CEDRHAB TimbuktuSeveral months ago I blogged about militant Sunni Islamists in Mali destroying Sufi sites there as part of their sectarian campaign of violence. Earlier this month, France intervened in the ongoing civil war there. Since then, the rebels have lost ground, and the militant Islamists are in retreat. In the process, as Reuters reports, they took out their religiofascist anger out on yet another site of historical importance in Timbuktu (WebCite cached article):

Islamist fighters fleeing Mali’s ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu as French and Malian troops closed in set fire to a South African-funded library there containing thousands of priceless manuscripts, the city’s mayor said on Monday.

“The rebels sit fire to the newly-constructed Ahmed Baba Institute built by the South Africans … this happened four days ago,” Halle Ousmane told Reuters by telephone from Bamako. He said he had received the information from his chief of communications who had travelled south from the city a day ago.

No doubt these furious Islamists hoped to emulate the legend told of the Muslim general ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, who after conquering Egypt c. 640, supposedly ordered the famous ancient Library of Alexandria destroyed.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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