Friday, December 19, 2008

USF Egyptian Student Sentencing Fuels Anti-Muslim Hate; Readers Call for "Killing" Muslims


The recent sentencing of Egyptian University of South Florida student Ahmed Mohamed has sparked anti-Muslim hate speech across the Tampa Bay area and in particular on mainstream news sites.

(On June 13, 2008, Ahmed Bedier reacted to Mohamed's guilty plea deal, you can read it here)

It didn't take long for readers of Media General's Tampa Tribune interactive online news website TBO.com to spew (and fuel) anti-Muslim hate calling for violence against Muslims in response to ELAINE SILVESTRINI article Former USF Student Gets 15 Years For Aiding Terrorists (12/18/08). Some readers called for "killing" Muslims, "kicking every Muslim out of the country" and Muslim "Hunting Season Opens Soon."

TBO.com policy is to screen and moderate comments, however the site is known to ignore anti-Muslim hate speech. This trend is not healthy as it fuels hate that could incite violence against Americans who happen to be Muslim.

ACTION: TELL THE TAMPA TRIBUNE TO STOP FUELING ANTI-MUSLIM HATE
Politely contact the publisher and executive editor at the Tampa Tribune and ask that they not provide a forum that fuels racist and/or religious hate speech on their website. While we should all respect free speech, mainstream news organizations must not fuel hatred or incitement against any group.

Remember to reference the "TBO.com reader comments" to the 12/18 article "Former USF Student Gets 15 Years For Aiding Terrorists."

Click Here to email the editors now or copy and paste the below email addresses
Denise Palmer, Publisher: dpalmer@tampatrib.com
Janet Coates, Executive Editor: jcoates@tampatrib.com


HATE SPEECH AT TBO.COM

Below is a sampling of the troubling reader comments, to read all the comments on the TBO.com site, click here.

Posted by ( jetter1048 ) on 12/18/2008 at 03:29 pm.

Who here thinks all of us Americans need to get together and kick every Muslim out of this country??

---

Posted by ( skirtchsnbadguy ) on 12/18/2008 at 08:11 pm.

google "fitna video". Eye opening! These filthy muslims need to be dealt with swiftly!

-------------
Posted by ( gng ) on 12/18/2008 at 08:30 pm.

Kill the bastards!!!!!!!!

---

Posted by ( TOMMYSOAP ) on 12/18/2008 at 01:48 pm.

I am still waiting for any rational excuse why Filthy Islam should be allowed to exsist in the West?

----------

Posted by ( AnitaE ) on 12/18/2008 at 01:51 pm.

Why do these muslim idiots think their religion is the only religion? Get the hell out of the USA and live your demented lives in your own country.

---

Posted by ( 91stormvet ) on 12/18/2008 at 02:22 pm.

Allah Snackbar!! Hunting Season Opens Soon! Wake Up INFIDELS! lol

---

Posted by ( geile77 ) on 12/19/2008 at 08:46 am.
Execute him and send only his head back to his mother in Egypt.

----

Posted by ( worriedman ) on 12/18/2008 at 09:13 pm.

They should chop his head off and drag his body through the streets just like they have done to our soldiers. War is war.

---

Posted by ( northofcuba ) on 12/18/2008 at 02:25 pm.

AnitaE - you don't get it, you and I are infidels. They can't just live and let live. You either join them or die, that simple.
---

Posted by ( kellieB ) on 12/18/2008 at 02:53 pm.

Having lived in the ME for many years,I can confidentially say that they scare the hell out of me. They call us "Dhoomi", the same slang they use for blacks, jews and christians....we are nothing to them, less than dirt and they are blessed if they kill us.One day we might wake up here in the USA and realise just what a danger these people really are.

---

Posted by ( succatash ) on 12/18/2008 at 05:59 pm.

THEIR SELF BLOWN UP BODIES SHOULD BEIDENTIFIED THROUGH DNA.......AND THEIR FAMILIES SHOULD PAY FORTHEIR CRIMES.... THEY DON'T CARE FORTHEIR OWN LIVES, OR OURS, PERHAPSTHE'LL CONSIDER A LITTLE MORE THECONSEQUENCES OF THEIR MINDLESS ACTIONS IF THEIR LOVED ONES WERE TO PAY THEPRICE OF THEIR ACTIONS

---

Posted by ( TOMMYSOAP ) on 12/18/2008 at 05:09 pm.

mlamarca; If you think the US Constitutions religious clause extends to so called "religions" that promote unequal rights, slavery, and death to apostates, I have a nice bridge to sell you.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ahmed Bedier Condemns, Reacts to Mumbai Terror Attacks

Muslim American human rights leader and radio show host Ahmed Bedier Condemns the Mumbai terror attacks and calls on all sides to remain calm and united in fighting terrorism. The Mumbai terror attacks last week are reprehensible, inhumane and should be condemned by everyone.

