Friday, September 21, 2012

Benghazi Comes Out for Peace

Last week, the American media was filled with the stories of anti-American demonstrations that rarely broke into four figures.  Today, however, this is happening in Benghazi and getting hardly any coverage that I can see:
"Around 30,000 pro-peace Libyans marched through the eastern port on Friday in an unprecedented effort to demand the disbanding of powerful armed gangs, in the wake of the assault that killed the ambassador and three other Americans...
"The giant crowd poured into Al-Kish Square square in front of the main camp of Ansar Sharia in the city, unfurling a long Libyan flag and chanting, 'With our lives and souls, we redeem you, Benghazi...'
"Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Benghazi, said: 'We went there to see their slogans and basically what they're saying is that they refused insults to the Prophet but they also refuse terrorism in their city.'
"They gathered to pressure the national congress to pass legislation criminalising militias and codifying the law on bearing arms, organisers said...
"Protesters mourned the killing of the US envoy, waving signs that read, 'The ambassador was Libya's friend' and 'Libya lost a friend.'"
Failing to cover this represents a complete and utter failure to provide a balanced portrait of developments in North Africa and the Middle East and magnifies the voices of extremists far beyond what they could manage on their own.  A rival salafi protest drew only 3000.

UPDATE: The crowd went on to storm the Ansar al-Shari'a compound in Benghazi.  This also seems to have gotten the media's attention.



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