Timbuktu sites under attack by religious extremists

Posted in , Society at 11:40 by RjZ

I haven’t seen the site in person, and I may never be able to. The mosques, shrines, and monuments of famous Timbuktu are under attack by an al Qaida-linked group of militants.

I do not blame my religious friends for the heinous acts of extremists, but this attack is on nothing less than human culture itself and requires a response. Those who share religion with the extremists have an even greater responsibility forced upon them. They must demonstrate with their response why their belief system is not the same as those perpetrating this crime.

Actions will always speak louder than words.


  1. LauraLA said,

    July 3, 2012 at 12:41

    The destruction of Timbuktu’s monuments is indeed a tragedy. But it is hard to imagine what the ordinary people of Timbuktu or the leaders might do to combat radical militants. These groups are very violent in their retribution and often difficult to catch or stop by organized government forces.

    While Americans might try to oppose crime or the government with strongly worded letters or editorials we do so with the assumption that our homes or lives will not be attacked as a result of our actions. Generally we can also assemble in protest without fear of reprisal, with a few historical abominations to the contrary.

    This scenario is not unique to Timbuktu unfortunately. One wonders in general how poor countries can make a stand against violent militants, assuming that they even want to. And what can the ordinary citizen of said country do? It is indeed a bleak picture playing out around the globe.

  2. RjZ said,

    July 3, 2012 at 12:50

    Well said @LauraLA. I don’t claim to have a solution for this problem. I will only add that, even though our actions may be minuscule (for example, say, writing a blog posting highlighting the tragedy) it is through these actions, multiplied through our numbers, that we might, even as individuals, have an effect. Relying upon our government to do something (without even an expression of outrage from bloggers…) has about as much chance of changing the situation as the villagers have of facing down violent, militant, extremists.

    The not so subtle point I am also trying to make is that many take the position that their religious brothers are somehow of a different stripe and thus can divest themselves of responsibility. I propose that merely claiming “that’s not what my religion is about, these people are not truly acting in the name of my religion” without any action to stop those who lay claim to the true tenets of a religion is a tacit approval of their actions.

    Oh, please comment more! Thanks for coming by!

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