Please watch, share and give your feedback.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obsession Film Distribution is Hateful Political Propaganda and Fearmongering

Tampa Radio show host and Human Rights Council President Ahmed Bedier debates the impact of the mass distribution of the anti-Muslim DVD "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" ahead of the 2008 presidential election. The film was distributed by the Clarion Fund a front organization for Israeli-based Aish HaTorah International

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bedier's Reaction to USF's Ahmed Mohamed Plea Deal

Today former USF graduate student Ahmed Mohamed chose to cut a plea to one count of material support, which carries of a maximum of 15 years in prison, rather than risk spending the REMAINDER OF HIS LIFE behind bars if convicted. The plea deal is found here. In essence Ahmed Mohamed pled guilty to making a video and posting it to Youtube.

Tampa civil rights activst Ahmed Bedier, who has watched the case, reacted to local newspapers:

To the Tampa Tribune:


Local Muslim activist Ahmed Bedier, who has spoken in support of Megahed,
stressed that he doesn't know Mohamed or the Mohamed family. He said the video,
as described in court documents, was "unacceptable."
He said the case is "a reminder to all Muslim youth out there, especially young males, that they have to be very careful about their actions and what they say. Even if they don't think they're doing some kind of criminal act, it might be perceived by law enforcement ... that you're promoting something illegal. That can have some very bad consequences."
Mohamed, Bedier said, "was sent here on a scholarship to do a doctorate in engineering and not to make videos, and now he's going to pay the price for that."


To the St. Petersburg Times:

"We're relieved that the issue is being resolved and people are moving on, and
we're also relieved that no one was hurt," said Ahmed Bedier, a local Muslim
rights activist.
Bedier, who has never met Mohamed, said he counsels young
Muslim men to be cautious in a climate that has zero tolerance for the
appearance of anything terroristic.

The plea deal shows that that there was never an actual real plot to carry out violence and no one was in imminent danger.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Florida Muslim doctors to open free clinic


By Chandra Broadwater, St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer
In print: Wednesday, June 11, 2008


BROOKSVILLE — It was about to rain Monday afternoon, and Dr. Husam Zarad had an exam table to move.

With some help from deliverer Don Lambert, the 45-year-old internist unloaded the table from the back of Lambert's pickup as the clouds darkened overhead. Wheeling it on a dolly, they maneuvered the large brown rectangle down a long, narrow hall and into one of the examination rooms at the soon-to-open Crescent Community Clinic of Hernando County.

On the way in, they passed a stack of gray waiting-room chairs and diagrams of the human body — detailed sketches of the nervous system and the brain — yet to be hung on the freshly painted peach-colored walls.

"This is our dream coming true," Zarad said, wiping sweat from his brow after angling the table into the room. "This is how we are going to give back to our community."

In the coming weeks, Zarad and nearly 40 other Muslim doctors in Hernando County will begin working on Saturdays in their new space in the Brook Plaza at Broad Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard, just outside downtown Brooksville. Their goal is to provide free care to the growing number of underserved and uninsured people in Hernando County.

Today, the doctors and clinic spokesman Ahmed Bedier are expected to announce the opening of the clinic, financed solely by physicians from Hernando's Muslim community.

The local physicians have worked for the past year figuring out how to make their vision happen here in Hernando. Modeled after the Red Crescent Clinic in Tampa, and a similar site in central Los Angeles, it is one of a handful of such facilities in the state and country.

With Zarad and a handful of other doctors at the lead, they're ready to give back the way that their religion asks them — even if it's in a county where religious tensions still run high.

"Charity and doing good make up the Third Pillar of Islam," Zarad said. "And after talking about this for so long, we decided to make it really happen. I'm losing sleep just thinking of the benefits this will bring for the community."

Though far from where most of them have their practices in Spring Hill, the doctors liked the 1,400-square-foot Brook Plaza site, which used to be a doctor's office.

The new clinic is next to a Save-A-Lot grocery store and across from the Brooksville Public Assistance service center. There are also businesses where many people go to find day-labor jobs and several homeless camps in the nearby woods.

The location also makes it easy for people to walk to if they don't have transportation, Zarad said. And with hours on Saturdays, which they hope to expand to several days in the future, those who can't afford to miss work still will be able to see a doctor. So far, the only requirement to make an appointment is that a patient cannot have insurance.

While a schedule has yet to be worked out, the doctors expect to have two or three general physicians staffing the office while specialists, including cardiologists and neurologists, will rotate through the clinic on various days.

Zarad said the move by retailers such as Wal-Mart and Publix to provide cheap prescription drugs solved one problem for those who can't afford proper health care. Now he and his fellow doctors can help to solve another by giving them access to health care and prescriptions for the drugs they need.

"We've all seen the number of indigent patients increase," he said. "And that was a big reason for us to finally get this open."

It's not uncommon for many of those who can't afford health care or insurance to end up in emergency rooms for primary care, and often when their health problems have become worse. According to the 2006 Health Needs Assessment, about 18 percent of Hernando residents do not have medical insurance.

Three years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the county a $1.95-million grant to expand clinic services when the county's Health Department was identified as catering to medically underserved areas.

