Libyan-Americans angered by embassy attacks

Libyan-American Mohamed Gibani, 62, who runs Aljibani Halal Market in Diamond Bar, said he felt “rage” over Tuesday’s deadly attack against the ambassador and his staff.

“We fought (deposed Libyan dictator Moammar) Gadhafi for the last 42 years, and we don’t want to let some thugs bring us back to the old ages of Gadhafi – the killing, the burning,” he said. “This is completely rejected by all Libyans all over the U.S. and Libya itself.”

Gibani, a Muslim, said he thought the YouTube film, which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, was a despicable act and “a cheap shot.” But the film, he said, was not the fault of Stevens nor the U.S. government and does not justify violence.

“We have media; people can go back and defend the prophet peacefully,” he said.

For Gibani’s brother, Mahmud Gibani of Diamond Bar, hearing the news of the ambassador’s death ushered in “the saddest day I ever felt.”

Libya had recently emerged victorious from a bloody revolution, he said, and things were finally going well.

Then, “all of a sudden, this happens to the ambassador to the U.S. in Benghazi,” whom Mahmud said had a reputation of being a humble and wise man who was known to walk around Tripoli without any guards.

The Gibani brothers, who run the market in Diamond Bar, said they personally suspect that Gadhafi’s supporters may have had something to do with the attack.

In the same moment, in their native Tripoli, Mohamed and Mahmud’s niece Rahma Gibani, who formerly lived in Fontana, said by phone that she was standing “in silent protest” with a few hundred Libyans holding signs in a town square in opposition to the violence against the U.S. consulate.

Some of the signs said “I’m a Libyan and I’m against what happened” or the violence “is against Sharia (Islamic) law,” she said.

“I’m very sad, of course, about what happened,” said Rahma, who was demonstrating with her husband and other relatives Wednesday. “I hope the (Libyan) government steps in. We just want to make sure the U.S. knows we’re against what happened.”

Rahma, 22, said many people driving by were honking their horns in support of the demonstrators, but one person did make a negative comment, asking the crowd “Who is more important, the prophet or the ambassador?” she said.

Read more in ANGER.

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