The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council Statements

Fatwa, posted 7.18.2014, from Libya, in:
Websites and Institutions: 
Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council
Language: 
Arabic

A new group has emerged in Benghazi, Libya under the banner of the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council, founded on June 20. The group demonstrates a slick online social media presence, with a logo, a standardised press statement template, and, before having been taken down, a well-presented official Facebook page.

The group genuinely seems to represent an effort on the part of the loosely allied militias of Benghazi to form a more united front against the encroachment of the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, who is currently engaged in a self-proclaimed campaign against 'Islamic extremism' in Libya, particularly in Benghazi. Also, the group's mobilisation is a response to increased US activity in their territory, notably the abduction of Islamist leaders, such as Ahmed Abu Khatalla, who is accused of involvement in the September 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

In addition to the group's founding statement, the group has so far released 8 statements. The full translations of all the statements is provided below (Translated from the official Facebook page of the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council — Page has since been taken down).

Founding Statement of the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

In accordance with the speech of God Most High, "Hold fast to God’s rope all together; do not split into factions," we "the youth and revolutionaries of the city of Benghazi," the proud and defiant city, announce the formation of "The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council" after the abandonment of those with whom the responsibility of protecting the city and defending its people was placed, and after the announcement of the dirty war against its revolutionaries and its honourable sons, to overturn their project and betray the blood of the martyrs, may God accept them.

The goals and vision of the Council is represented as follows:

1. Safeguarding security and stability in the city and its outskirts.

2. We invite to holding fast to the religion of God, rejecting the disputes of partisanship and ignorance which the people of falsehood try to plant between the sons of its tribes.

3. We invite to the establishment of the Islamic Shari'a and the rejection of secular systems and laws that are being imposed on Muslims.

4. We aim to clarify the real image of the city's youth and revolutionaries so that the facts may not be falsified and affairs not inverted.

5. The Council refuses any external transgression upon the city, regardless of the justification, in order to prevent a potential descent into partisan and ignorant reprisals between the tribes and the city.

6. The Council invites to the rejection of extremism, regardless of its forms, and encourages to hold tight to the Book of God and the Sunna of His Messenger, upon him be God's Blessings and Peace, and the guidance of the companions, may God be pleased with them.

7. The Council distances itself from the political struggles that have taken hold throughout the country.

8. The media office of the Council is the sole authorised party to release statements, positions and directions to the media.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Friday 22 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 20 June 2014

 

Statement Number 1: The Capture of Shaykh Ahmed Abu Khatalla, America, and False Victories

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

Whoever follows the statements of American officials and the Western and Arab media establishments might think that the capture of Shaykh Ahmed Abu Khatalla - may God release him - took place through a comprehensive operation in terms of intelligence tracking, information gathering, and the team responsible for the abduction, in order to show the Americans in the image of heroes, and to market operational victories that in reality are lies and illusions.

Whilst we stress to our people in Libya and the world that the narrative is but a fabrication and a scandalous claim, we wish to make clear the following:

1. Shaykh Ahmed Abu Khatalla had retired from the field after the fall of the tyrant and he disbanded the Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah Brigade, which he had led, and retreated to his personal life.

2. That the Shaykh had no connection to the incident at the American Consulate and the killing of the ambassador, and he had previously made a statement in this regard, in opposition to the accusations levelled against him by the American administration.

3. That the Shaykh, despite being threatened by America, had no personal protection, as claimed by the Americans and the media, and he used to move throughout Benghazi and other regions in the belief that he was innocent of what was attributed to him.

4. That the operation of capturing him took place at one of the entrances, and when the scum of Haftar came to know his identity, they hastily contacted the Americans to present him as a token of their subservience to them.

5. We, the youth of the revolution in Benghazi, announce that we will not spare any efforts for the liberation of the Shaykh and to strike with all force upon the hands of the treacherous agents as revenge for our brother Shaykh Ahmed Abu Khatalla.

