Mausoleum of Sidi Bou Said Destroyed in Tunisia

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Jan 14 2013, 09:10:00

The Burned Mausoleum

The latest apparent Salafi attack and destruction of a Sufi saint's tomb in North Africa is one I'm taking somewhat personally: nearly 20 years ago my wife and I took our honeymoon in Sidi Bou Said, the beautiful Tunisian coastal town on a promontory near Tunis, known for its white houses with blue trim, its stunning views of the Mediterranean and its popularity as an artist's colony. Sidi Bou Said takes its name from its local saint who settled there in the late 12th/early 13 century AD, became a respected local marabout, and around whose mausoleum/shrine the town grew up, Sidi Bou Said is a popular tourist destination, though most tourists probably either do not notice his tomb or would not recognize it as a saint's tomb.

Yesterday we learned that a fire, which the authorities believe was arson, destroyed the mausoleum of Sidi Bou Said. Though no official suspects were named and officially it is being branded an attack on the nation's cultural heritage, prominent Sufi shrines across North Africa have come under attack from Salafis who consider the veneration of saints as idolatry, and the more famous the shrine, the likelier it seems to be that it will be targeted. The town, where Sufis gather annually to celebrate the saint, has lost one of its landmarks in what appears to be the latest Salafi assault on Islamic heritage.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Lesotho:   Namibian Police Sent to Lesotho (news)
New Era
22 September 2014

Namibia has sent 39 police officers to act as a contingent observer team in the political unstable Lesotho. [read more]

Kenya:   Kenyatta Ordered to Hague Court (news)
The Star
19 September 2014

The International Criminal Court has stopped the trial commencement for President Uhuru Kenyatta and ordered him to appear before the court on October 8. [read more]

West Africa:   Ebola His Women Hard (news)
Voice of America
22 September 2014

More than half of all Ebola cases in West Africa have been adult women. But aid agencies say women are also the most affected by border closures and travel restrictions, as they carry out most of the ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!