Timbuktu Arabs protect ancient tombs

2012-07-11 21:00
Local residents restoring the City of 333 Saints' Great Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu. The Islamists controlling northern Mali have destroyed two tombs at the ancient Djingareyber mud mosque. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Local residents restoring the City of 333 Saints' Great Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu. The Islamists controlling northern Mali have destroyed two tombs at the ancient Djingareyber mud mosque. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP) (Issouf Sanogo)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now

Bamako - Members of Timbuktu's Arab community said on Wednesday they have set up an armed brigade to prevent further destruction of the tombs of ancient Muslim saints by Islamists occupying northern Mali.

"Today we have a vigilance brigade so that no one touches the mausolea of Araouane and Gasser-Cheick," said Tahel Ould Sidy, leader of the unit, referring to two tombs in the greater Timbuktu region,

"We are armed and there is the required number of people," he added.

"We are not going to allow people who know nothing about Islam to come and destroy our treasures. I studied in Mauritania and Saudi Arabia, no one tells us in the Koran that we should destroy tombs."

Members of Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), an al-Qaeda-linked armed group which has been in control of northern Mali for over three months, on Tuesday destroyed two tombs in the city's oldest and biggest mosque, Djingereyber.

Last week they similarly destroyed seven tombs of ancient Muslim saints as well as the sacred door of another 15th century mosque, all listed as endangered World Heritage sites by Unesco.

They have vowed to destroy all similar sites in the fabled city, which they say are "haram" or forbidden by Islam.

A resident of the town said one wall of the Djingareyber mud mosque, built in 1325 according to Unesco, had partly fallen during the destruction of the tombs.

"On Tuesday night the Islamists rapidly rebuilt a part of the grand mosque's wall which fell when they destroyed the two mausolea," he said.

Experts say that while moderate Sufi Muslims, the majority in Mali, see the mausolea as shrines, those who follow the radical Wahhabi tradition see them as idolatrous.

In their eyes "other veneration is a sort of heresy, a way of stepping away from the oneness of God," said French anthropologist Jean-Claude Penrad.

Ansar Dine, along with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and another jihadist offshoot, have controlled vast swathes of northern Mali since a northern takeover by armed groups in the wake of a 22 March coup.

Read more on:    ansar dine  |  aqib  |  mali  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 13:30 PM
    Road name: Nooiensfontein Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Van Riebeeck Avenue
  • Wednesday Milnerton - 13:26 PM
    Road name: Koeberg Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Racecourse Road - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.