Syria violence claims head of Arab poet

2013-02-12 21:37
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

kalahari.com

Beirut - A statue of the blind Arab poet Abu al-Ala al-Maari, famed for his 11th-century critiques of Islam and other religions, has been decapitated and toppled from its plinth in his home town in northern Syria.

A picture of al-Maari's headless bust, rusting and abandoned in the town of Maarat al-Noman, circulated on social media on Tuesday, angering many Syrians who accused Islamist rebels battling President Bashar Assad of cultural vandalism.

A prolific philosopher, Maari was known for his sceptical writings on religious faith.

"Inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: Those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains," he wrote.

Maarat al-Noman, where he died in 1058, had been at the centre of battles between government forces and the majority Sunni Muslim rebels seeking Assad's overthrow, who now control the town.

"Your barbarity will not destroy the philosophy of Maari - it lives and you go. Ideas do not die," said a banner pictured in Damascus and posted on Facebook.

An activist called Safi, who described himself as a moderate Muslim, also condemned the attack on Maari's statue.

"The war against the regime does not give justification for anyone to destroy the cultural heritage of the country."

The 22-month-old uprising against Assad started as mainly peaceful protests but escalated into an armed insurgency with increasing sectarian dimensions.

Mainly Sunni rebels battling the Alawite president have been joined by growing numbers of Islamist fighters.

In a recent sign of the growing Islamist influence, judges at a rebel-run prison in the northern city of Aleppo offered reductions of up to six months' jail terms to people convicted by opposition courts if they memorised sections of the Qur’an.

"Prison is a place of reform," the head of the city's judicial council said in a statement announcing the incentives.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict
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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals

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

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...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.