Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More Violence in Mali/Timbuktu

This article is actually long enough to give me some context about the situation in Mali. "Islamists" (whatever that means) "linked to" Al-Quaeda are destroying sites such as this 15th century mosque--sites which are linked to Sufi worship as well as to the ruling government, which isn't doing too well. Some other tombs were destroyed the other day. Apparently, there's one fight: rebels vs. government, which has been hijacked by Islamists vs. Sufis. I am always appalled by Muslim-on-Muslim violence, until I remind myself of the long history of Christian-on-Christian violence. But this article illustrates the danger of writing this off as an internal Muslim squabble, or as just the destruction of old stuff: the Islamists now control an area of Mali the size of France, and this area may become a haven for their guys who have to bug out of their current hiding places. So pay attention to fights that destroy cultural monuments! They may turn into fights that threaten security!

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