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Libya: Salafists Wage War on Sufi Shrines

Libya's Sufi religious sites and heritage are under attack – by the Salafists. The ultra-conservative Islamists have attacked major Sufi shrines and libraries in the north-western town of Zliten, the city of Misrata, and the capital, Tripoli. The attacks, denounced by UNESCO, sparked the anger of Libyans.

According to the UN Press release:

The sites are revered by Sufis, a branch of Islam known for its moderation but considered heretical by some branches of the Islamic faith.

On Facebook, photographer Abdullah Doma shares photographs from a protest in Benghazi against the attacks on Sufi mosques and shrines and the desecration of tombs.

The signs in the photograph below [ar] read:

No to the destruction and demolishing; no to the burning of books; no to extremism; no to Saudi fatwas [religious edicts].

The second sign reads:

No to the Wahabbi doctrines. This is Libya and not Afghanistan

Benghazi protestors angry at the desecration of tombs

Benghazi protestors angry at the desecration of tombs. Photograph shared by Abdullah Doma on his Facebook page

A second photograph [posted below], from the same protest, shows a woman holding a sign which reads:

Leave the dead and living alone!

A woman protestor in Ben Ghazi holding a sign which reads Leave the dead and the living alone!

A woman protestor in Ben Ghazi holding a sign which reads Leave the dead and the living alone! Photograph shared by Abdullah Doma on his Facebook page

On YouTube, Kalam Research shares a series of videos documenting the damage. Among them is this video , showing the destruction of the Sidi Abdussalam Mosque in Zlient, photographed on August 24, 2012.

The video shows widespread destruction to the mosque, including damage to it's facade, as well as destruction of its pillars and dome from the inside. The mosque is the resting place of a 15th century Sufi scholar and had an historic library attached to it containing priceless books, which were destroyed when the attackers set fire to the library.

Another video, shows the desecration of the Tomb of Sidi Al Makari, on Sha't Street in Tripoli. The footage was also taken on August 24.

A third video details the destruction of Zawiyat Blat, also in Zliten.

And another video features the desecration of Ottoman Qaramanli Graves: Family of Yusuf Pasha Qarmali on Sha't Street in Tripoli

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