Black Tuesday in #Mali – Ansar Dine Attack Tuareg Women in Public


Tin Hinan is the name given by the Tuareg to a 4th-century woman of prestige whose monumental tomb is located in the Sahara at Abalessa in the Ahaggar or Hoggar region of Algeria. The name means literally “she of the tents”, but may be metaphorically translated as “mother of the tribe” (or “of us all”) or even “queen of the camp” (the “camp” maybe referring to the group of tombs which surround hers). She is sometimes referred to as “Queen of the Hoggar”, and by the Tuareg as tamenoukalt which also means queen. [afrikanwomen tumblog]

Now they’ve torn it. No man, not even the allegedly brutal soldiers of the Malian army (you remember, the ones 300,000 refugees reportedly fled from in terror?) has apparently raised his hand against a woman in public for sixteen hundred years. For it was in the 4th century that Queen Tin Hinan ruled the tents of this land, and no violence against women is tolerated, that’s how the story goes. The old gal will be spinning in her tomb, unless that too has already been desecrated by Ansar Dine militants.

Not once, but twice, the Ansar Dine thugs attacked a protest in the centre of Kidal staged by women who refuse to be cowed by their rules. The first time, the shocked observer reported, was in broad daylight. Unspeakable and unconscionable barbarity! Well done ladies for coming out again in the evening to show those opportunistic interlopers what’s what. As for Iyad ag Ghali, he already has a bad rap for being a corrupt diplomat who got booted out of Saudi because of his passion for whiskey. Well, the hard-drinking hypocrite’s really up against it now. Pressuring women to submit to rules about dress codes, and trying to bar them from employment was the cause of the protests, but publicly shaming and disrespecting women is going too far. Kidal isn’t Cairo!

Word now is that Ansar Dine has outstayed their welcome and been advised to pack up their unwelcome ideology and get out of Kidal.

I refuse to conceal my glee at this news. Forget ECOWAS, the African Union or NATO; the prospect of bataillions of angry Azawad women kicking disrespectful militant butt from .. oh wait, it can’t be “from here to Timbuktu“. Well, from Gao, Kidal and Timbuctu back to the Tunisian camps or wherever they hatched their stupid plan to hijack the rebellion while licking their wounds after Libya will have to be far enough for now. Please, oh please let this be a true story. It was reported on Sahara Medias website [ar], a generally reliable source. 😉

6 thoughts on “Black Tuesday in #Mali – Ansar Dine Attack Tuareg Women in Public

  1. Cecilia, I like your ripost to the very idea of “some sort of Sufi and Women hating group that wants to rip down historic sites and destroy cultural sustainability.” Unfortunately, the radical Sunni Qtubbists attack any open expression of/by the female, or Sufi (in this case both), or Shi’a, and certainly all things cultural–art, music or ancient tombs (the radical Sunni bury the dead now without grave stones. This may be one of the motivations in attacking Shi’a funeral processions, funerals being one of the ancient Muslim observances that the “reform” minded (sic) Qtubbist-radicalized Sunni have forbidden in the bin Laden era. The same type of Qtubbist-Sunni extremists, Ansar Dine, who are creating “grave conditions” in the areas of Mali they control, follow the same script in these threats against Sufi Muslim women (not considered Muslim by radical Qtubbists of the bin Laden flank) and any “pre-Islalmic” ancient cultural treasures. The Qtubbists’ world is flat, nothing nor anyone who existed before some imaginary point in the 7th Century AD is worth any study, so they are still out to destroy. Through CNN, on 5 April, “Grave conditions reported as rebels capture northern Mali” in which: After the March 22 coup, Mali, long a shining example of democracy and stability in Africa, plunged into crisis. Amnesty International said northern Mali was teetering on the brink of disaster. Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu have experienced days of looting, abductions and chaos since they were occupied by armed groups late last week, the human rights group said. “All the food and medicine stored by major aid agencies has been looted, and most of the aid workers have fled,” said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s researcher on West Africa. “Women and girls particularly are too terrified to leave their homes. People are describing an atmosphere of near total lawlessness,” Mootoo said. In Kidal, Ansar Dine, an Islamist faction of the secular MNLA, has asked women to wear veils and destroyed a nightclub, Amnesty said. Ansar Dine is intent in imposing Sharia, or Islamic law.In Timbuktu, Ansar Dine arrested and detained people accused of robbery and looting. Amnesty said it was concerned the group would mete out punishments in accordance with Sharia. “The town is emptying out,” a Timbuktu resident told Amnesty. “People are going to the south or to Mauritania. They are using all means: by car, by motorbike or on the donkeys.”
    Remember the reports in early 2001, when the Afghanistan’s oldest cultural treasures, the tallest Buddhist statues on earth in the Bamiyan provence, were destroyed by Taliban by rockets and dynamite. They dated to the 2nd Century, when the region was a Buddhist center before Islamic conquerors invaded around 1.400 years back. Islamic and other civilizations there and elsewhere have respected artifacts of the past (witness Egypt), but not the “reform”-minded (sic) fighters inspired by Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian Sunni fundamentalist scholar and polemicist against all things civilized, who was hanged in Egypt in 1966. We all must follow the tragedy in Mali, once a beacon of democracy, and the threat to its neighbor Mauritania. I hope Ansar Dine & other violent 7th Century “liberators” in Africa meet the fate of Afghan Taliban leader Mulla Mohammad Omar in May 2011, who in early 2001 ignored protests even from other Sunni leaders, including Egypt’s top religious leader, Mufti Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel and two top scholars, Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi and Mohammad al-Rawi, returned empty-handed from Afghanistan. He directed the Taliban to destroy the Bamiyan Buddhist statues: ‘KABUL, Feb 26 (AFP) Afghan Taliban leader orders destruction of ancient statues– “supreme leader Mulla Mohammad Omar on Monday issued a decree ordering the destruction of all statues in Afghanistan including ancient pre-Islamic figures. “Based on the verdict of the clergymen and the decision of the supreme court of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) all the statues around Afghanistan must be destroyed,” said the decree.’ Here are the photographs from Before, During and After the destruction, at which point the statue site looks like a bleeding woman… The site is maintained by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), who work toward liberation and safety of women in Afghanistan, and who, in their website archive, keep us from forgetting the tragedies, human and cultural, that have raged across Afghanistan since the Taliban incursions beginning in 1992 through today’s fighting

    • dreamfable2 makes some interesting points and suggestions here about what might be happening in Mali.
      I think it’s worth noting that aid agencies, NGOs and so forth say a lot of things, but however good they are, they are not news agencies. There are really very few verified, reliable sources of news, and all reports have to be reviewed with that in mind.

  2. Hey Lissnup. yeah, dreamfable2 is a friend of mine who found your article in my reblog. He used to write for Billboard magazine, so is a professional journalist. I think he did very good research following my reblog & commentary of you where I mentioned the chinese position on desecration of sites in Mali. I hope this explains the context of his analysis from a journalistic point of view. 🙂

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