Assault on Cultural Heritage in Mali Continues

Posted on July 16, 2012


Armed with Kalashnikovs and axes, Islamists occupying northern Mali destroyed ancient Muslim tombs in the Malian city of Timbuktu last Tuesday. Locals watched in shock as the Al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) committed what the United States has referred to as a cultural “assault.”

Last week, the militant group destroyed several sites listed by UNESCO as endangered World Heritage sites. These sites included seven tombs of ancient Muslim saints, as well as the door of a 15th century mosque. The tombs destroyed on Tuesday were located in Djingareyber, Timbuktu’s oldest and largest mosque. Ansar Dine has vowed to destroy all such sites because Islam forbids them.State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has expressed the United States’ outrage with the destruction. Said Nuland, “[t]he people of Mali deserve to live in a secure environment free from fear and oppression where their universal human rights and fundamental freedoms – including the freedoms of religion and of expression – are protected and respected.”

Source: Mali Attacks Cultural Assault