By Nafissa Assed
Chicago, 16 September:
The . . .[restrict]Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), along with members of the Chicago Libyan community, Syrian American Council Chicago, MAS (Muslim American Society), Zakat Foundation, and AMP (American Muslims for Palestine), held a candlelight vigil on Friday to honour Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The vigil took place in Michigan Avenue, a major street in Chicago.
The vigil was a condemnation of the vicious violence that left the ambassador as well as three Americans dead and others, including Libyan security staff, wounded. The vigil also supported all Muslims, Christians and Jews who peacefully denounced bigotry that taints the Prophet Muhammad. Many Libyans, Syrians, Americans and others of different nationalities gathered in a deep sense of sadness and anger, raising the American flag, lighting candles and carrying slogans expressing grief for the attack on the US mission in Benghazi and emphasizing the message that humanity, Libyans and Islam reject any assault against innocent people.
Three Libyan activists — Sarah Burshan, Sanad Elfirjani and Amin Moftah Elfitori — as well as Ammar Sunbilli, a member of the Syrian American Council Chicago, Ahmed Rehab, a member of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, along with a former American marine, Vince Perritano, spoke from the top of a stone bench condemning the attack but stressing that Americans do not blame Libyans for the it and the murder of the American ambassador. On the contrary, they said, Americans need Libyan people to show the world that Islam is a religion of peace but they want the Libyan government to take serious action to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice.
“The American people don’t need an apology from the people of Libya because this was an attack by a small savage group that doesn’t represent the people of Libya”, Perritano said.
The event was concluded by a beautiful song for peace performance by a 10 year-old Syrian girl named Lana. [/restrict]