Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Reacting to the Pope's Comments: Muslims Must Not Use Violence When Accused of Being Violent

CAIR Tampa Executive Director speaking out against the violent reaction by a few Muslims in response to Pope Benedict's recent comments against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In a statement Bedier "While I was upset by and disagree with the Pope's comments on Islam, I am more upset by the violent reaction by a few ignorant people." CAIR announced a new campaign to raise money for the damaged churches in the mideast that were vandalized in reaction to the controversy.

THREE VIDEO CLIPS: To Watch Select the clip from menu on right, then play:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Police Audio: AirTran Removes Muslim Passengers Because "Iranian" Look

On August 20, 2006, two young Pakistani-American Muslim men returning home to Washington, D.C. from Tampa on AirTran flight 941 were abruptly kicked off (or removed) the aircraft and handed over to law enforcement for questioning. Minutes later they were cleared but could not re-board that same flight.

The incident upset me enough to dig deeper, because there is no justification to selectively remove passengers off flights. I decided to research further and what I found was a very disturbing case of racial or ethnic or religious (whatever you want to call it) profiling and maybe a troubling trend in the aviation industry.

I believe that the evidence (when available) will always lead to the truth, because evidence does not lie. In this situation the evidence would be any audio archives between the flight crew and law enforcement. I've tracked it down courtesy of the Tampa Airport Police Department. Below is a transcript of the brief phone call from "Jeff" at AirTran to the Tampa Airport Police dispatch.

The conversation clearly shows that AirTran had no justified reason to remove the two Muslims from the aircraft except that they acted "suspicious" and looked "Iranian." What's an Iranian look like? does that mean anyone who is percieved to be Iranian is a suspect?

Ahmed Bedier is Not Spokesperson for Al-Arian and Has Never Met Him

The anti-Muslim bashers are at it again, every chance they have to spew hatred at American Muslim leaders they maximize it by resorting to lies, defamation and fabrication. Today Florida's leading Islamaphobe blogger Joe Kaufman fabricated a story Campaign Cash from Al-Arian's Mouthpiece in FrontpageMag.com (a known extremist online publication) naming Ahmed Bedier, Dr. Sami Al-Arian's Spokesperson (also mouthpiece). For more about Sami Al-Arian click here. Kaufman could not be further from the truth.

What Kaufman fails to mention is that Ahmed Bedier has NEVER met Dr. Sami Al-Arian, NEVER spoke with Al-Arian on the phone and NEVER corresponded with Al-Arian via email/mail. So how can Kaufman claim that Bedier is a spokesperson of someone he has NEVER been in contact with??

Bedier is a community leader in Tampa and is the director of American Muslim civil rights group (CAIR) in that city. The Al-Arian trial was the biggest case in Tampa's Federal Judicial history, Bedier spoke a great deal to the media about the case, but so did everyone else. It was top news for several years. Bedier does NOT regret any of the comments he made surrounding the case. As a civil rights leader, Bedier speaks up on behalf of CAIR and its members calling for justice and due process. If Kaufman is upset that individuals are calling for the implementation of the U.S. constitution, than it is Kaufman who should answer whom does he speak for?

Kaufman's hatred for Muslims blinded him from looking at the true facts of the case. An American Jury of 12 who listened to all the evidence for six months overwhelmingly chose not to convict Al-Arian on a single count. Perhaps that's what Kaufman is so angry about, that a Palestinian Professor would get any justice in America. Kaufman is known for his extreme pro-Zionist sentiments which explains his hatred for Palestinians.

Joe Kaufman is recognized in the State of Florida for his hatred towards American Muslims and Arab Americans, just this year alone Americans United awarded him their infamous "Onion Award" recognizing his hatred and bigotry. If one is to review Kaufman's writings he would find that he has accused every Muslim he knows with terror ties, and has never written anything positive about a single Muslim. In his poor writing style, Kaufman attempts to link all Muslims to each other and labels them guilty by association (even if it does not exist, the mere fact that two people share the same religion is association in Kaufman's eyes).

In the same article Kaufman repeats an allegation he made last year that Bedier defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad on a TV show. A flat out lie which Bedier answered last year, for details read the posting Responding to the distortion: Bedier says "Nothing Immoral" About Islamic Jihad.

Finally, Kaufman recycles a FALSE claim that CAIR has some sort of terror ties. CAIR is a legitimate mainstream American organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and 33 offices nationwide with a combined staff of over 75. CAIR and Bedier have a positive working relationship with all levels of government and law enforcement including the FBI. If Kaufman believes his lies he should report them to the appropriate authorities so they can take appropriate action (or laugh at him).

If anyone is not familiar with the great work of CAIR or has concerns about the organization, feel free to visit www.cair.com and read What Public Officials Say About CAIR.