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Jun 30 2012

Stinking Islamists in Mali have destroyed Timbuktu shrines

Right after UNESCO listed the city as an endangered world heritage site. Take that, UNESCO! Take that, blasphemous infidel western kaffir filthy secular impure internationalist proponent of heritage and culture and human artefacts.

Ansar Dine, one of the armed Islamist groups which has seized control in northern Mali, has 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 on Thursday to put the World Heritage site, a cradle of Islamic learning founded in the fifth century, on its endangered list.

“God is unique. All of this is haram. 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.”

Yes, we know, and that’s why we hate you.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    julian

    Islam, the Religion of Peace. And imperialistic sociopaths.

  2. 2
    busterggi

    Now let’s be fair here – all the Abrahamic faiths have behaved like this & still do when they can get away with it.

  3. 3
    raven

    Are they going to have a public book burning as well?

    If you are entering a new Dark Age, might as well do it right.

  4. 4
    GibberishWord1

    @busterggi: “Now let’s be fair here – all the Abrahamic faiths have behaved like this & still do when they can get away with it.”

    True that!

  5. 5
    Roger

    Well, they’re muslim scholars’ graves which act as shrines, so it’s a religious own goal.

  6. 6
    Albert Bakker

    It’s a part of islamic history these unwashed illiterate hooligans from Ansar Dine destroyed. These are sites that played a decisive part in the islamization of Africa in the 15th and 16th century. They literally attacked their own roots with pick axes. They have hurt not so much Unesco, let alone the world at large who wouldn’t even know of the existence of these sites were it not for they’re being threatened by these islamist morons, instead they are, lets put it as gently as possible, alienating the local mainstream islamic community. Especially those who know their own history.

  7. 7
    Sili

    Well, they’re muslim scholars’ graves which act as shrines, so it’s a religious own goal.

    Well, Judaïsm and Christianity are both Abrahamic, so the Holocaust was a religious own goal as well.

  8. 8
    Albert Bakker

    I’m not even sure what you are trying to say Sili, I am so distracted by my stomach turning.

  9. 9
    Freodin

    It’s one of the inherent problems of religion: all those people claiming “We are the ones who get it right, and death to anyone else!”

  10. 10
    julian

    @Albert Bakker

    Thanks for the information. Off to google and wiki.

  11. 11
    Chris Lawson

    Not just Abrahamic religions. In 1992, Hindu extremists demolished the 450-year old Babri Mosque, triggering riots that killed over 2,000 people.

  12. 12
    Chris Lawson

    And to be fair, the Soviets destroyed hundreds of historic churches.

  13. 13
    C. Mason Taylor

    Shades of the Taliban and the Bamiyan Buddhas all over again:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/archaeology/2001-03-22-afghan-buddhas.htm

    What a disgusting, vile waste of history.

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    Indeed, the Bamiyan Buddhas all over again.

    I remember the suspense over the Buddhas. I remember hoping in an agonized way that the thugs would somehow be persuaded not to. And then I remember the news that the Buddhas were gone.

    Now the lucky people of Timbuktu get to watch it happening to their heritage.

  15. 15
    julian

    What a disgusting, vile waste of history.

    Aye

    I’ve never been one to care to much for tradition but this…

    Someone is trying to destroy other peoples culture, history and traditions and it certainly isn’t us.

  16. 16
    colluvial

    Now let’s be fair here – all the Abrahamic faiths have behaved like this & still do when they can get away with it.

    In 1992, Hindu extremists demolished the 450-year old Babri Mosque, triggering riots that killed over 2,000 people.

    And to be fair, the Soviets destroyed hundreds of historic churches.

    Huh?
    It may not have been the point of these comments but, in this context, it comes off as, “No biggie. Happens all the time.” Regardless of how often this sort of idiocy has happened, it’s hateful behavior.

  17. 17
    Hal

    Now let’s be fair here – all the Abrahamic faiths have behaved like this & still do when they can get away with it.

    “Still do”? Nonsense. Not to defend other religions, but there is only one religious group these days which behaves this barbarically. Pretending that “everyone does it” only offers an excuse for this behaviour.

  18. 18
    julian

    Pretending that “everyone does it” only offers an excuse for this behaviour.

    They do do it. Not only in 3rd world countries where they hold a majority but here in the West as well.

    Mind you nothing this big comes to mind but they certainly do try to crush and extinguish the individuality of other cultures and religions where they can.

