#MyJihad in Mali: Islamic supremacists torch Timbuktu manuscript library

An act of Islamic piety. As the caliph Umar is supposed to have said when ordering the library of Alexandria to be burned: “If the books agree with the Qur’an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with it, they are heretical.”

“Islamist rebels torch Timbuktu manuscript library: mayor,” from Reuters, January 28 (thanks to all who sent this in):

DAKAR (Reuters) – Islamist fighters fleeing Mali’s ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu as French and Malian troops closed in set fire to a South African-funded library there containing thousands of priceless manuscripts, the city’s mayor said on Monday.

“The rebels sit fire to the newly-constructed Ahmed Baba Institute built by the South Africans … this happened four days ago,” Halle Ousmane told Reuters by telephone from Bamako. He said he had received the information from his chief of communications who had travelled south from the city a day ago.

Ousmane was not able to immediately say how much the building had been damaged. French and Malian troops were securing the city on Monday.

The mayor said the Islamist rebels, who had occupied the fabled trading town since a Tuareg-led rebellion captured it on April 1 from government forces, also torched his office and the home of a member of parliament.

The Ahmed Baba Institute, one of several libraries and collections in the city containing fragile ancient documents dating back to the 13th century, is named after a Timbuktu-born contemporary of William Shakespeare and houses more than 20,000 scholarly manuscripts. Some were stored in underground vaults.

Fighters from the Islamist alliance in north Mali, which groups AQIM with Malian Islamist group Ansar Dine and AQIM splinter MUJWA, had also destroyed ancient shrines sacred to moderate Sufi Moslems, provoking international outrage.

They had also applied amputations for thieves and stoning of adulterers under sharia law.

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Comments

  1. says

    Arguably more despicable than well-poisoning, library arson is a crime against our species, diluting humankind’s prospects of perpetuated survival. Islam is a pathogen.

  2. says

    Another example of how Muslims are always continuing their tradition of destroying ancient knowledge in quest to bring jahilya of Islam all over the world!! For Muslims jahilya rules!! Morons!!

  3. says

    For these savages ‘koran’ is the encyclopedia ‘for all, forever’.

    No wonder they continue to destroy all other sources of wisdom and knowledge.

  4. says

    if these manuscripts were old korans (which I remember reading previous accounts about this library is that they were indeed korans) does that mean that its now OK to burn the koran?

  5. says

    “An act of Islamic piety. As the caliph Umar is supposed to have said when ordering the library of Alexandria to be burned: “If the books agree with the Qur’an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with it, they are heretical.”

    I think its important to point out that this account has been seriously challenged by ME experts such as Bernard Lewis:
    http://mzone.mweb.co.za/residents/aasomers/libraryalexandria.htm

    “To accept the story of the Arab destruction of the library of Alexandria, one must explain how it is that so dramatic an event was unmentioned and unnoticed not only in the rich historical literature of medieval Islam, but even in the literatures of the Coptic and other Christian churches, of the Byzantines, of the Jews, or anyone else who might have thought the destruction of a great library worthy of comment. That the story still survives, and is repeated, despite all these objections, is testimony to the enduring power of myth.”

    Could you also please inform why you think the account of Omar buring the library are true and why Lewis is wrong?
    Thank you

  6. says

    #MyJihad in Mali: Islamic supremacists torch Timbuktu manuscript library
    …………………

    Pious Muslims hate all books except for the vile Qur’an. Look at Nigeria’s “Boko Harama”.

    And this is hardly the first massive destruction of art and literature by devout Muslims:

    “Nearly 200,000 books in Egypt reduced to ashes at the hands of Islamic supremacists”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/12/nearly-200000-books-in-egypt-reduced-to-ashes-at-the-hands-of-islamic-supremacists.html

    This was probably the largest collection of books in the Muslim world”all gone.

    More:

    An act of Islamic piety. As the caliph Umar is supposed to have said when ordering the library of Alexandria to be burned: “If the books agree with the Qur’an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with it, they are heretical.”
    …………………

    Yes”whereas the Ptolemaic Greeks of Egypt offered huge breaks on tariffs for any ship that allowed scribes to copy any books they were carrying for the Library at Alexandria. Soon ships specifically brought books with them, for just that purpose.

    Compare and contrast.

    More:

    DAKAR (Reuters) – Islamist fighters fleeing Mali’s ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu as French and Malian troops closed in set fire to a South African-funded library there containing thousands of priceless manuscripts, the city’s mayor said on Monday.
    …………………

    Consider: here, the “Islamists” are on the run, but they take time out to destroy some Mali’s heritage. *Ugh*.

    When “Islamists” destroyed the National Museum in the Maldives, they destroyed all of that nation’s Buddhist heritage:

    “It begins: Muslims in Maldives smash Buddhist statues in National Museum”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/02/it-begins-muslims-in-maldives-smash-buddhist-statues-in-national-museum.html

    More:

    Ousmane was not able to immediately say how much the building had been damaged. French and Malian troops were securing the city on Monday.
    …………………

    I wish I could just celebrate this”but we all know what happens next. Let the Jihad terrorism begin!

    God, I hate Islam.

