Libyan students honor slain diplomats
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 06:09
Members of the West Virginia University Libyan Student Association came together Thursday to commemorate the life of Christopher Stevens.
Stevens was a U.S. ambassador working at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Protestors attacked the embassy Tuesday, resulting in Stevens’ death, as well as the deaths of three other Americans.
The Libyan Student Association held a vigil to honor the victims’ lives and to show its support for their families.
"Mr. Stevens was highly respected among Libyans. We considered him a friend to the Libyans," said Abdul Al Roafe Lamoshi, president of the Libyan Student Association. "This was a sad occurrence, and we send our condolences and sympathy with their loved ones and the American people."
Lamoshi quoted Chapter 5:32 in the Quran, which reads: "He who slays a soul, unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief on earth shall be as if he had slain all mankind."
"We strongly believe any killing of any people is wrong," he said.
The association presented a poster to express its condolences and condemnation for such acts of violence.
Imam of the Morgantown Muslim Center Sohail Chaudhry said he came to the vigil on behalf of the entire Morgantown Muslim community to celebrate the lives of the victims.
"We believe this act of violence is wrong. Any human life is a gift of God – it has a value," he said. "This is regardless of religion and regardless of where they come from."
Chaudhry said he wanted to show the community the acts of violence "are not Islam."
"We came here to say this is not Islam. Islam is not these acts of violence," he said. "Islam is peace, respect, justice, value for human life and standing up for one another."
Suzann Palmour said she attended the vigil to show her support, and to stand up to say Muslims are against the acts of violence toward the Americans.
"Whenever something tragic like this happens, people are always asking ‘where are the Muslims to come out and say this is wrong?’" she said. "It’s important for us to come out and stand up and say that this is wrong."
Vice President of the Libyan Student Association Fadi Mugheirbi said the Libyan community at WVU was shocked to hear of the attack.
"This doesn’t represent our Libyan people – it’s shocking," he said. "We are really sorry for what happened. All of Libya condemns this action."