  19. 19
    oranje

    Just like the Taliban destroying the Buddhist statues more than a decade ago, this just tears at me. I understand – maybe that’s too strong of a word, but please work with me here – that they believe that such idolatry is forbidden by their religion. Can they get any closer to seeing any other point of view, though?

    I’m reminded of that poster of the space shuttle, the one that said “science flies you into space, religion flies you into buildings.” Only this would be the less pithy “secularism builds bridges between cultures; fundamentalism destroys culture.” Not catchy, but it does capture the memory hole effect, whether it’s from the perpetrators of this destruction, or Barton’s rewriting of America as a Christian nation.

  20. 20
    C. Mason Taylor

    I think re: the “other cultures do it” thing, there’s a logical fallacy bubbling beneath the surface that I see come up a lot. It’s this, “you haven’t criticized every single instance of this ever, therefore criticizing this one now makes you a hypocrite” implication. I don’t know if it was intended here, but it seems to be off in the background somewhere with these sorts of claims.

  21. 21
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Sili #7:

    Well, Judaïsm and Christianity are both Abrahamic, so the Holocaust was a religious own goal as well.

    The destroyed shrines in Timbuktu are those of respected Muslim scholars that many Muslims, especially in Mali and the neighbouring countries, consider as saints. But the militant Islamic movement Ansar Dine that took over Northern Mali say that worshipping at saints’ graves is “idolatry”. Of course, their particular brand of Islam is the ultra-conservative Wahhabism imported from Saudi Arabia.

    So a better comparison with another Abrahamic religion would be, say, the austere Protestants breaking up statues of Catholic saints in the churches during the wars of religion in 16th century Europe.

  22. 22
    Ophelia Benson

    And actual buildings all over England – terrible destruction.

  23. 23
    jamesbres

    All decent people should feel disgust at desecration like this. I don’t think equivalency arguments provide any excuse for ideologies which mutilate history, culture and human beings.

  24. 24
    Roger

    “Well, Judaïsm and Christianity are both Abrahamic, so the Holocaust was a religious own goal as well.”

    aside from the question of just how Abrahamic the nazis were, Sili, there’s something of a difference between destroying tombs and mass-murder.

  25. 25
    earwig

    Appalling.

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, when those of us who are immune to the mana of religious shrines and icons can object to their desecration while those who proclaim themselves überreligious pursue their destruction. It’s as if we value them more than those for whom they might have some meaning, but it’s actually because we value the human investment. Or perhaps it’s also because the überreligious fear the power inherent in such shrines.

    And there may be another dimension about history, ritual and continuity that I’m having difficulty quantifying.

  26. 26
    Albert Bakker

    It’s probably not even that earwig, at least not solely. The obsession with sharia, “heretical” Sufi idolatry and this in every respect self-defeating iconoclasm seems to me not born solely in salafiyya, wahabi ideology, but also in the all too worldly lust for power of it’s leader, Iyad Ag Ghaly. That at least as has been a consistent autobiographical factor it seems, for and after conversion. The whole sorry affair (and much else) seems to me to be contingent on him calculating politically what’s best for him. He wouldn’t be able to consolidate his new position without imposing sharia, (that is to say his version of it *) for their brand of islam is alien there, and the absolute loyalty of his (mostly foreign) fighters is furthered by allowing them this sort of lunacy.
    The score yesterday, as I understand from Reuters, was the mausoleums of Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi El Mokhtar and Alfa Moya and seven other tombs, among which those of Sidi Elmety, Mahamane Elmety and Cheick Sidi Amar.

    * http://www.eurasiareview.com/26062012-mali-ansar-al-din-fights-for-support/

  27. 27
    Ian MacDougall

    This sort of destruction was carried out at the instigation of rival religious leaders right through from the ancient world to the modern. It is not enough to proclaim oneself to have The One True Way. As long as the old way is still around it is seen as a threat by the leaders of the new cult.

    It runs from the Amun-Aton rivalry in Egypt to Hitler’s burning of the books; through the puritan iconoclasm of England which rid church buildings of art and ornamentation to Mao’s ‘cultural revolution’ in China, which targeted all ‘non-revolutionary’ (ie non-Maoist) literature and art. All of this arose out of the same basic impulse: in order to consolidate our new order, we have to obliterate all vestiges of the old one, so that the next generation can grow up in total ignorance of it.

    The Islamists are portraying their own fear and uncertainty in the face of the old culture of Mali. They are exposing their own intellectual and cultural weakness for all to see.

  28. 28
    Dan M.

    Wasn’t Sili @7 just mocking Roger @5?

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