Fighters of Ansar Dine, controlling northern Mali, have destroyed two tombs at the Djingareyber mud mosque in Timbuktu, completely.
About a dozen men arrived in an armored four-wheel drive truck, armed with pickaxes and hoes. They started smashing the tombs, according to Ibrahim Cisse, who witnessed the incident.
Ansar Dine says they follow the ‘Islamic Idea’ of destroying ‘Idolatry’ and has declared ancient Muslim shrines “haram”, or forbidden in Islam.
Grave worshipping practice can be seen among certain people who call themselves, Muslims but still don’t practice the most important principle of Islam, that says, ‘Don’t associate any partners with Allah and commands “Muslims’ not to worship or believe in ‘Idols or Graves’ or ‘Saints’.
Curiously, Grave Worshipping practice is also found extensively among Jews and Christians, and is considered by Anthropologist as to be derived from ‘Pagan Customs’.
The Djingareyber mosque is one of the most important in Timbuktu and was one of the fabled city’s main attractions before the region became a no-go area for tourists.
Ansar Dine has vowed to continue destroying all these ‘Anti-Islamic shrines” without exception”.
On Tuesday a source in Ansar Dine told the AFP news agency that “from now on, as soon as foreigners speak of Timbuktu, they would attack anything referred to as a World Heritage site”.
“There is no world heritage, it doesn’t exist. The infidels must not get involved in our business,” said a Tunisian who gave his name only as Ahmed and said he was part of Ansar Dine’s “media committee”.
“We will destroy everything, even if the mausoleums are inside the mosques, and afterwards we will destroy the mausoleums in the region of Timbuktu,” he said.
The fighters from Ansar Dine or Defenders of Faith, began their destruction of the city’s ‘Anti-Islamic Shrines’ on July 1. Curiously, only a short while earlier, UNESCO in a sudden spurt of activity, placed these ‘Grave Worshiping sites’ on a list of endangered World Heritage sites.
Nevertheless, the Ansar Dine had destroyed seven of Timbuktu’s 16 mausoleums and a door considered as ‘Sacred’ by ‘Grave Worshippers’ in the 15th-century Sidi Yahya mosque.
Along with Sidi Yahya, Djingareyber and the Sankore mosque bear witness to Timbuktu’s golden age as an intellectual and spiritual capital which was crucial in the spread of Islam throughout Africa.
But eventually ‘Grave Worshippers’ took charge of these great Mosques of “Islam’ introducing ‘Anti-Islamic’ grave worshipping into their premises.
According to the UNESCO website, the Djingareyber mosque, the oldest of the three, was built by the sultan Kankan Moussa after his return in 1325 from a pilgrimage to Mecca.
All have been restored several times.
More ancient ‘Grave Worshipping Tombs’ are situated in the towns of Araouane and Gassra-Cheick in the greater Timbuktu region.
Previously, a March 22 coup in Mali eased the way for Tuareg separatist rebels to seize a vast area in the north that they consider their homeland.
However, the previously unknown Ansar Dine group seized the upper hand while fighting on their flanks.
Eventually, with growing support from locals, they pushed the Tuareg rebels from all positions of power.
The fighters have threatened any country that joins a possible military intervention force in Mali.