While most of the world only took note of the destruction of pre-Islamic religious objects in regions controlled by hardline Islamists when the huge Buddha statues in Afghanistan were destroyed, this has been going on for a very long time.
It is indeed the example set by the Prophet Muhammed himself to destroy all religious and/or cultural items that pre-date Islam in all the regions his followers controlled in order to erase the pre-Islamic cultural history and affirm ties only through the Umma – the ‘family of Muslims’.
It is therefore not surprising that as the Islamist spring spreads mayhem and destruction throughout northern Africa, pre-Islamic historical sites would become victims of this cultural as well as ideological and physical invasion:
‘RABAT — Stone carvings in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains dating back more than 8,000 years and depicting the sun as a pagan divinity have been destroyed by Salafists, a local rights group said on Wednesday.
“One of the carvings, called ‘the plaque of the sun,’ predates the arrival of the Phoenicians in Morocco,” Anghir said.
Late on Monday, one of Tunisia’s main Sufi mausoleums was burned down in an overnight arson attack, seemingly the latest in a spate of attacks on unorthodox Sufi shrines by the country’s increasingly assertive Salafists.
In northern Mali, which is close to Morocco, radical Islamists have destroyed ancient World Heritage shrines they consider idolatrous since seizing control of the region earlier this year.’