert north of Mali in the chaotic aftermath of a March coup in Bamako, said no site would be safe in Timbuktu.

    “Ansar Dine will today destroy every mausoleum in the city. All of them, without exception,” spokesman Sanda Ould Boumama told AFP through an interpreter from the city.

    The Ansar Dine spokesman suggested Saturday’s action was in retaliation for the UNESCO decision to put the World Heritage site, a cradle of Islamic learning founded in the fifth century, on its endangered list on Thursday

    “God is unique. All of this is haram (or forbidden in Islam). We are all Muslims. UNESCO is what?” he said, declaring that Ansar Dine -- which wants to impose sharia law in the region -- was acting “in the name of God.”

    Witnesses in Timbuktu said the gangs had destroyed the mausoleum of a saint whose 15th century tomb was already desecrated in May by members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, another of the groups in control in the north.

    “As I am speaking to you, Islamists from Ansar Dine have destroyed the mausoleum of saint Sidi Mahmoud,” one witness told AFP.

    “They are now in the process of destroying the mausoleum (of Sidi Moctar),” added a local journalist. “They have said they will destroy everything.”

    UNESCO said its decision to place both the town and the nearby Tomb of Askia in Gao on its List of World Heritage in Danger “aims to raise cooperation and support for the sites threatened by the armed conflict in the region.”

    Mali has been gripped by chaos since disgruntled troops swarmed the capital Bamako in the south in March and ousted the elected president of what had been seen as one of Africa’s model democracies.

    Islamic and tribal Tuareg groups seized on the power vacuum to push government forces out of northern Mali, an area the size of France and Belgium, including Timbuktu and the cities of Gao and Kidal.

    Mali’s neighbors in west Africa have held several crisis meetings on the situation.

    But on Friday, another Islamist militant group in the lawless north, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), threatened any countries which join a military intervention force to end the crisis.

    UNESCO, the world’s main watchdog over the safety of some of history’s greatest treasures and most threatened cultural exhibits, first designated Timbuktu a heritage site in 1988.

    As well as three historic mosques, Timbuktu has 16 cemeteries and mausolea, according to the UNESCO website.

    It is also home to nearly 100,000 ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 12th century, preserved in family homes and private libraries under the care of religious scholars.

    At its height in the 1500s, the city, a Niger River port at the edge of the Sahara 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) north of Bamako, was the key intersection for salt traders travelling from the north and gold traders from the south.

    Islamists destroy Timbuktu treasures listed as UNESCO World Heritage site
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I'd rather NATO bombed the devil out of these Islamists than threaten a rather progressive nation like Syria.

    Heck, why am I complaining? India isn't quite interested to project power, even when it can with smaller irritants.
     
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  4. pack leader

    pack leader Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Islamist scum destroying human civilization
    one city at a time
     
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  5. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    they only understand one language..., violence...!
     
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  6. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Just like Maldivian Muslims destroyed ancient Hindu heritage from Maldives, it is bound to happen everywhere. This will not stop until the world awakes !
     
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  7. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Islamists are destroying Islamic sites? :notsure:

    Anyway they should be stopped, these treasures are priceless to the culture of Sub-Saharan Africa.
     
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  8. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Everytime a jihadi Islamist blowsup a Buddha statue, demolish Temple, attack any church, burns a library, or gropes a girl in Cairo, kills a gay in Iran, or beheaded any who tweeted something about Islam in KSA, the response from a small Muslim section is: "This is not Islam". Religion of peace!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
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  9. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    The moderates are still quiet about this. As always.
     
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  10. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    There are enough things to worry about inside India(some of them relates to same extremism)
     
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Even if it relates to the same extremism, the solution cannot be the same. We are not going to bomb our own citizens.
     
  12. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    Well, this is an unhappyness.

    Religion is a crap. Whatever be it the Islamism or another. All religions for me are equal in their potential to dumb down the human beings. I don't think the Islam has more potential to result in violence than other. In the past, Christian fundamentalists set fire on the Alexandria's Great Library that the moslems had preserved till then.
     
  13. pack leader

    pack leader Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    religion is not crap religion is a choice part off every men and women part off life
    but mutual respect is needed Islam never learned to give respect to others and their faith
    they share blood border with all over civilizations
    in the south Philippians
    in Kashmir
    in south Thailand
    in Chechnya
    in Israel
    in Kosovo
    in Sudan
    in Nigeria
    notice any patern ????!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  14. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    So what? Drugs, alcohol, crime, are also choices that people does in their lifes, nevertheless it leave to be bad things.

    Pursuit other religions isn't an exclusivity of Islam. Christian, Hindu, Jewish or whether religious fundamentalists also pursuit different religious groups that lives under their domain, at least one time.

    Islam has presence in more of 170 countries around world. You cited only 7. This means that in huge majority of countries the Islam comunities has no problems with another groups.
     
  15. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    If they are doing it today in 21st Century in Afghanistan or Mali or even Srinagar (burning the Sufi shrine), how come some Indians are so naive to believe that Muslim invaders led and backed by their Mullahs did not destroy tramples in 12th to 16the century and built Mosques there.
     
  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Then what is the solution? Live with ijtar's dreams of a green India or await Gazwa E Hind of Zahil Hamid?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Most Indian Muslims are Sufis (you yourself agree). The Wahhabi nutjobs are the culprits here. What do you propose then? Bomb our Sufi Muslims?

    P.S.: Read post #9 onwards, before telling me, "When did I say bomb them?"
     
  18. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Most Indian Muslims are not Sufis but Sunnis with Sufi influences.
     
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  19. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Wahhabis are also Sunnis.

    You can be a Sunni and a Sufi at the same time, or a Sunni and a Wahhabi. Call it 'influence,' which it is.
     
  20. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Not really. Sufi 'influences' are merely limited to paying respects at a Dargah. The Sufi concept of divinity is incompatible with traditional Islamic thought.
     
  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    How would you define traditional Islamic thought?

    Even within Sunnis there are differences. Shuridh explained that once, but I don't remember the details.

    For example, some Sunnis believe that no grave shall have a high cenotaph, but most Sunnis in India do not subscribe to that view. The Saudis destroyed many such cenotaphs, which outraged Indian Sunnis, because they did not agree with the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. Now, erecting cenotaphs is a characteristic Sufi tradition. Islam spread into India via Sufism (some may disagree).

    The Shia-Sunni taxonomy is on a different plane, than the Sufi-Salafi-Hanafi et al. taxonomy.

    Sufism is present in the Hadith.

    Interesting read: Quranic Sufism and the Sunnah, The Soul of Sufism

    The word Sunni is etymolgically linked to Sunnah.
     

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