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The killing of Chris Stevens Raises Several Concerns
By: - TAWFIK HAMID

 

The brutal killing of the US ambassador to Libya raises several concerns that must be addressed.
Whilst it is fair to say that not every Libyan contributed to this killing and that most Libyans did not choose the Islamists in their latest elections, it is also fair to say that the reaction of the Libyan people in general to the killing of Chris Stevens was extremely disappointing.
After the US has spent at least a billion dollars of itstaxpayer funds to protect the Libyan people fromAl-Quadafi's massacres and save Libyan women from being raped mercenaries, it was expected thatthey would go instantaneously in hundreds of thousands to the streets to denounce the killing of this great ambassador who loved them and paidwith his life the price for caring about Libya and its people. That the Libyans have not done so because they are NOT used to demonstrating is extremely illogical. They clearly demonstrated in huge numbers against Al-Quadafi for more than a year.
The lack of huge demonstrations in Libya - and also in other parts of the Muslim world whose peoplesshould be thankful to the US for saving their fellow Muslims in Libya - is simply inexcusable.
We have seen the organisation of president of Mursy (the Muslim Brotherhood) asking the Egyptian people to demonstrate in Tahrir Square to denounce the film that insulted prophet Mohamed. However, we did not see the leaders in Libya askingthe Libyans to do the same and demonstrate in huge numbers to denounce the killing of Chris Stevens.
The video of the killing of the ambassador was interpreted by some media as conveying the message that those who appeared in the video were supportive of him. It is possible that some were sympathizing with him. However, the way the word "Allah Akbar" was used and the use of a short "Zaghroota" (special sound in the Arab culture to indicate happiness), and the raising of the hands in an expression of victory, raises a strong possibility that many of those surrounding Chris Stevens at this moment were celebrating his death. Some media interpreted this video as if the people were happy that they found him alive. The crowd shouted "Allah Akbar" immediately after his body was dragged outside the room (as seen in the video). In general, it is very difficult in such mayhem and noise to evaluate if someone is alive or not in less than the few seconds it took to drag his body away.
It is also important to question if those people who were demonstrating around the US embassy at that time were likely to be pro-America or Anti-America. If they were appreciative of what the US has donefor them they probably would not have demonstrated against it.
The possibility that some people from the government managed to reach the area to take the ambassador to hospital cannot be totally excluded as well.
Irrespective of how the video was interpreted, the lack of strong and powerful demonstrations all over Libya to denounce such an act speaks volumes. Individual responses from some girls wearing the Hijab and carrying the image of the ambassador, as seen in some media, or few gatherings to demonstrate against his killing are not sufficient and cannot replace the need for a stronger public uproar against the killing.
In brief, irrespective of whether the mob that surrounded Chris Stevens at the time of his death were happy with his death or not, and irrespectiveof whether the attack was organized by a terrorist group or not, the lack of strong public reactionby the Libyan people and by other Muslims to denounce the heinous killing of this great man is nothing but shameful.
 

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