The Muslim Brotherhood – working like a charm – and Timbuktu

Herbert London has written an article entiled The Muslim Brotherhood’s Charm Campaign

in which he wrote ” met with three of these representatives who happen to be well spoken and, if you believe what they say, appear as if trained in Jeffersonian ideas. Despite the question, they continually referred to unity and democracy. When I asked about the status of the Copts, they said Christians will be afforded all the rights of other Egyptians.  The following day Copt leadership opted out of the government, noting systematic oppression against them. That condition, however, didn’t square with the charm campaign.”

.. he continues “Sheikh Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Brotherhood in 1928, stated the mission unvarnished by propriety: “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.” His goal was and is to establish a Muslim empire — the global caliphate — from Spain to Indonesia.”
Herbert London, President Emeritus of the Hudson Institute also notes the different responses of Jewish groups to the threat in his article here

Meanwhile, isn’t it tragic what is happening in Timbuktu where Islamist rebels from the Al-Qaeda-allied Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) group continued their destruction of the city’s Sufi treasures. See here and here

Ah the famed Timbuktu! The closest I got to it was obtaining a Mali visa, after spending a day waiting for it in the embassy in Dakar, Senegal – but was then put off travelling to Timbuktu at the time by stories of robberies at 2am on the train from Senegal to Mali.  My inspiration to go there had come from reading the great book “Water Music” by TC Boyle about the life of the English surgeon and explorer Mungo Park, who travelled up the Niger River, including through Timbuktu in the 1790’s.  More recent images from TImbuktu, include here where it states that “Timbuktu still offers more to its visitors than the mere kudos of arriving. As a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992, the old-town quarter offers ancient mosques built in the region’s unique mud-brick style, a vernacular that looks at first glance like the work of some long-extinct species of giant ant. Of its three mosques, the Djingareiber Mosque, built in 1325, is the oldest and is open to tourists, while the Sankori Mosque once housed the town’s university, one of the world’s greatest seats of learning during the middle ages. On the edge of the town’s Casbah, in the concisely named Institut de Hautes Etudes et des Recherches Islamique Ahmed Baba, some of the twenty-thousand of the university’s ancient scrolls so far discovered are on display. These days there’s also a modest but reasonable array of hotels, hostels and restaurants throughout the town – the medium-priced Hotel Boctou with its bustling terrace restaurant being arguably one of the most popular. But it’s not the mud-brick buildings or their inhabitants that make Timbuktu special. The magic comes from simple fact it exists at all and the thrill of being there, which combine to create the strange sensation that, now you’re actually here, everywhere else is in the world is very far away.

Other descriptions here here and the Desert festival

with Ali Farka Toure and here

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