Hey everyone. Since most news sources seem obsessed with Tom and Katie’s divorce, drought in America, and Mitt Romney, I thought I’d put this out there in case any of you missed it. Northern Mali has been taken over by Fundamentalists. They are destroying ancient Sufi (a branch of Islam) tombs, tombs which are regarded by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Located on a once major salt and gold trade, Timbuktu was a cultural and educational center of Africa between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. After that route collapsed, Timbuktu’s relatively isolated location contributed to the preservation of its many libraries and holy sites. Now all of those sites are in grave and immediate danger.
More information on this crisis and its context maybe found in the links below:
Although I do not think my blog is necessarily the appropriate place for this, I hope this crisis and its continuing development leads to a wider discussion about the complex relationship(s) between Fundamentalist Islam, Africa, the West, international bodies, the specter of imperialism, and cultural attitudes towards history.