6. We remind our people and our tribes that this criminal, Haftar, and his ilk will not hesitate to sell the country and the people to the Americans and to others in exchange for governance and wealth, and we demand them to take a clear stance toward this subservience.

7. We challenge America to reveal the truth of the operation in which the Shaykh was abducted and to deny our narrative, and we stress that his abduction does not increase us but in endurance and defiance to its agents until we cleanse the land from them, and until the causes for glory and prominence are achieved for our people and for our country through the establishment of the Shari'a for which we are fighting today.

And God is sure to help those who help His cause, God is strong and mighty.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Friday 22 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 20 June 2014

 

Statement Number 2: Regarding the Events of Saturday

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

Regarding the events of Saturday 23 Sha'ban 1435, corresponding to 22 June 2014, which were witnessed by the region in the centre of the city of Benghazi, which were as follows:

Everyone witnessed during the morning period a heavy distribution of military forces belonging to different factions in front of the entrance to Benghazi harbour and on the road leading to it, and we knew at the time that they were in a mission to secure a large shipment of Hashish drugs that had been confiscated.

However, without any reason or justification, they advanced to one of the headquarters of the revolutionaries, belonging to the Free Libya Brigade facing the Court Square (Freedom Square) and fired upon it randomly and heavily. The members of the brigade had no choice but to deal with hostile fire for the purpose of protection and self defence. Here was the surprise, as those forces intensified their targeting of the brigade's headquarters using different kinds of medium weapons as well as heavy ones, expanding the range of their fire to include the surrounding buildings, the residential apartments, and even the empty and closed public buildings, such as the public utilities building, as will be seen by everyone in video recordings to be released later on social media networks.

At this point, the members of the brigade and the youth of the Souk al-Hout neighbourhood had no choice but to resist this transgression upon lives and sanctities and attempt to stop it. Indeed, the members of the Free Libya Brigade withdrew as soon as that force stopped, withdrew, and returned.

And we will not miss this opportunity to apologise and say sorry to our families for what happened, for everyone who resides in that area knows that we are the most concerned about your security and the first to sacrifice to defend you and your honour.

And God always prevails in His purpose, though most people do not realise it.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Saturday 23 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 22 June 2014

 

Statement Number 3: A Statement of Clarification

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

In the midst of the war waged against the revolution and its revolutionaries, and after the 'seekers of their dignity' piled upon them from all sides through military force, media, and all their strength.

And as the revolutionaries of the city of Benghazi and its its sons stand up against this and repel wave after wave and attack after attack, some sides have exploited this and benefited from the desire and concern of our families to back and support us, by collecting donations and weapons in our name falsely and slanderously, and from God we seek support.

Thus, we announce to everyone that from the beginning of the assault upon us and upon our dear city that we disown whoever spoke on our behalf or in our name, or collected aid, donations, or weapons without recognised official authorisation.

And God is sure to help those who help His cause, God is strong and mighty.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Sunday 23 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 22 June 2014

 

Statement Number 4: Regarding Al-Jalaa' Hospital and Benghazi Harbour

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

We announce to our families in the beloved city of Benghazi that both the Al-Jalaa' Hospital and Benghazi Harbour are under the protection and the security of your sons in the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council, for the preservation of the security and stability of the city and its people, and we value and thank your cooperation with us.

And God is sure to help those who help His cause, God is strong and mighty.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Monday 24 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 23 June 2014

 

Statement Number 5

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

In relation to what was suffered by the lawyer Salwa Bugaighis and in response to the lies of some tendentious media outlets and the slander of those voices whose goal and habit is to distort the reputation of the revolutionaries to achieve their cheap schemes, we, the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council, declare the following:

We declare our innocence from this incident.

We hold responsible for this deed those who want to thrust Libya in general and our city Benghazi specifically into overwhelming chaos and eagerly seek to shuffle the pages; we accuse the supporters of the so-called Operation Dignity of this act, and we remind everyone that the lawyer Salwa Bugaighis and her husband Issam al-Ghariani are political opponents of it.

