Omar Mukhtar, Emir of the Mujahideen of Libya, leader of the struggling against Italian occupying forces in between 1911-1931. He is Libya's iconic resistance leader and a national hero. He spent the last 20 years of his life fighting the fascist Italian occupation of his country. At the end, on Sept. 1931 he was ambushed, wounded and captured by Italian invaders. He was 70 years old.
Subsequently he was tried by a military court for show only.
The Italians offered him many deals in convincing his fighters to end the armed struggle. But Mukhtar never agreed.
The following dialogue was occured in the court, between the “judge” and Omar Mukhtar:
Judge: “Did you fight against the Italian state?”
Judge: “Did you encourage people to fight against Italy?”
Judge: “Are you conscious of punishment for what you did?”
Judge: “How long have you been fighting against Italy?”
Omar: “For 20 years already”
Judge: “Do you regret of what you have done?”
Judge: “Are you aware of that you will be executed?”
The judge was surprised to hear that and asked:
“It is a pity such a dismal end for someone like you, isn’t it?”
Omar Mukhtar replied:
“On the contrary, it is the favored way to end my life.”
The judge then offered to let him leave the country if he called on his mujahedeen to stop their armed struggle, then Mukhtar shout out his well-known words:
"My forefinger, which attests at each prayer that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, cannot write any word of falsehood. We will never surrender; we will be victorious or we will die! And don't think it stops there. You will have the next generation to fight; and after the next, the next. As for me, I will live longer than my hangman. Even if we die, we get a prize but you lose. But unfortunately you will be able to understand this fact only when you die, however it will not help you ..”
Upon his defiant refusal to accept their terms of surrender, Mukhtar was sentenced to be hanged.
Following this a brief trial, the elderly Mukhtar at the age of 70th.was brought to the gallows and hanged before thousands of his fellow Libyans.
When asked if he wished to say any last words, he replied with the Qur’anic clause: “Inna lillahi ve inna ileyhi raci’un” “From Allah we have come, and to Allah we will turn” “Bakara-156”
Ever since, he has remained a symbol of resistance against all the unfavourable conditions for successive generations of Libyan youth. And he will forever be remembered as "Desert Lion."
Yeni Asya English