Sunday, February 3, 2013
Hollande makes one day tour of Mali Visits Djingarei-ber Mosque and the Ahmed Baba Library in Timbuktu
by Clifford F. Thies Being hailed as a liberator, French President Francois Hollande visited Mali on Saturday, appearing the the capital of Bamako and the ancient city of Timbuktu. He said French troops would not withdraw prematurely, but upon being replaced by a UN-approved peacekeeping force of African soldiers. In Timbuktu, he visited Djingarei-ber Mosque and the Ahmed Baba Library. These places had been ransacked during the Islamicist occupation. During the middle ages, when Timbuktu had a locus of caravan routes, the city became a center for Sufiism, a form of Islam, Sufis claim, having an emphasis on asceticism. But, other forms of Islam - e.g., Salafists - reject that Sufis are Islamic. Accordingly, the Islamicists, in imposing their form of Sharia in Libya and Mali, mostly Salafists, have been destroying the Sufi holy places.