And God is sure to help those who help His cause, God is strong and mighty.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Thursday 27 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 26 June 2014

 

Statement Number 6

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

Everyone knows that after the incident of the attack against the house of the lawyer Salwa Bugaighis and her murder, the house's doorman, Salih Ahmad Abd al-Qadir, who is the sole witness to the event, was injured, and he was treated and taken to Benghazi Medical Centre, in which he is being held by the hospital's security unit, which operates under the Security Directorate.

Eyewitnesses have confirmed that a representative of the prosecutor's office had come to try and obtain testimony from the witness, but a force belonging to Al-Sa'iqa and the Al-Fuweihat Police Station insisted to remove the witness outside the hospital, only to return him as a corpse upon which the signs of torture are clear.

Therefore, we hold the joint security operations room, which is responsible for all these services tasked with securing and interrogating the witness, fully responsible for the torture and killing of the sole witness, Salih Ahmad Abd al-Qadir.

And we say to every impartial actor, where is the media in all this? Why do they not mobilise all their energies except in falsely and slanderously accusing us? Where is the one who searches for the truth and claims credibility and professionalism?

And God always prevails in His purpose, though most people do not realise it.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Saturday 29 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 28 June 2014

 

Statement Number 7

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

In the recent period, suddenly and with no introductions, the security force that was tasked with protecting Al-Jalaa' Hospital has withdrawn, only for requests to pour upon us from the residents of Al-Salmani and Ra's Ubeida, as well as the hospital staff, to return to protect the hospital.

And after the hospital returned to its natural condition, to meet the needs of the people of our dear city, Benghazi and its outskirts, and security and discipline returned to it, according to the testimony of staff and patients, may God hasten their cure, we were surprised by an official letter from the head of the joint security operations room in Benghazi directed to the president of the Al-Jalaa' Hospital, demanding him to promptly evacuate medical staff, other employees, and patients, so that the joint security operations room would be able to storm it and evacuate it by force and coercion.

We stress our our commitment to securing the hospital and protecting the patients and the staff working in it, and guaranteeing its security and the persistence of discipline in it. Your sons in the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council and the regions of Al-Salmani and Ra's Ubeida will watchfully tend to your protection and will sacrifice life and limb in the attainment of your peace and security. And we wish to remind the head of the joint security operations room of the occupied Benina Airport that had been forcefully closed and of people's interests that had been suspended, indeed of the souls that had been lost as a result of that, and if coercion and force are necessary, then look below you.

And God is sure to help those who help His cause, God is strong and mighty.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Saturday 29 Sha'ban 1435 AH
Corresponding to 28 June 2014

 

Statement Number 8

All praises due to God, and may Blessings and Peace be upon the Messenger of God and upon his family, companions, and allies:

Ever since the tyrant Haftar announced his ominous operation, the most despicable of people gathered around him from among the traitors to religion and homeland and those searching for authority and positions of power at any cost. In the process, these people's true intentions were exposed, including their continued indiscriminate bombing of numerous regions; their repeated targeting of universities, factories and warehouses; and last but not least, their targeting of the imams, preachers and workers of mosques with abduction and assassination.

Additionally, it is clear to everyone that their harm and campaign against Islam has become explicit and openly proclaimed. Their criminal practices and their dirty war has become based on identity and encompasses all sectors of people who are religious, practicing, adhering to the Prophetic Sunnah, or to overt signs of religiosity. Belonging to a particular city has become an charge sufficient to cause someone to disappear into the darkness of prisons, and not even children, youths, or the elderly have been spared in this regard.

Therefore, we, the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council, declare that we will target with arrest and imprisonment everyone who is proven to belong to the so-called 'Operation Dignity', which has de-sanctified the blood, honour and wealth of Muslims. This includes those who participate in it through both financial support and incitement, and there is no scope for a single one of the prisoners we hold to be released until all prisoners are released from the prisoners of those who lack dignity.

And God is sure to help those who help His cause, God is strong and mighty.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shura Council

Issued in Benghazi
Saturday 7 Ramadan 1435 AH
Corresponding to 5 July 2014