Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wrong Time to Execute The Dictator Saddam Hussein

CAIR Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier offers a Muslim perspective on the execution of Saddam Hussein on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. While Bedier believes that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator and that his crimes against humanity have caught up to him, Bedier thinks it is NOT wise to carry out an execution of a Muslim on the holiest day of the Islamic calendar. Just must be blind and should not be impacted by politics or revenge.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ahmed Bedier Condemns anti-Holocaust Iran Conference

I condemn the recent shameful conference held in Iran that sought to deny the Holocaust, one of the lowest moments in human history.

No legitimate cause can ever be advanced by denying the enormous human suffering caused by the massacre of millions of Jews and other minority groups by the Nazis. Attempts to use Holocaust denial as a political tool in the Middle East conflict will only serve to deepen the level of mistrust and hostility already present in the region.

Muslims are commanded in the Quran to "enjoin in the good and forbid the evil," and clearly the genocide of European Jews was nothing but evil. It is a shame that the current government of Iran, which claims to be an Islamic State, would ignore Islamic ethical values and belittle evil. Responsible governments must encourage the study of the Holocaust and other human atrocities to ensure that they are not repeated.

Americans in general and the Jewish and Muslim communities in particular should know that those who spew anti-Semitic bigotry do not speak for Islam; Muslims denounce their views and their hatred. Islam acknowledges Judaism (and Christianity) as a true revealed religion from God; furthermore Muslims view Jews (and Christians) as fellow "People of the Book" who believe in the same Abrahamic Monotheism.

While the cynical conference was held in Iran, it included many non-Muslim participants like former KKK leader David Duke and French "scholar" George Tail, who called the Holocaust a myth. The diverse participation is a reminder that bigotry is not exclusive to any one group.

As "People of the Book" we must stand united and challenge those who would fan the flames of all forms of hate, including anti-Semitism.

Note: The above opinion is based on CAIR's official release, see CAIR CONDEMNS IRANIAN HOLOCAUST DENIAL CONFERENCE

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bill Nelson should be commended for speaking to Syria, others should follow

Mideast expert Ahmed Bedier quoted in today's Tampa Tribune on U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's plans to visit Syria. Bedier commends Senator Nelson for the bold move but it maybe "too little, too late."

Senator's Trip To Syria Lands Him In Hot Zone
Tampa Tribune, 12/13/06
TALLAHASSEE - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is scheduled to meet with Syrian
President Bashar Assad today despite President Bush's objections.
"We discourage the travel of members of Congress to Syria because we believe it
undermines the Siniora government" of Lebanon, White House spokesman Blair Jones said.

"He should be commended for reaching out and trying for dialogue," said
Ahmed Bedier of Tampa, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic
Relations. Syria, branded by the Bush administration as a supporter of
terrorism, could perhaps help bring stability to Iraq, he said.

"You don't have to agree on everything - but there are some common
interests for all countries in the region," Bedier said. "If you continue to
neglect and not speak to them, that will make your job a lot harder."

Although Bedier welcomed the trip, he added a note of caution.
"A lot of things that are happening now are too little, too late. These things should have been happening years ago," Bedier said.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ahmed Bedier Receives 2006 Human Rights Award

(TAMPA, FL - 12/8/06) - CAIR Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier today received the prestigious Human Rights Award at the 33rd Annual Awards Breakfast of the Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council.

"I am grateful for this recognition and accept the award on behalf ofthe board, staff, volunteers, and members of CAIR who made it possible," said Bedier. Bedier added that the "true winner" of the award is the Muslim Community in the Tampa Bay area.

Other Human Rights Award winners included: Sheriff David Gee, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office; Dr. Sam Horton of the NAACP-Hillsborough; Rev. Beverly Lane.