Libyan exile living in San Antonio reacts to consulate killings

UTSA professor Mansour El-Kikhia says those responsible are select extremists

Author: Myra Arthur, Reporter, Anchor, marthur@ksat.com
Published On: Sep 12 2012 08:20:21 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 12 2012 08:22:22 PM CDT
UTSA political science professor Mansour El-Kikhia Libyan exile
SAN ANTONIO -

More than 30 years ago, UTSA political science professor Mansour El-Kikhia was exiled from Libya for speaking out against the hanging of innocent people.

El-Kikhia said he feels a "barrage of emotions" following Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

"Anger, shock, disappointment, revenge," El-Kikhia said.

A mob of protestors stormed the consulate Tuesday and set it on fire. In the chaos, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, another diplomat, and two State Department security officers were killed.

El-Kikhia said the attack makes Libyans seem ungrateful for America's help in liberating the country from the dictatorship of Moammar Ghadafi.

El-Kikhia said that Americans should know that those who carried out Tuesday's attack are a small group of extremists.

"I know who they are. And the government knows who they are," he said. "They've been doing things to Benghazi ... toppling buildings ... digging up graves."

Tuesday's protest was reportedly sparked by outrage over an American-made film released online that mocks the prophet Muhammad.

Tragically, the target of the group's anger was one of the country's biggest champions.

"This guy who was killed was helping the Libyans at a time when Libya needed the most help," El-Kikhia said. "This guy was there."

Mustafa Al-Shakour was elected Libya's new prime minister. Professor El-Kikhia said leadership and structure are what Libya needs most to combat this kind of violence.

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