By Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 13 September:
For the second day running, demonstrations have taken place in Benghazi in protest at the killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three US diplomatic staff, and to show Libyan solidarity with the America.
In Benghazi’s Maidan Al-Shajara, local residents said they were shocked by “this heinous crime”. Several, speaking to the Libya Herald, said they were there to apologise on behalf of Libya and to express their condolences to the United States and the victims’ families. They called on the Libyan government to bring to account armed extremist groups who, they said were threatening the country’s security and stability.
They all condemned the attack, calling it a disgrace for Libya and describing the perpetrators as extremists. Such people, they said, did not know the teachings of Islam. They said that if they were true followers of the Prophet Muhammad, they would not have done such a thing, because the Prophet did not permit the killing of innocent people.
They demanded that these extremists be stopped. They wanted to prevent progress in Libya and make it like Afghanistan, they said.
One of the demonstrators said that the ambassador was an innocent victim who was slaughtered because he was trying to strengthen relations between Libya and the United States.
One demonstrator, Amira, who she said had met and talked with Stevens for some length of time, described him as being a good man with a charming but humble personality. She said he was very optimistic about building Libya, that he loved Libya and Libyans. It was a tragic end for a man who had come to the country during the revolution, risking his life to experience the tragedy being lived by Libyans and to provide them with support during that revolution.
Other said that Steven was not just an ambassador, he was also a friend to all Libyans.
In Tripoli, protestors gathered in Algeria Square on Wednesday evening at a demonstation organised by local human rights organisations and civil society activists. Some of the demonstrators also denounced the film attacking the Prophet Mohamed which, allegedly, was the cause of the attack on the US Benghazi mission. Almost all said that the extremists had used the issue for unjustified violence that amounted to an international crime.
Meanwhile it is being reported on social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter that there is a growing movement in the city to raise funds to rebuild the American mission.
Additional reporting by Ashraf Abdul-Wahab in Tripoli.