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Islamic Militants in Mali Destroy UNESCO-Nominated Mausoleum

Radical Islamists elsewhere are taking a page out of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) playbook. Jihadists demolished a mausoleum in Mali that was recently submitted to the United Nations World Heritage site.

Militants destroyed the mausoleum of Cheick Amadou, a famous Islamic preacher from the 19th century, with dynamite. They vowed to do more damage if the people do not follow their version of Islam.

“They also threatened France and the U.N. peacekeepers and all those who work with them,” explained Bologo Amadou Barry, one of Cheick’s descendants.

The attack occurred two years after the radicals were thrown from power in Mali. These terrorists captured towns in the northern territories of the country and attacked buildings in a similar fashion. The nomadic Tuaregs started a rebellion in 2012 to seek independence from Mali’s government. The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) took charge of the rebellion, which led to the downfall of President Amadou Toumani Touré because Malians were frustrated with his handling of the rebellion. However, MNLA teamed up with Islamic group Ansar Dine, but once the Malian military left, the radical Islamists implemented Sharia Law. MNLA did not approve, which led to infighting.

The Touregs lost the majority of northern Mali to the radicals. As the Islamists raided the villages in northern Mali, they also destroyed historic sites, including 16 mausoleums because they “didn’t want people venerating them as though they were God.”

Islamic State jihadists have also prominently destroyed sites that, in their eyes, promote idolatry in Iraq and Syria. Militants first blew up Jonah’s Tomb in Mosul. Then they targeted two other shrines and ruined all Christian institutions in Iraq’s second-largest city. The group published videos of jihadists destroying Christian artifacts in a Mosul museum. Even though sources at the museum say the artifacts were fake, it is still disturbing to see grown men excitedly destroy history. In March, residents told media outlets the terrorists destroyed UN World Heritage Site Hatra, Nimrud, and Khorsabad in one weekend. Only ten days later, the terrorist group blew up the monastery of Mer Behnam.

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