An article, by Luke Harding, in the Guardian says that Islamist militants set fire to a library full of old manuscripts in Timbuktu before fleeing advancing French and Malian military.
Islamist insurgents retreating from the ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century, in what the town's mayor described as a "devastating blow" to world heritage. Halle Ousmani Ciffe told the Guardian that al-Qaida-allied fighters on Saturday torched two buildings where the manuscripts were being kept. They also burned down the town hall and governor's office, and shot dead a man who was celebrating the arrival of the French military.
French troops and the Malian army reached the gates of Timbuktu on Saturday and secured the town's airport. But they appear to have got there too late to save the leather-bound manuscripts, which were a unique record of sub-Saharan Africa's medieval history.
"It's true. They have burned them," Ciffe said, in a phone interview fromMali's capital, Bamako. "They also burned down several buildings. There was one guy who was celebrating in the street and they shot him." He added: "This is terrible news. The manuscripts were a part not only of Mali's heritage but the world's heritage. By destroying them they threaten the world. We have to kill all of the rebels in the north."
Such is the way with extremists; they want to severe all ties to history and have no connection to the past; in their thinking it's important to forge their own narrative. Such is another reason why extremists are a threat not only to western civilization, but also to nations that are decidedly Islamic. Such extremists are friends of no one.
You can read the rest of the article at [The Guardian].