Women of Timbuktu Find Their Voice Again After Nightmare of Jihadi Rule
Last night I mentioned an article in Tablet Magazine which described how the mayor of a French town, out of a reflexive fear of jihadists, had banned an anti-jihadist Muslim film titled Timbuktu from being shown, even though he hadn’t bothered to see it for himself. It really annoyed me after all the chest-beating over censorship and free speech. Here’s the trailer for the movie:
Seeing that the film would be released later this month in NYC, I put my annoyance aside and went searching to see if I could pre-order it. No such luck, but I did find another video, this one showing Fatoumata Diawara, a musician & actress in the movie, recording the same song, the sound of which I’d been instantly enchanted by even though I couldn’t understand more than a couple of words of it:
Still undeterred, I went looking for the music CD, which is unfortunately sold out at the moment. Arrrrgh! Not yet ready to admit defeat, I kept poking around Amazon and came across this Kindle book, TIMBUCTOO, which I immediately snapped up—not only did is sound fascinating, but it was also a steal at $2.99 and I happen to already know that the author, Tahir Shah, comes from a well-known family of Anglo-Afghan-Indian Sufis. His elder sister, Saira Shah, is also an author & reporter, though she’s perhaps best known for her work in the documentary films Beneath the Veil (2001), Unholy War (2001), and Death in Gaza (2004) .
Wow, I really went off on a tangent there, didn’t I? Sorry, but if you’ve read my LGF pages before, you’re probably used to it by now, heh.
Back to Timbuktu. So I checked out Tahir Shah’s author page on Amazon and decided to follow him on Twitter. Lo & behold less than a dozen tweets down there was an article about Timbuktu from about a month ago!
Not only is it a fascinating (and frightening) look into what happens in a woman’s world when militant Islamists take over and impose their own foreign “culture” on another by force, but it also provided some closure on a couple of pages posted here at LGF during the time all these events were happening:
- The Price of War: Ancient African Archives Set on Fire in Timbuktu by FNB
- Some Good News About the Library Torched in Timbuktu by yours truly (Psst--be sure not to miss the full-length documentary on that page!)
Below are a few paragraphs from the article this page is named after. It’s not a terribly long piece and should be very interesting (especially to the ladies), so I highly recommend reading the whole thing:
It was a sweet victory for Arby and Mint Mohamed, not least because of their opponents’ sexism. In the first stage of the two-round vote, five male candidates, were ranged against Mint Mohamed; in the second round, when she was running against a member of the president’s RPM party, all four of the men who had lost urged their supporters to vote against her.
“They said, no, a woman cannot be MP for Timbuktu,” says Mint Mohamed, a short but forceful presence whose father was one of Timbuktu’s leading imams. “In the madness of the election campaign, the men of the north said a woman MP could not be good for the city. But if politics had been forbidden for us by Islam, my father wouldn’t have let me go into politics. So I said to them, show me the verse in the Qur’an where it says that a woman cannot be MP. They weren’t able to.”
A year after Mint Mohamed was elected, stories of the suffering and humiliation women experienced under jihadi rule in 2012 are beginning to emerge. In late March that year, a rebellion in the north of Mali sparked by the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya swept across the north of the country. On 1 April the rebels captured the remote desert town. So began a nine-month occupation, first by the secular Tuareg separatists of the MNLA, whose fighters wrecked government buildings and stole what they could, then by the jihadi alliance of Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghbreb (AQIM). […]
One more quick aside, just to tie it all up in a neat little box before you go: You know the page that VB just put up—the one about the Malian Muslim guy who saved a bunch of people in the Kosher deli in Paris and was just awarded French citizenship for it? I don’t know if he’s from Timbuktu, but being that it’s also in Mali I’m sure he has no love for jihadi types, so I’m not really surprised that he made an effort to save those folks.
Small world… the circle of life and all that… we’re all tied together for our time here, whether we like it or not, so… Hakuna matata! ;o)