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Monday, March 21, 2011

IIUM student flying home to take up arms alongside rebels


PETALING JAYA: International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) student Hussam Idris felt helpless at not being able to do anything about his family’s safety as the civil war in Libya worsens.
So, the 37-year-old is returning to Libya tomorrow to see how he can help his compatriots oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi – even if it means picking up a gun.
“I am worried for my family in Benghazi as Gaddafi’s troops are killing innocent civilians. I feel helpless. I don’t want to be in this situation,” said the post-graduate student who is studying Islamic banking and finance here.
Hussam said he would check on his mother and three brothers when he reached Benghazi, before joining the rebels to support their revolution.
On the intervention by international forces in Libya, the father of three said it was a “valiant” move.
“Gaddafi’s army does not differentiate between those who carry weapons and families. Gaddafi is the real enemy, not the United Nations,” he said here yesterday.
Other Libyans in Malaysia also lauded the air strikes against Gaddafi’s air defences, saying that the attacks would help protect innocent lives.
IIUM Tasawuf (Islamic studies) student Huda el-Saied Nosear started fasting yesterday and will continue to do so until Gaddafi’s forces withdraw and peace is achieved.
“I am praying for my family as well as for all Libyans,” said the 32-year-old from Zawya.
Computer science PhD student Mustafa Ali said he felt sorry if pro-Gaddafi Libyans were killed during the strikes by the US and European nations but there was no choice.
“We have to change the dictator. We hope to be free. Insya-Allah,” said the 32-year-old, who last spoke with his family in Misurata city last week.
“I don’t know the status of my family now as the telephone lines are down after Gaddafi’s forces surrounded the city. I can only pray that they are safe at this moment.”
However, another post-graduate student Yahya Shareef is sceptical about the international intervention as he was afraid the foreign forces had their own motives.
“If their purpose is to protect civilians, then I support them. But we do not want to end up like Iraq where the foreigners only wanted the country’s oil resources,” he said.
Yahya, 27, added that he could not concentrate on his studies because of his worries over the state of his country and his family. - theStarOnline

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