By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 13 October 2014:
The Ministry of the Interior under Omar Al-Hassi’s “National Salvation Government” has condemned the vandalism . . .[restrict]by a crowd of armed gunmen of the historic Othman Pasha Madrassa and the Karamanli and Darghouth mosques in Tripoli.
On Sunday, the attackers are reported to have smashed doors of the madrassa, home to a small Sufi community, stolen books including Korans and, in an act of apparent sheer vindictiveness, chopped down the tree at the centre of the peaceful courtyard.
Earlier in the week, vandals – almost certainly the same people as involved in yesterday’s incidents – attacked the Karamanli Mosque near the Old City’s gold market.
In a statement released Sunday evening, the Ministry strongly condemned the “heinous acts”, which, it claimed, had been committed with neither the knowledge nor the authorisation of the “state”.
The motivation for the attacks is unclear, other than the fact that the two mosques, both aligned to the Maliki school of Sunni Islam, and the Sufist madrassa are likely to be regarded with hostility by the increasingly Salafist-oriented Libya Dawn forces which control the capital.
The attacks have also been condemned by the Libyan Committee of Ulema.
For its part, the Turkish Government, which helped to finance the restoration of the DargouthMosque, built in honour of one of the greatest Ottoman admirals, has also condemned the attacks on the Ottoman-era buildings, saying that they had caused “deep sorrow” in Turkey.
“We strongly condemn the attacks against the sacred sites that represent historical friendship and fraternity ties between the peoples of Libya and Turkey. Our initiatives to make sure that necessary attention is paid to these historical artifacts are underway.” [/restrict]