Tuesday, April 04, 2006

USF Oracle Column: Walid Shoebat and Hillel Shock USF Audience by Preaching Violence and Hatred

Last week, I (Ahmed Bedier) asked the question: Why are some Florida "Jewish" Groups sponsoring anti-Muslim hate speech events?. I brought up the question because of an anti-Muslim event hosted by the Hillel (conservative Jewish Org. at college campuses) group at USF and funded by Greater Miami Jewish Federation where a known Islamophobe named Walid Shoebat declared "Islam is not a religion."

Today Sean Kinane, a contributor to the campus newspaper of the University of South Florida, The Oracle, replies to both Walid Shoebat and Hillel in a column titled "Walid Shoebat preached violence, not peace." In the Column Kinane tells both Shoebat and Hillel "more violence and killing is not the way to bring peace," more violence was Shoebats solution for bringing peace. Kinane recalls a troubling exchange between Walid Shoebat and a student in the audience looking for solutions to the Mideast conflict:
A student in the audience asked Shoebat for the advice he would give young
people on creating a world of peace. Shoebat replied, "Sometimes we have to
shoot brother wolf until he promises to stop eating sister sheep." I was not
alone in my shock at this evidently contradictory answer, so I asked him if he
really thought more violence was the way to attain peace. He replied that yes,
essentially, extrajudicial assassinations were acceptable.

Kinnane rightly added:
What a shame it is for Hillel to bring to USF someone who advocates hateful
assassinations and retaliatory violence.

As shame it is indeed, Hillel and Greater Miami Jewish Federation are not only doing a disservice to humanity by promoting hatred and intolerance, but they're also doing a disservice to their own Jewish community. Respectable Jewish organizations in Florida are always at the forefront fighting bigotry, racism and hatred, it's very troubling that they would sponsor events that contradict the work they advocate.

Troubled by these type of events, I recently brought up my concern to a couple of my Jewish friends. Their response was embarrassment and frustration, questioning the wisdom of groups like Hillel and Greater Miami Jewish Federation. They also told me that these groups don't speak for all Jews and they don't speak or act in their name. I am realizing more an more, that when it comes to the Jewish community, one-size does NOT fit all. Like other religions and groups their is diverse opinions among the followers. My Jewish friends explained that the hardliners and extremists tend to be more active voicing their opinion and silencing other views.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ahmed Bedier video commentary on religious Freedom, Islam and the case of Afghanistan's Abdul Rahman

Last month I joined CAIR in calling for the release of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan man who faced prosecution for leaving Islam. Even though many Muslim scholars and leaders spoke up against any earthly punishment for apostasy (leaving one's faith) the majority of the media failed to include the voices and views of mainstream Muslims in their coverage. The result, most Americans I speak to think that all Muslims supported the position of a handful of Afghan clerics who advocated for Abdul Rahman's death.

This past Sunday I was invited by a Tampa Bay television news station to provide commentary on the topic of Islam and religious freedom. It was a good opportunity to take the message directly to the people.

Peace, Ahmed Bedier

source: http://ahmedbedier.com/video/060403-bedier-religious-freedom.wmv