It is iron dogma for the politically correct establishment in the U.S. that “moderate Muslims,” which for that establishment includes every last Muslim in the U.S., abhor and despise “extremists,” whom they don’t even consider Muslims, and whose violence and supremacism they reject. That’s the story, anyway. But it was sorely put to the test last week, when the Florida Muslim leader Ahmed Bedier made this sad announcement:
My brother Amir Bedier has returned to Our Lord. To Allah we belong and to Allah is the return. Amir was shot and killed by Egyptian police forces in Rabaa square today. We are proud of him and his courage to stand up for his beliefs and the rights of others. He was fasting and unarmed. He left behind a wife, two children, five brothers and his two parents and countless relatives and friends who loved him.
Ahmed Bedier, former chief of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is widely regarded as a “moderate” Muslim leader – in this guise, he even appeared on Glenn Beck’s CNN show in March 2007 to speak out against “extremism.” On the show, he declared: “We condemn any nation, country or group that uses Islam or misuses and misinterprets Islam in violent ways.” Later, when he announced his departure from CAIR, he explained his future plans in terms to warm any multiculturalist’s heart: “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.”
As is so often the case, things are not always as they seem. Unfortunately, like so many putative moderate Muslim groups and individuals in the United States, Bedier is not really all that moderate. He has said that before 1995, when the State Department declared Palestinian Islamic Jihad a terrorist group, there was “nothing immoral” about associating with the group. The anti-terror advocacy group Americans Against Hate notes that “Bedier’s answer is startling, given the fact that, prior to 1995, Palestinian Islamic Jihad took credit for five terrorist attacks, which resulted in the murders of eight innocent people. This includes a suicide bombing in the town of Netzarim Junction, in November of 1994.”
And when two Muslim college students, Youseff Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed, were found with pipe bombs (and one of whom admitted to making a video about how to use remote-controlled bombs against American soldiers), Bedier claimed that the pipe bomb material was just fireworks and said, “Both of them are really naïve kids.” On a Florida TV show, Bedier sidestepped numerous opportunities to condemn the barbaric practice of stoning.