Islamists are destroying history. In a startling parallel to totalitarian regimes, fundamentalist Muslims are wiping out history in order to rewrite theirs.
We can recall the destruction of the carved Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the group of people of which Sheriff Joe Biden stated:
“…the Taliban per se is not our enemy…
The Christian Science Monitor notes the destruction of tombs in Mali:
Al Qaeda-linked Mali Islamists armed with Kalashnikovs and pick-axes destroyed centuries-old mausoleums of saints in the UNESCO-listed city of Timbuktu on Saturday in front of shocked locals, witnesses said.
The Islamist Ansar Dine group backs strict sharia, Islamic law, and considers the shrines of the local Sufi version of Islam to be idolatrous. Sufi shrines have also been attacked by hardline Salafists in Egypt and Libya in the past year.
Timbuktu was once a center of enlightenment. Historical manuscripts remain that indicate there was a very sophisticated scientific community there – now the people in power are reduced to smashing tombs and destroying their own history.
Why should we care?
The Australian warns: Mali becoming al-Qa’ida’s new Afghanistan
FOR centuries, the people of Timbuktu have sought guidance from their Sufi saints. They took pride in the mausoleums of these medieval Muslim holy men who spread their faith around the world from a city built on the profits of gold, salt and slaves.
When I visited six years ago, a teenager showed me around, pointing out the shrines. As we stood by a monument to peace built in 1995 to mark the end of the last Tuareg uprising, with guns embedded in its concrete, I handed him a few coins. He gave them to children standing nearby. “My religion says we should share,” he said.
Today, the mood is different. Islamic extremists, who hold the shrines and tombs to be idolatrous, are tearing them apart with pickaxes, iron bars and shovels. There are fears for the great libraries, which hold hundreds of thousands of precious manuscripts. The monument to peace only serves to mock the murder and mayhem engulfing Mali.
The demolition of the tombs is a tragedy but the bigger tragedy is that it took the destruction of buildings – rather than lives – to bring the world’s attention to what’s happening in Mali. A decent democracy has disintegrated, families have fled their homes and allies of al-Qa’ida have seized control of an area of Africa the size of France. Al-Qa’ida has never come closer to power.
For nearly a decade, al-Qa’ida has sought a “new Afghanistan” in Africa. Now its untidy offshoots are creating one. The destruction of the shrines shows their contempt for others, as the Taliban’s demolition of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan did in 2001. Foreign fundamentalists are flocking in.
No one should doubt Mali’s importance. It is in a strategically sensitive spot. It has close links to Europe. Now the choice is this: once democracy is restored in the south, as it must be, do we support the rebels trying to break up the country, bearing in mind the dangerous precedent that sets elsewhere in Africa? Or do we sit back and watch militants cause misery and mayhem? This is the devil’s own dilemma, but it is hard to see any other choices.
Be careful of those who wish to rewrite history because in doing so, they can control the future. Don’t think that the Islamists motives are about destroying things from the past, their motives are to control the future, as are all movements dedicated to totalitarian control and subjugation of the individual will. In this they are no different than the brutal communists of revolutionary Russia or China who also sought to eliminate any competition for the minds of the people. Destruction of history is a long tradition shared by leftist movements and is in evidence today in the works of our contemporary post modernist devotees.
We have our own sect that is fond of rewriting history to support their “religion”. From politics to “climate science”, these “progressive” extremists don’t use picks and shovels, they use words, control of the government educational curricula and the media to accomplish their goals – but the end result is the same – history is wiped away and any view different from the “accepted” view is violently discouraged.