Read an article in Smithsonian about the efforts of a secretive group in the African nation of Mali to rescue the large volume of ancient Arabic manuscripts that resided in Timbuktu. The Islamist insurgents (Al queda ?) who had force-ably taken over the northern territories of Mali were uncomfortable with the existence of the manuscripts. Why? Evidently anyone who studied the manuscripts discovered that the religion of Islam actually supported religious tolerance. It was evident that the destruction of artifacts and the imposition of Sharia Law upon the locals was not necessarily in accordance with the message of these manuscripts. There was even evidence of a cross cultural pact in times past where tolerance of others was not considered a blasphemy against Allah. The majority of the manuscripts were able to be moved to safer areas of the southern part of the country where the government was still in control. Radical Islamist will continue to have an uphill struggle as long as the more peaceful followers of Islam preserve what is a softer side of Islam.   

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