Luke Harding, from The Guardian, on Timbuktu mayor: Mali rebels torched library of historic manuscript:
Islamist insurgents retreating from Timbuktu set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless historic manuscripts, according to the Saharan town's mayor, in an incident he described as a "devastating blow" to world heritage.
Hallé Ousmani Cissé told the Guardian that al-Qaida-allied fighters on Saturday torched two buildings that held the manuscripts, some of which dated back to the 13th century. They also burned down the town hall, the governor's office and an MP's residence, 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 rescue the leather-bound manuscripts that were a unique record of sub-Saharan Africa's rich medieval history. The rebels attacked the airport on Sunday, the mayor said.
"It's true. They have burned the manuscripts," Cissé said in a phone interview from Mali's capital, Bamako. "They also burned down several buildings. There was one guy who was celebrating in the street and they killed him."
The value of some things cannot never be measured in terms of commerce. I'll never understand why religious extremists (of so many faiths) have to be so destructive and full of hate. Before my Christian readers seek to use this travesty as ammo in their war on Islam, remember that you get to own the Westboro Baptist Church, Ku Klux Klan, Timothy McVeigh, Matt Hale and countless others who espoused one form or another of Christianity. You don't get to expel your extremists while treating the extremists of other religions as the mainstream.
Remember that next time you think about hurting someone emotionally, physically or verbally for worshipping differently. We have too much hate and not enough love. Be on the side of love and I won't care what you believe spiritually.