Islamic Extremists Destroy 99% of Pre-Islamic Exhibits at Maldives National Museum

The pre-Islamic exhibits were reduced to powder.

A security guard stands guard at the entrance of Maldives national museum in Male, Maldives, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. The museum is reopening without some of its most valuable exhibits a week after a mob of suspected religious extremists smashed images from the pre-Islamic era of this Indian Ocean archipelago. The mob of apparent Muslim extremists attacked the museum during the Maldives’ unfolding political crisis. The country has seen weeks of protests and last week the president stepped down. He later said he was forced to resign at gunpoint. .(AP/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Radical Islamists ransacked the national museum last week destroying 99% of the pre-Islamic exhibits that dated back to the 6th Century.
CBS News reported, via Religion of Peace:

The Maldives’ national museum reopened Tuesday without some of its most valuable exhibits a week after a mob of suspected religious extremists smashed images from the pre-Islamic era of this Indian Ocean archipelago.

About 35 exhibits — mostly images of Buddha and Hindu gods — were destroyed in the attack. Some of the artifacts dated back to the sixth century, museum director Ali Waheed said.

Waheed says 99 percent of the Maldives’ pre-Islamic artifacts from before the 12th century, when most inhabitants were Buddhists or Hindus, were destroyed.

“Some of the pieces can be put together but mostly they are made of sandstone, coral and limestone, and they are reduced to powder,” he said.

The mob of suspected Muslim extremists attacked the museum during the Maldives’ unfolding political crisis. The country has seen weeks of protests and last week President Mohamed Nasheed stepped down. He later said he was forced to resign at gunpoint.

The attack was the latest blow to the island nation that is best known as a high-end tourist destination.

“We are very sad. This is the physical and archaeological evidence of the country, we have nothing to show (of the pre-Islamic history),” Waheed said.

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