27 February, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/16/2013
LIBYA
Libya, Salafists ready to destroy Tripoli’s symbolic statute. The population revolts
For the head of the Department of Antiquities, the extremists are a threat to the entire national cultural heritage. Also at risk is the Unesco World Heritage sites such as Leptis Magna and Cyrene. Since August, more than 70 monuments destroyed by Islamic extremists. The population of Tripoli organize a demonstration to oust the Salafis.

Tripoli (AsiaNews) - The Islamists are threatening the historical and archaeological heritage of Libya. At risk are not only statues and monuments considered indecent by Islam, but also UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Roman city of Leptis Magna, Sabratha and Cyrene, the Berber oasis of Gadames, the cave paintings of Tadrart Acacus. The warning has been launched by Mustafa Turjman, head of the Department of Antiquities of Libya. The researcher reports that in recent days some Salafis have attempted to cover with a veil and damage the statue "the Gazelle" (see photo) a bronze monument depicting a naked woman, a symbol of the city of Tripoli and dating back to the Italian colonization. According Turjam the defense of the Libyan cultural heritage has become a small battle for the new Libya, full of the contradictions of the Arab Spring that culminated with the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Two years after the death of Gaddafi, the country still does not have a stable government capable of ensuring security and border control and has become a sort of haven for Islamic extremist militias active in Algeria and Mali. Since August Islamic extremists have already destroyed 70 mosques and shrines belonging to the Sufi minority, a current both Shiite and Sunni Islam considers heretical. Not only religious monuments are being targeted, hundreds of tombs dating back to the colonial period and several non-Muslim libraries and cultural centres have been destroyed.

The alarm raised by Turjam is shared by most of the population. Many Libyans consider the Salafis and Islamic extremists a minority, imposing its will through weapons and the support of complacent leaders. "The Gazelle is the symbol of Tripoli," says Souad Wheidi, physiotherapist, "it is part of the heritage of the city and has survived to the monarchy and the Gaddafi regime ...". He points out that "the Salafis are a small minority, trying in every way to take power." Adel Turki, a restorer from  Bristol University who directed restoration work on the statue in 2012, says "the people of Tripoli considers the monument an important part of their past."

"If the Salafists will destroy it, the people will take to the streets against them." In the coming days in Tripoli a large demonstration is being organised against the Islamic militias that roam the city. Similar protests also took place in October in Benghazi, after the murder of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador who died in the attack on the U.S. consulate organized by Islamic extremists on September 11, 2012.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/02/2013 LIBYA
Benghazi, 48 Egyptian Christians arrested on religious grounds
07/30/2013 BAHRAIN
Manama cracks down on popular protests
03/12/2013 EGYPT - LIBYA
Christian dies in Benghazi: wrath of Egyptian Copts against Libya explodes in Cairo
02/26/2009 CHINA
Beijing announces reprisals against Christie’s for selling two ancient sculptures
07/20/2012 EGYPT
Al-Azhar calls on constituent assembly to adopt a separate article for Christians

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.