Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bedier Condemns Attack on Seattle Jewish Center

On July 29, 2006, Council on American-Islamic Relations Representative Ahmed Bedier appeared on WFTS ABC News to denounce the recent attack by a Pakistani-American on a Jewish Federation Center in Seattle, Washington.

The national office CAIR and American Muslim religious leaders in Washington also condemned the attack:


Group says Mideast conflict must not be ‘transplanted’ to America

(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/28/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned an attack on a Jewish community center in Seattle, Wash., that left one person dead and several more injured. (A statement signed by representatives of the Seattle Muslim community, including CAIR-Seattle, is attached below.)

A lone gunman who reportedly said, “I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel," entered the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and began shooting. The alleged gunman was later arrested.

In a statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said:

“We condemn this senseless attack on a religious institution and offer sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured. The American Muslim and Jewish communities must do whatever is within their power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from being transplanted to this country. We also urge local, state and national law enforcement authorities to step up security measures at synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions of both faiths.”

full release click here

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bedier Perspective on the Israeli Attacks on Lebanon and Gaza

CAIR Florida Tampa Director Ahmed Bedier appeared on Baynews 9 Political Connections Soapbox segment to comment on the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon. In the commentary Bedier urged the U.S. government to call for an immediate cease fire.

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bedier Leads Tampa Delegation Calling for Immediate Cease Fire in Lebanon and Safe Passage for Evacuees

Ahmed Bedier of the Tampa office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, today called on the U.S. Government to pressure an immediate cease fire for Humanitarian and Evacuation purposes. Family relatives of American Citizens Trapped in Lebanon joined the News conference and criticized the slow and confusing Evacuation process. The news conference took place following a meeting with the Tampa office U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

In the news clip a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman encourages the use of "word of mouth" as an effective communication method that spreads "quicker than email."

Other related Videos with Bedier on YouTube:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Is Israel a strategic friend or spoiled brat?

The Washington Post today published published and long extensive article examining the U.S. - Israel relationship. The article also reflects on the much talked about and critically acclaimed paper "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by Stephen Walt from Harvard and John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago.

In light of the recent acts of War against Gaza and Lebanon, more and more Americans are questioning the liability of Israel's irrational behavior.

A brief side note: There is a clear distinction between the great religion of Judaism (recognized by the Quran as legitimate and from The One True Creator) and the government of Israel. Israel does not act in the name of Judaism and their illegal acts should not be seen as encouraged by Judaism. Criticism against Israel and the various Zionist parties should never be equated to the great Divine religion of Judaism. If Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was here today, I would imagine that he would have some serious issues with how Israeli leaders are misrepresenting their faith.

Just like if Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was here today he would have issues with what the violent extremist are doing (i.e. attacking civilians, corruption, injustice).

Ahmed Bedier


A Beautiful Friendship?
In search of the truth about the Israel lobby's influence on Washington
By Glenn FrankelSunday, July 16, 2006; W13

All David Ben-Gurion wanted was 15 minutes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's time.
Israel's founding father, one of the indomitable political leaders of the 20th century, came to Washington in December 1941 yearning to present the case for a Jewish state directly to the American president. He took a two-room suite at the old Ambassador Hotel at 14th and K for $1,000 a month and cooled his heels for 10 weeks, writing letters and reports and making passes at Miriam Cohen, his attractive American secretary. But Ben-Gurion didn't get the meeting. Not then, not ever. Not even a pair of presidential cuff links.
Now let's fast-forward 64 years to late May and a news conference in the East Room of the White House. That tall, freckled, slightly nervous-looking man with the rust-colored hair standing alongside President Bush at matching lecterns is Ehud Olmert, 12th prime minister of Israel. The two leaders and their advisers have just spent two hours together in the Oval Office. Bush is reaffirming the "deep and abiding ties between Israel and the United States" and praising Olmert's "bold ideas" and commitment to peace. Afterward, they'll adjourn for a private session without aides or note-takers and then go to dinner together. And the next day Olmert will address a joint session of Congress, whose members will interrupt his speech with 16 standing ovations. Ben-Gurion, whose remains rest in a simple grave overlooking the Negev Desert, would be stunned.
It's not that Olmert is a more commanding figure than Ben-Gurion. Far from it. No, it's about power. And not just Israeli power. It's really about the perceived power of the Israel lobby, a collection of American Jewish organizations, campaign contributors and think tanks -- aided by Christian conservatives and other non-Jewish supporters -- that arose over the second half of the 20th century and that sees as a principle goal the support and promotion of the interests of the state of Israel.
Thanks to the work of the lobby and its allies, Israel gets more direct foreign aid -- about $3 billion a year -- than any other nation. There's a file cabinet somewhere in the State Department full of memoranda of understanding on military, diplomatic and economic affairs. Israel gets treated like a NATO member when it comes to military matters and like Canada or Mexico when it comes to free trade. There's an annual calendar full of meetings of joint strategic task forces and other collaborative sessions. And there's a presidential pledge, re-avowed by Bush in the East Room, that the United States will come to Israel's aid in the event of attack.
On Capitol Hill the Israel lobby commands large majorities in both the House and Senate. Polls show strong public support for Israel -- a connection that has grown even deeper after the September 11 attacks. The popular equation goes like this: Israelis equal good guys, Arabs equal terrorists. Working the Hill these days, says Josh Block, spokesman for the premier Israeli lobbying group known as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, "is like pushing at an open door."
Not everyone believes this is a good thing. In March two distinguished political scientists -- Stephen Walt from Harvard and John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago -- published a 42-page, heavily footnoted essay arguing that the Bush administration's support for Israel and its related effort to spread democracy throughout the Middle East have "inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized U.S. security."
The professors claim that our intimate partnership with Israel is both dangerous and unprecedented. "Other special interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest," they argue. They go on to say that the war in Iraq "was due in large part to the Lobby's influence," and that the same combine is "using all of the strategies in its playbook" to pressure the administration into being aggressive and belligerent with Iran. The bottom line: "Israel's enemies get weakened or overthrown, Israel gets a free hand with the Palestinians, and the United States does most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying."
A sweet deal for Israel, in other words, but a very bad one for America.

Full article here

Monday, July 10, 2006

Was Racist Remark trigger of Zidane Head-Butt Foul at World Cup Final

Yesterday the world (over 1 billion of us) witnessed in slow motion the now infamous head butt fouled by French sports star Zinedine Zidane against Italy's Marco Materazzi. Whatever language you heard it in, all the announcers were saying the same thing pourqoi, pourqoi , why, why????

Today analysts, commentators and the world continues to ponder over the incident. Some news is filtering out, by the AP, European organizations and others that Materazzi might have triggered the foul by making a racist slur at Zidane.

I was disappointed that Zidane lost it and committed the foul. A star of his status should try to keep his cool, but there seems to be more to this story than just a player gone mad. Here are the articles:

The Zidane mystery: What set him off?

"The Italians did everything they
could do to provoke Zidane," France
defender William Gallas said.
Seconds before, Materazzi had wrapped his arm
around Zidane just as a
French attack on goal passed harmlessly by. The two
exchanged words as they
walked back up the field, well behind the play. Then,
without warning,
Zidane spun around, lowered his head and rammed Materazzi,
knocking him to
the ground.
The Paris-based anti-racism advocacy group
SOS-Racism issued
a statement Monday quoting "several very well informed sources
from the
world of football" as saying Materazzi called Zidane a "dirty
terrorist." It
demanded that FIFA investigate and take any appropriate

See Also: Why Today I Wear My Zidane Jersey