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Florida’s New CAIR By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On March 10, 2009, members of a newly formed group called United Voices for America (UVA) traveled to Tallahassee for what was being called Muslim Day at the Capitol. The publicly stated goal of the organization was to lobby the Florida legislature on legitimate issues that affect all Floridians. However, when one looks at who is behind UVA, one can see that the group’s name and its mission were little more than a sinister ruse to gain a foothold within the government. Indeed, the group is nothing but another CAIR.


On May 23, 2008, Ahmed Bedier announced on his radio show that he was leaving his position as the Executive Director of CAIR-Tampa and was creating a new group. This came shortly before the federal retrial against the Hamas charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), for which the Justice Department had named CAIR a co-conspirator.


CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was founded, in June 1994, as being a part of Mousa Abu Marzook’s American Palestine Committee. Marzook at the time was the global head of Hamas, and the purpose of the committee was to raise funds for Hamas from U.S. shores. As this information was being made public, it was the perfect occasion for Bedier to leave CAIR.


But did he leave?


Bedier had been with CAIR since February 2003, the same month that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian was arrested by the FBI and imprisoned. Al-Arian had co-founded CAIR’s parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), in 1981, and both he and Bedier resided in the Tampa-area, so Bedier became the perfect person for CAIR to be Al-Arian’s spokesman in the media. He organized press conferences for Al-Arian, he spoke at rallies for Al-Arian, and he allowed his radio show to be used as a forum for Al-Arian’s PIJ operatives to speak and spew their hatred towards America and Israel.


Then, more than five years later, Bedier abruptly made his big announcement about vacating his job. His stated reason was that it was “time to move on” and that he was “working on a new project.” He supplied no further details. According to Ramzy Kilic, the new Executive Director of CAIR-Tampa, who had worked under Bedier at CAIR, the group “decided to make a change and go into a new direction.” Even though their statements seem somewhat contradictory to one another, it’s possible that both individuals were telling the truth.


United Voices for America was the new project Bedier was developing. According to him and others in the group, UVA was established to lobby Florida lawmakers on such matters of concern as health care and education. But earlier this month, during UVA’s first big event – a trip to Tallahassee – Ahmed Bedier let slip out UVA’s real goal, to strike fear into the hearts of the legislators. At the organization’s closing rally, he stated emphatically, “We want the government to fear us.”


When looking up the term “terror” in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, one finds the following definition: “one that inspires fear.” For someone who professes to be a man of peace, as Ahmed Bedier does, to be using such a term and to be making such a statement would unquestionably cause people, including his target – Florida’s Legislators – to think the exact opposite about him.


Attending the rally was none other than Kilic. In fact, during the rally, Kilic supervised videotaping for the affair. While Bedier claimed that UVA was a new entity, Kilic’s domineering presence along with his “former” colleague certainly made it hard to believe that this wasn’t just CAIR-Tampa with a different name. And if CAIR wanted to divert people away from its controversial and well vilified pro-terror persona, changing its name to an innocuous and patriotic title like United Voices for America would no doubt be a smart idea.


In truth, one cannot separate CAIR from Hamas or terrorism, just like one cannot separate Ahmed Bedier from CAIR or Sami Al-Arian. Neither CAIR nor Bedier has done anything to divorce themselves from their corrupt counterparts. Really, the only kind of divorce Bedier can profess knowledge of is the one from his two failed marriages.


Hosting at least one of the forums for UVA was the Islamic Center of Tallahassee (ICT). Like many mosques throughout America, the ICT possesses links on its website to a number of extremist groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the ICT links is to the official site of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), a website that, according to the Justice Department, was “designed and intended to recruit mujahideen and raise funds for violent jihad.” The webmaster of the site, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, was deported from the U.S. after he had been imprisoned on charges of providing material support to terrorist organizations, including Hamas.


Apart from the lie about health care and education, the motives of UVA can be traced to two matters. One was the showings in Tallahassee of the documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West by Florida lawmakers. The other is the unanimous vote that took place in the Florida legislature in favor of recognizing the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence. In relation to the latter, Bedier is on record as stating, “I really don’t know what they gained independence from. We call it the Nakba, a disaster occupation for 60 years.”


Bedier made the Nakba (translated Catastrophe) statement on his radio show in May 2008, the same month he announced his intentions of creating UVA. Indeed, the focus of nearly every one of his radio programs, since he began the show in 2005, has been on bashing the state of Israel; one show was even devoted entirely to lauding Hezbollah. And that bashing continued immediately after he left Tallahassee.


On his first show back from the trip, on March 13th, Bedier had as a guest on his program 9/11 conspiracy theorist and anti-Israel activist Ray McGovern to discuss the “Israel lobby” or, as Bedier let slip from his (Bedier’s) lips, the “Jewish lobby.”


During the interview, McGovern repeatedly attacked President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel with the anti-Jewish libel of being a “dual citizen” and as having a “duel loyalty” to Israel. He also made the charge that America along with Israel aspire to “dominate… part of the world.” It is not surprising to learn that various government officials, including Democratic National Committeeman Howard Dean, have labeled McGovern an “anti-Semite.”


On the following show, on March 20th, Bedier, in discussing the situation in Gaza, described Palestinian terrorists as “so-called terrorists.” During the program, a UVA member calling himself “Jarvis” phoned in to rail at what he expressed to be the “manipulation of the media” by the Jews. Another of the callers adamantly declared that the Jews “own the world economy.”


And tonight, Bedier’s obsession with Israel will continue, as he speaks at a forum fraudulently labeling Israel an “apartheid” state. The event, ‘21st Century Apartheid: Demystifying the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,’ is being sponsored by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. Also featured as a speaker with Bedier will be Mauri’ Saalakhan, a militant author who has used his writing skills to defend numerous operatives from Hamas and PIJ.


Given Ahmed Bedier’s radical, pro-terror past and present; given the circumstances surrounding the date on which Bedier announced the formation of UVA; given Ramzy Kilic’s substantial involvement within the group; and given the sinister goal of the organization to make the government “fear” its members, one can easily surmise that United Voices for America is just CAIR repackaged – just Florida’s new CAIR.


The lawmakers of Florida need to recognize the truth about UVA and its leader. They cannot allow themselves to be influenced by such a group, when it is headed by an individual with such an extremist history.


Ahmed Bedier says that UVA wishes to bring “change” to Florida. The change he is envisioning is surely the death of America as we know it.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.

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