Those regions include Brooksville and the northwestern parts of the county. They were designated underserved because of a shortage of primary physicians, higher incidences of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, and a high percentage of families living below 200 percent of the poverty level, which at the time was $38,700 for a family of four.

About 23 percent of residents in these areas of the county also had no health insurance.

The Crescent Community Clinic will also add a layer to similar services provided by Nature Coast Project Access, a county-funded program that refers uninsured patients through the Health Department to a network of volunteer doctors, said Jean Rags, county director of Health and Human Services.

"The new clinic will be a great contribution to the community, and a welcomed resource to our many residents in need," Rags said.

Those behind the clinic ultimately hope it will work as a catalyst for others to donate their time and talents to such needs in the community.

"For example, many of the same people who can't afford medical care can't go to the dentist," said Bedier, the clinic spokesman. "We hope this sets an example for others to follow, and maybe a way to compete in doing good."

Bedier, no stranger to Hernando as the former executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, added that the physicians aren't worried about some who might not support the Muslim doctors in the county.

In 2006, CAIR spearheaded efforts to get prominent politicians, including then-Gov. Jeb Bush, to denounce the comments of a Hernando County commissioner's wife, who wrote a letter calling Islam a "hateful, frightening religion."

The letter spurred weeks of alternating condemnation and kudos throughout the state.

"People won't be coming to the clinic to attend religious services," Bedier said. "They're going to come because they need health care. While the critics and naysayers will always be there, the majority of people in Hernando County are very loving.

"If there's a need so important like health care, then I think people will put aside their differences and work together."

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at cbroadwater@sptimes.com, or (352) 848-1432.


Source http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/article617015.ece


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

FL MUSLIM LEADERS TESTIFY AT UNITED NATIONS RACISM HEARING


(MIAMI, FL 6/4/08) - On June 2, 2008, Florida Muslim leaders met with Doudou Diène, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, at a Miami hearing to discuss Islamophobia and anti-Muslim discrimination.

For photos of the event click here:
Special Rapporteur Diène is visiting several cities across the United States to "gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia."

Muslim civil rights advocate Ahmed Bedier, who took part in the meeting, relayed how Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric by officials and pundits are contributing to hate crimes against Muslims across Florida. At the end of the meeting, SR Diene assured the participants that the rise of global Islamophobia is alarming and of great concern to the United Nations and vowed that the issue will be included in the final report about his visit due in 2009.

"We thank SR Diene for hearing our concerns about the rise in anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States, and we appreciate his concern about Islamophobia's growing threat to world peace," said Ahmed Bedier. "Civilized nations must take concrete action to curb incitement of racial and religious hatred by supporting dialogue and education."

American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA) Director Sofian Zakout, who also spoke at the hearing about personal experiences of bias and discrimination, said "Post 9/11 anti-Muslim hysteria has created widespread fear in the minds of American-Muslims and causing mental health issues."

For more background on the Special Rapporteur's U.S. visit see: LA Times: The UN on Racism
Ahmed Bedier is a Florida based civil rights advocate and President of the Tampa Human Rights Council. Bedier is also the founder and former executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.AMANA is a Miami-based Muslim grassroots organization dedicated to social service and community relations, for details visit http://www.al-amana.org/.


- END -

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

VIDEO: Race, Religion and Media Coverage this Election Year

Ahmed Bedier comments on the status of Race, Religion and Media during this election year

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CAIR's Bedier steps down to start new group

By Kevin Graham, St. Petersburg Times Staff

TAMPA - Ahmed Bedier, founder of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has stepped down as executive director to establish a new peace-building initiative.

Bedier, 34, has spent the last five years serving as the face of the local Muslim community. In his role as executive director of CAIR's Tampa chapter, Bedier led the organization's charge in seeking justice for local Muslims who faced discrimination.

"I'm going to expand on and build upon my work as a civil rights and human rights leader into broader areas of peace building, interfaith dialogue and reconciliation," Bedier said Monday.

He did not give details about his new initiative or what the organization will be called, except to say he will remain in the Tampa Bay area while doing work on a local and national level.

"The details of it will soon be announced," said Bedier, who also serves as president of the Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council.

CAIR's local profile and visibility in the community grew noticeably under Bedier's leadership. Last year, the organization rallied against the Pinellas County school system and law enforcement after a sixth-grade girl claimed a classmate ripped off her head scarf and threatened to shoot her. Police dropped the investigation, saying there wasn't enough information to substantiate the girl's claims.

Bedier also cautioned the public not to rush to judgment when two University of South Florida students were arrested last summer in South Carolina on federal explosives charges. And when a Muslim mechanic died in a gas station explosion earlier this year, his family asked Bedier to follow the investigation.

The new venture is something Bedier said he's contemplated for the past year. He said he's looking forward to being more proactive in civil rights areas and bringing people together.

Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/article515009.ece

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ahmed Bedier's Message and Prayer at Martin Luther King Interfaith Service

CAIR Tampa director Ahmed Bedier's speech and prayer at the Tampa Dr. Martin Luther King, JR Interfaith Memorial Service.