In the African city of Timbuktu, Mali, the bullying nature of Islamic Shariah law is taking the form of Sunni Muslims persecuting Sufi Muslims. In Niger, Nigeria, Egypt and the Sudan, to name just a few more African countries, it shows up in other, but still disturbing, ways. Just a reminder that the menace of supremacist Islam remains — and in many cases is advancing.
The always informative Cliff May elaborates …
The name Timbuktu has come to evoke the most remote, mysterious, and inaccessible corner of the earth. Five hundred years ago, Timbuktu was a great center of Islamic scholarship and the southern terminus of the principal trans-Saharan route to the western Mediterranean, a cosmopolitan outpost where camel caravans brought buyers and sellers of salt, gold, ivory, and slaves.
As for contemporary Timbuktu, it is an impoverished provincial capital in the West African nation of Mali — a dateline seldom seen on the front pages. But a little news was made there in April when rebel forces, including members of Ansar Dine, a fundamentalist and revolutionary Islamic group, came and conquered.
Ansar Dine’s leaders immediately announced the imposition of their interpretation of sharia law, including mandatory veiling of women, a ban on music, the closing of non-religious schools, and hudud punishments — amputations for thieves and stoning for adulterers, for example. Next, they began to destroy Timbuktu’s religious sites, including the 15th-century Sidi Yahya mosque and the 14th-century Djinguereber mosque — even though these sites were Muslim […]