Mali Musicians Maintain Support for French Military
Where once there was music and dancing, today there is misery and deprivation. When I visited Timbuktu, I was beckoned by an old man into the 14th-century mosque, then shown around the city by a teenage boy. Handing him a tip, he shared it with others. Now this fabled city lies at the heart of the fundamentalist badlands in which uncovered women are whipped, couples stoned to death for adultery and children segregated by sex. There are gruesome tales of suspected thieves having hands sawn off. Villages have been emptied as families flee marauding militia, many from outside the country. Perhaps most incredibly, the music that so defines this country is banned from two-thirds of its territory.
France, which had been trying to marshal a supposedly African-led intervention for months, had no option but to act. Not just because there are 6,000 citizens in its former colony. But because the Islamists were heading south towards the main population areas. They were just one hour away from the second city -- and had that fallen, the entire country could have collapsed into their control. This would be hideous for Mali, disastrous for the region and highly worrying for the West, especially given the number of Malians in France.
In Bamako, there is strong support for the French action; critics who see it as some kind of neo-colonialist invasion appear absurdly ill-informed...
Note: Salafist opposition to music is grounded in several hadith in which Mohammud denounces music has musicians killed and/or musical instrument destroyed. Since the Koran calls Mohammud the example for mankind, by this logic, his anti music agenda should be followed by his followers.
Posted by: lord garth 2013-01-21