  7. says

    Killers of history.

    Muslims destroy their *own* history as well as that of everybody else.

    The AFP account of this dismally typical Mohammedan book-burning, is reproduced here:

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/45905

    Monday, 28 January 2013
    Mali: French troops encircle Timbuktu as fleeing Islamists burn ancient scrolls

    I understand, from the article I’ve just linked, that one of the items destroyed was a ‘history’ book – “an ancient history of west Africa, the Tarikh al-Soudan”. History written by victorious jihading Muslims, of course, and therefore probably full of tedious boastings, outright lies, exaggerations, and endless descriptions of killings, rapings, taking and trading of slaves, and plunderings, but still: the astute non-Muslim scholar can ‘read between the lines’ of such things, to find out *something*.

    Linguistically, the materials would have been of interest: though most were in Arabic (and not necessarily classical Arabic, but the local/ regional dialect/s) some few were in local African languages – Songhai, Tamashek [which is related to the Berber languages of the Atlas Mountains] and Bambara. The oldest was, seemingly, from 1204.

    Sure, the majority of these manuscripts would have been deadly-dull Qurans and Quran commentaries; but modern western textual scholars can find out all sorts of interesting things about the history of a text, by looking at such things. As the saying goes: BS is BS but the *study* of BS is scholarship. The more different manuscripts, old manuscripts, of the one text you have, the better chance you have of finding out what the original actually said. Which, in the case of the Quran, and most likely the Sira and Hadiths as well, could be…potentially embarrassing, for Muslims.

    Perhaps. besides being motivated by the usual obsessive anti-intellectualism, these book-burning Mohammedans were afraid of something else: the prying eyes of sceptical non-Muslim scholars.

  8. says

    Invading muslim hordes have destroyed so many temples and statues in India. Many of them still exist, headless, to tell the tale of muslim ignorance about preservation of art and culture.

  9. says

    Oh, these are next in line once Morsi is in full contrOL. After all these were not created by Muslims, just like the Bamiyan Buddha, these have to go. After the arrival of Islam in Egypt, only jahilya (ignorance) has prevailed in Egypt!!

  10. says

    lebel wrote:

    “An act of Islamic piety. As the caliph Umar is supposed to have said when ordering the library of Alexandria to be burned: “If the books agree with the Qur’an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with it, they are heretical.”

    I think its important to point out that this account has been seriously challenged by ME experts such as Bernard Lewis:
    …………………

    What part of “supposed to have said” do you not understand? Robert Spencer didn’t cite this as a direct quote.

    More:

    “To accept the story of the Arab destruction of the library of Alexandria, one must explain how it is that so dramatic an event was unmentioned and unnoticed not only in the rich historical literature of medieval Islam, but even in the literatures of the Coptic and other Christian churches, of the Byzantines, of the Jews, or anyone else who might have thought the destruction of a great library worthy of comment. That the story still survives, and is repeated, despite all these objections, is testimony to the enduring power of myth.”
    …………………

    The quote itself comes from Syriac Christian author Bar-Hebraeus (1226–1286). He claimed to have gotten the quote from original Arab sources, but those sources appear to longer be extant’so it may or may not be strictly accurate.

    But the fact is that Muslims themselves extensively claimed credit for having destroyed the great Library at Alexandria.

    Abd’l Latif of Baghdad (1162–1231) states that the library of Alexandria was destroyed by Amr, by the order of the Caliph Omar”this agrees with Bart-Hebraeus’ account.

    The story is also found in Al-Qifti (1172–1248), “History of Learned Men”.

    Al-Maqrizi (1364–1442) also mentions the story , in reference to the Serapeum.

    There is also a story in Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) which tells that Omar made a similar order about Persian books.

    Bernard Lewis, whom you cite, has argued that the story was reinforced in Medieval times by Saladin, who destroyed the Fatimid caliphate’s collection of Isma’ili texts in Cairo following his restoration of Sunnism in Egypt.

    The fact of the matter is that library’s collect was probably destroyed in several events, starting with a fire set by the Romans that burned ships in Alexandria’s harbor that got out of control. A smaller library was later established at the Serapeum, which was also badly damaged at some point.

    But it is absolutely clear that the Muslims claimed “credit” for the terrible destruction, and used it as a model to destroy books in Persia, and, later, again in Egypt itself.

  11. says

    Dumbledores’ Army wrote:

    Killers of history…

    The more different manuscripts, old manuscripts, of the one text you have, the better chance you have of finding out what the original actually said. Which, in the case of the Quran, and most likely the Sira and Hadiths as well, could be…potentially embarrassing, for Muslims.

    Perhaps. besides being motivated by the usual obsessive anti-intellectualism, these book-burning Mohammedans were afraid of something else: the prying eyes of sceptical non-Muslim scholars.
    …………..

    This is a good point, Dumbledore’s Army. But even this formulation”appalling as it is”requires at least a modicum of applied thought.

    I believe that for truly pious Muslims, that entire exercise is alien.

    For their mindset”or, rather, lack of same”I believe that Hugh Fitzgerald’s translation of “Boko Haram” as “books, him bad” was absolutely brilliant, and right on the mark.