Last Updated: February 23. 2011 1:00AM
Metro Detroit residents rally against Gadhafi
Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
Detroit — Libyan-Americans in Metro Detroit came out in large numbers Tuesday to call for an end to the violence against protesters in Libya demonstrating against Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi.
About 125 Libyan-Americans showed up for a news conference Tuesday at the Islamic Center of Detroit to express their concerns for family members still living in Libya and to demand Gadhafi step down.
“We want the Muslim countries, especially the Arab countries, to strongly condemn this ongoing massacre,” read Salah Huwio, an Ann Arbor resident and a Libyan-American, from a prepared statement from members of the local Libyan-American community during the news conference organized by Michigan office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations”We’re asking the world, to not only condemn (but) to cut all diplomatic ties with the Gadhafi regime.”
One of those attending the press conference was Hamtramck resident Jamila Saad, a native of Libya. Saad said her 41-year-old brother Mohamed was shot and killed in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, as he tried to help a person attacked by alleged mercenaries Monday during a funeral procession. The mercenaries were reportedly hired by Gadhafi, Saad said.
Saad’s brother had just returned to Libya a few months ago after living in Switzerland for 13 years, she said. He died from wounds to the side of the face and his chest.
“He was trying to help dying people in the streets,” said Saad at Tuesday’s news conference. “(The people in Libya) are up in their knees in blood.”
Dawud Walid, the executive-director of CAIR-Michigan, called Gadhafi a dictator who should be removed from office.
“Mr. Gadhafi is nothing short of a madman like those who came before him, like Mussolini and Hitler,” said Walid.
SEE VIDEO: Libya’s violence hits home for local woman, family caught in the chaos (WXYZ Channel 7)