Timbuktu, Islam, and Western Civilization
A Salafist group named Ansar al-Dine (Volunteers of Faith) recently seized control of Mali’s capital Timbuktu by force. As a result not only have the Islamists started implementing Sharia law but they have destroyed tombs, shrines and other ancient structures that have been around when the city was a vibrant center of commerce and knowledge hundreds of years ago.
When I saw the events occurring in Timbuktu not only was it reminiscent of the Taliban destroying ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan eleven years earlier but also reminded me of when Christian mobs ransacked and burned the Serapaeum library in Alexandria, Egypt. A short time after destroying the library, scientist and astronomer Hypatia was murdered by a group of Christians by being dragged through the Alexandria’s streets until she died for being considered a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church because of her knowledge of science.
Now we see this modern day example of what is happening in Timbuktu of religionists destroying ancient artifacts of an albeit primitive civilization but advanced for its time in the region it is located. With this in mind at best the threat to Western civilization is a horde of barbarians looking to destroy any semblance of prosperity and freedom because such civilizations conflict with their religious teachings. In some ways similar to how the Goths, Visigoths, Ostrogoths and other barbarians ended up sacking Rome in 410 B.C.E.
If there is any example of the threat that Western Civilization faces from Islamic fundamentalism this is it. What is happening there will certainly happen here if people in the West do not wake up to the threat posed by Islamist groups that dare threaten us and our way of life. Ponder the words of Ansar al-Dine leader Omar Hamaha:
We are fighting in the name of religion …. You know our struggle has just begun.
It’s forbidden by Islam to pray on tombs and ask for blessings …. Ansar Eddine is showing the rest of world, especially Western countries, that whether they want it or not, we will not let the younger generation believe in shrines as God, regardless of what the U.N., UNESCO, International Criminal Court or ECOWAS [the Economic Community of West African States] have to say. We do not recognize these organizations. The only thing we recognize is the court of God, Shari‘a. Shari‘a is a divine obligation, people don’t get to choose whether they like it or not.