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Haykal Bafana reported that “Al Qaeda militants [had] destroyed” the 800-year-old tomb of Sufi saint Sufyan bin Abdullah in Al Hota town, Lahij province, Yemen, on January 27. Bin Abdullah was famed for having fought for Saladin in 1187 CE, when he ousted the Crusaders from Jerusalem.
Unidentified Yemeni officials “suspect” that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) conducted the attack, because it has committed “similar” attacks before. However, Yemen Press has specified that a thirty-plus-strong motorcycle gang from pro-al-Qaeda Ansar al-Sharia attacked the shrine that night, bombing and tearing down the building and digging up the grave. As Bafana expanded on Facebook, bin Abdullah’s “grave was dug up and his corpse strewn on the ground.”
Aside from anger at the act of violence, the difficulty of protecting such sites and the Islamists’ capacity to strike have caused frustration and pessimism. The attack took place “[b]arely 20 km NW from … Al Anad airbase, where hundreds of US armed forces personnel are based.”
Trying to verify the site of destruction, comparison photographs or satellite images could not be found on Flickr, Google Earth, or Panoramio. However, al Amal News’ photograph and journalist Wael Qabaty’s video of the scene appeared to confirm the shrine’s destruction, and Lahij archaeological office “visited the site and found the shrine no longer exists.”
The Director-General of Preaching and Guidance at the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance, Sheikh Jabri Ibrahim, observed that it was “impermissible in Islam … to attack and dig up graves.” Castigating both Islamists and Islamophobes, Bafana offered: “For those who are confused, let me explain. The one whose tomb was destroyed? He is the Muslim. The AQAP militants who destroyed the tomb? I do not know their religion.”
Sufi shrines and structures have been targeted by Islamists across the region, including Libya, Mali, and Tunisia.
While staying as a house guest, a naked Le Corbusier defiled Gray’s minimalist, color-blocked walls that were only restored in 2015.
Keep your friends close and your bad art friends closer.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
In his new book, Tyler Green argues that landscape was Emerson’s method of glorifying territories shaped and bordered by white men.
“The 52-hertz Whale,” which sings a song at a frequency no other whale uses, is a social media phenomenon. But this film shows that the phenomenon says more about us than whales.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
The unvarnished photographs celebrate the lives, beauty, and resilience of an oppressed group at Chile’s social peripheries in the 1980s, and the series was recently acquired by MOCA in Los Angeles.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.