Islamists around the United States are playing games with the American public. While supporting extremist causes and the hate-filled ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood – the violent group that spawned Hamas and Al-Qaeda – they have gotten involved, as well, in interfaith activities. Of course, it’s difficult to criticize someone that is engaged in something so innocuous as interfaith. It highlights a danger in our society of a fifth column disguised as a friend.
Ahmed Bedier is a leader in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that has its roots in Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. His role in the organization is as its Florida Communications Director and as its local Tampa Executive Director. Apart from this, Bedier co-hosts a radio show, True Talk, on Tampa’s WMNF. Within both venues, he is able to spread his dual message, one of peace and love and one of vile hate. We will focus on a latter radio show of his to bring out this point.
On Monday, January 15, 2007, Bedier addressed a crowd at an interfaith memorial service for Martin Luther King, Jr. To advertise this fact, Bedier placed an attractive picture of the late civil rights leader on his web blog, along with the audio of the speech. He played some of it on his show.
Bedier stated, “As I look out on the ground tonight, how beautiful you all look, right here in Tampa, and how diverse that we are. We’re not just black and white or Hispanic or Arabs. We’re a spectrum of colors.” With this, he received much applause, as he did for other things he stated, including how Muslims are “reaping the benefits of [King’s] work,” through what Bedier called a “post-9/11 environment.”
While he underhandedly exploited the occasion of the death of Dr. King to work in CAIR’s pseudo claim of anti-Muslim bigotry, most of what Bedier said was inoffensive and harmless. But no matter the kind words, on this same radio show, another message was being sent -- that of undeniable hatred.
There were three guests on this particular show. The first was Khalil Bendib, an Algerian-born, Berkeley-based, racially-charged cartoonist, who likes satirizing the September 11th attacks. On Bendib’s website, one finds his work categorized into different groups. One of the categories is titled “BLACK CARTOONS.” The logo for this category is a picture of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s head. Rice and numerous other members of the African-American community – even those that Bendib seems to support – are made to look as if they came straight out of an Amos and Andy skit.
During the program, Bendib admitted that he had been called an anti-Semite for his work. Looking at many of his drawings, one could easily understand why. Jewish stars are liberally used within and/or alongside symbols of violence. Ariel Sharon, the former Prime Minister of Israel, is seen as bloodthirsty. In one cartoon, the word “CANNIBAL” is emblazoned next to Sharon’s face. Mid-East expert Daniel Pipes is depicted as a pro-Jewish zealot. Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman is labeled a “Zionist Extremist.” All three of Bendib’s victims are drawn with the same type of exaggerated features found in anti-Semitic publications throughout the Arab world.
Bedier’s co-host, Samar Jarrah, rabidly anti-Israel herself, stated, “Y’know people say that Muslims and Arabs don't have a sense of humor, but he has very funny cartoons…”
The other two guests were New York imam Talib Abdur-Rashid and Kentucky academic Ihsan Bagby. Both Abdur-Rashid and Bagby are leaders of the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), an African-American Islamist group founded in May of 2000, in response to the arrest of cop killer H.Rap Brown, a.k.a. Jamil Al-Amin.
It took little time for the MANA duo to let out invectives directed at the white community and those black Christians that they believe are tools of the whites. The following exchange between Abdur-Rashid, Bagby and Bedier (who felt the urge to chime in with his own prejudice) took place on the radio show and exemplifies this hate talk:
Abdur-Rashid: “One of the problems with many of the black churches is that they’re really controlled by the white church. They’re kind of local chapters of larger white churches, many of whom have Evangelical influence or leaning… [U]sually when you’ll find an African-American pastor speaking in that negative kind of way, there’s a hidden devil, so to speak, somewhere in the background egging him on.”
Bagby: "If I might add, I've seen some of the material produced by black and white Evangelical Christian groups that are aimed at Muslims. The black material is a lot more objective, if you will. Just as pointed to try to convert someone from Islam to Christianity, but a lot more objective…”
Bedier: “More intelligent.”
Bagby: “More intelligent – probably because black people are more exposed to Islam, and therefore, they really can’t get away too much with slanting stuff completely, totally out of line, that everybody knows what that just doesn’t hold water. Whereas the white Evangelical material is a lot more venomous, as you said, and hateful.”
Normally Bedier’s radio show is used to defend terrorists and their support network, but as illustrated above, True Talk is also a showcase for racism. Bedier’s participation in Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials and interfaith events is just a way of concealing his and his colleagues’ real motives. This author will never be fooled.
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