Are bloggers against hate, or feeding it?
Blogs dedicated to protecting America against terrorism are troubling the Muslim community.
By S.I. ROSENBAUMPublished January 16, 2006
It's 4 a.m. Somewhere near Coral Springs, Joe Kaufman is still at his computer.
Blurry with fatigue, he types:
It has been said that 80 percent of all the mosques ... inside the United States are ... tied to a radical form of Islam. ...
One of the American locations that ... influence has been prevalent is the Tampa-St. Pete area of Southwest Florida.
Kaufman is 35, clean-shaven, a lawyer's assistant. He goes inline skating and writes love songs on guitar. But his passion is his Web site, AmericansAgainstHate.com, where he monitors the activities of Florida's Muslim community, looking for terrorist links.
Kaufman's site is only one of a constellation of blogs with names like JihadWatch.com, MilitantIslamMonitor.org, and WesternResistance.com that are dedicated to the surveillance of American Muslims. The blogs link to one another, with more-traveled sites amplifying stories from more obscure ones, like Kaufman's.
He claims he has not found a single mosque in Florida that is not linked to terrorists.
A lot of people are listening.....
Muslims say the blogs breed hate.....
"He's spreading lies, slandering individuals," said Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Tampa Bay chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "These are vigilantes." ......
"It's a clearinghouse for defamation and attacks against Muslims," Bedier said.
"I like to go out and reach out to folks and build bridges," he added. "These types of people, they want to be able to wedge a gap between Muslims and the rest of society."
To fight back, Bedier is starting his own blog, AhmedBedier.blogspot.com. He said he wants to set the Internet record straight.
"Nowadays when you meet people, they go home and Google your name," he said. On the search engine, the top hits for Bedier's name are articles by Kaufman.
"I'm not going to let bigots like that define who I am," Bedier said.......
Original source at the St. Petersburg Times Click here