Father of Canadian boy killed in Benghazi denies links to terrorism, says his son fought for the well-being of Libya

Father of Canadian boy killed in Benghazi denies links to terrorism, says his son fought for the well-being of Libya

March 09, 2016 - 11:21
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Ghweila sends a message of tolerance and forgiveness for those who killed his son

Religious cleric Abdul-Basit Ghweila

The director of Tripoli Awqaf Office Abdul-Basit Ghweila has said his son, Auwais, who was killed in Benghazi, chose to fight there because he saw it the battle of right against wrong, good against evil and revolution against dictatorship.

Ghweila, who holds dual Libyan-Canadian citizenship, told The Libya Observer Tuesday that all the allegations posted on social media and some foreign newspapers about his son being a member of ISIS and other terrorist groups are false and baseless.

“My son, Auwais, wanted to fight the anti-revolution “green-flag holders” in Benghazi, he wanted to fight out of his patriotism as he could not accept that such as the rogue General, Khalifa Haftar, would rule Libya after it had been liberated.” He said, stressing that Auwais represents the only legitimate government in Libya; the General National Congress and the Salvation Government.

“My son has always told me that we have tasted the flavor of freedom, we have smelled the liberation aroma everywhere in Libya, and now Haftar and his conspiring followers want to deprive us of those sublime emotions.” Ghweila adds.

When asked about whether his son took his permission to join the fight or not, Ghweila indicated that his son did ask for permission and he immediately granted him the leave.

“Auwais wanted to fight Khalifa Haftar’s forces because they oppose the application of Islamic Sharia laws in the country, they oppose justice and righteousness, he wanted to fight them because they are implementing other countries’ agendas in Libya and killing Libyans by the orders of Egypt and the UAE.” He remarked.

He also indicated that his relationship with his 20-year old son was more like friendship, pointing out that he had always asked his son for his opinion about different matters, especially the issues related to the country’s crisis.

“Auwais was a student in the faculty of science in Tripoli University. He was a very promising youth, he used to be part of many volunteering projects in Tripoli and other cities across Libya, he liked to give a helping hand to his fellow citizens, and fighting with them in Benghazi was one of his ambitions, as he could not tolerate the atrocities that Haftar committed against the civilians there." Ghweila said.

He said his son’s death has taught him how to be brave enough to fight for the thoughts he believes in and how to never think twice when it comes to standing for religion and the homeland.

“I felt that I am very small compared to my son and to his valor.” He sighed.

Ghweila sent a message of tolerance and forgiveness for those who killed his son, asking them to lay down their weapons and sit together with the other party on the Libyan-Libyan dialogue table that is approved by all Libyans and advised by all religious scholars, especially Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadiq Al-Gharyani.

“They killed my son as he was fighting for the good of his homeland, yet I ask them to come and be part of the Libyan-Libyan dialogue, I ask them to disown the UN agreement and the foreign agenda government.” He told The Libya Observer.

Auwais Ghweila died early this week in the eastern city of Benghazi due to injuries he sustained in the ongoing clashes between Shura Council and Dignity Operation.

 Dignity Operation was announced by CIA-linked Khalifa Haftar in May 2014 in an attempt to control the country, copying his icon Egyptian President Al-Sisi's coup.

In February 2014, the renegade General Haftar appeared on Dubai-based Alarabiya Channel and claimed that his forces were in full control of the capital, in a failed coup attempt against the General National Congress. He declared that powers of the elected GNC would be handed over to the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Declaration was frozen.

The then-Prime Minister Ali Zidan and Defense Minister Abdullah Al-Thanni, the current Prime Minister of Tobruk government, appeared shortly on state television to refute Haftar's claims and confirmed that his announcement was a clear coup attempt against legitimacy.

3 months later, Haftar moved to Benghazi and declared his military operation, which killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands. He managed to win several supporters, especially former Gaddafi ones, and classified all his dignity's opponents as terrorists and ISIS-linked using a strong propaganda machine. While many others turned against him, including Auwais Ghweila, thinking Haftar would bring dictatorship and tyranny, which Libyans suffered for 40 years, back in Libya.

Many observers to the Libyan scene think Khalifa Haftar is a stumbling block to the country's stability, but the interference of the UAE and Egypt, which strongly back him, makes him in control of the eastern region and a real threat to the western one.