Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/5/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Destruction facilitates subjugation.

The recent occupation of Timbuktu by Islamists and their destruction of invaluable cultural artifacts has brought to light the controversial Islamic practice of cultural vandalism. Why they do this is no mystery, even if it is poorly understood by outsiders.

A cellphone captures the image of an Islamist fighter during the destruction of Timbuktu's treasures.

A cellphone captures the image of an Islamist fighter during the destruction of Timbuktu's treasures.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/5/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Islam, Taliban, artifacts, Timbuktu, priceless, destroy, pyramids, extremists


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taliban Islamists notoriously destroyed two statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan, despite pleas to spare them for their cultural value. More recently, extremists looted the city of Timbuktu and destroyed the fabled "End of the World" gate in that city as well as thousands of historical manuscripts.

They have also called for the destruction of the pyramids, 5,000 year-old structures that were considered ancient, even in the time of Christ.

Why do they do this?

First, it should be understood that this is not a mainstream Islamic practice. The vast majority of Muslims are tolerant of such artifacts and have as great a respect for them as anyone else. These singular acts of historical vandalism are presently unique to Islamic extremists who feel they represent a form of idolatry and superstition.

Second, the destruction of such artifacts is nothing new. History has shows that many cultures, even from ancient times, have destroyed precious artifacts belonging to their opposition. In ancient times, the burning of temples and the destruction of statues were ways of showing that false gods had no power to defend their shrines, nor their people. It was a way of bringing people into submission.

In the 6th century, Pope Gregory ordered the destruction of many ancient Greek and Roman statues, which is why today those that survive are missing arms and other features.

It was Christians who burned the Great Library at Alexandria and murdered Hypatia in 415 A.D., one of the greatest mathematicians the world has known, and also a woman.

During the Protestant Reformation protestants systematically destroyed many Catholic artifacts, whitewashing famous murals on cathedral walls, among other things.

None of these practices are unique to Islam.

Many are unaware that the same Islamists have also destroyed cultural sites associated with the Prophet Muhammad, fearing that people would become more devoted to the memory of Muhammad than Allah.

This is part of the motivation. Strictly interpreting Koranic verses to condemn idols of any kind, Islamic fundamentalists seek to cleanse the world of idols. Added to this is the desire to impose Islam on others, by whatever means necessary.

While this is not a mainstream movement, it is understandable in a religious context.

However, the cultural cost of their depredations is so great that it cannot be measured in dollars. If given the opportunity, these extremists would destroy the pyramids of Egypt, and every other cultural site that offends a cleric in some way.

Perhaps this is as good a reason as any to resist their efforts to exert control over wider swaths of people and territory.

Few Christians today would endorse the actions of Pope Gregory, or of those who burned the Great Library of Alexandria and murdered Hypatia. One would be hard pressed to find the Christian who agrees with the crusader's sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, or the whitewashing of priceless Catholic artworks during the reformation.

If Islamists wish to follow their fundamentalist beliefs in the security of their desert kingdoms, who are we to tell them they cannot? However, when they leave these enclaves and attempt to impose their beliefs by force, destroying the world's cultural heritage in the process, we have a duty to our ancestors and their legacy to say no.

The world should do all it can to ensure that Timbuktu is the last act of destruction on the part of such people, no matter what their religious beliefs may be. Such a crime is a crime against all humanity and it cries for prosecution.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Middle East

70-year-old Christian woman stripped and beaten by Muslim mob Watch

Image of The mob attacked the mother of a man who was rumored to have had an affair (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A mob of roughly 300 Muslim men attacked a 70-year-old Christian woman in the Egyptian village of Al-Karm and broke out into religiously motivated acts of violence, including the burning of seven Christian family homes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rumors spread ... continue reading


New Taliban leader to refuse peace talks and continue terrorizing reign Watch

Image of New Taliban leader as ruthless as the last (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour by U.S. drone strike - but another leader has risen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Days after burying Mansour in an undisclosed location in ... continue reading


Why YOU should care about the anti-American elected to lead Iran's most powerful religious body Watch

Image of Ahmed Jannati has been elected to lead Iran's Assembly of Experts (Iran Human Rights Organization).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After a Tuesday vote, Iran's Assembly of Experts elected 89-year-old Ahmed Jannati as its next supreme leader.Jannati is famous for his extremely conservative views of Islam and is now in a position to choose Iran's next Supreme Leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


ISIS leaders punished with NEW EXECUTION METHOD using DOGS Watch

Image of ISIS leaders who fail their duties are now sentenced to death by dogs (HWT Image Library).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a bad time to be an ISIS commander. In response to the continual failures on the battlefield, ISIS commanders are now being executed by being fed to aggressive dogs. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Kurdish commander spoke to the Iranian media outlet ... continue reading


Are we in danger? Islamic State calls for attacks on Europe and US during upcoming Muslim holy month Watch

Image of Abu Mohamed al-Adnani released a 31-minute speech to call ISIS supporters to fight (ISIS video).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS followers have been urged to strike at Europe and the United States by a 31-minute speech Abu Mohamed al-Adnani posted online. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In his speech, al-Adnani told his followers: "The tiniest action you do in the heart of their land is ... continue reading


Iran gleeful: Israel is just eight minutes away from destruction Watch

Image of Iran has precision ballistic missiles which can strike Israel.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A senior Iranian military adviser has said that Israel can be destroyed within eight minutes, if the order is given. The estimate is based on the amount of time it will take for a missile to reach Israel. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Ahmad Karimpour, an ... continue reading


'Isil runs a normal state ... where there are disabled people and so on': Man shot then crucified in public square by wheelchair Jihad Watch

Image of ISIS' wheelchair executioner at work again.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An ISIS militant confined to a wheelchair has made headlines once again for executing an innocent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a ... continue reading


ISIS desecrates Christian headstones Watch

Image of ISIS militant stands with the help of crutches beside destroyed Christian headstone.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a newly released video, an ISIS militant, supporting himself on crutches, stood beside the remains of a destroyed Christian headstone. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The video, shown on <a ... continue reading


Al-Qaeda's new hit list includes Bill Gates Watch

Image of Al Qaeda issues new hit list aimed at American economic leaders.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The latest issue of Al-Qaeda's propaganda magazine 'Inspire' claims the assassination of several American business leaders can be of use in the Prophet's holy war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, a hit list was released for lone wolf jihads ... continue reading


Jesus' baptism site to be cleared of landmines Watch

Image of Christian pilgrims often come to get baptized in the same river Jesus was baptized (Alamy Stock Photo).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Barbed wire, 5,000 landmines and danger signs written in Arabic, English and Hebrew surround the site believed to be the area Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Though the Israeli and Jordanian armies concluded their war in ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • States revolt, 11 sue to block disruptive Obama restroom edict, ...
  • St. Augustine of Canterbury: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 27, 2016
  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Saturday, May 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • :-D MILLENNIALS REJOICE! New emoji Bible translation is coming!
  • $3,600,000,000,000: the price to repair America
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 27, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 4:7-13
7 The end of all things is near, so keep your minds calm and sober for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:10, 11-12, 13
10 Say among the nations, 'Yahweh is king.' The world is set firm, it ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and when he had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2016 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have ... Read More