Culture

What Is the Difference Between 'Extremist' and 'Moderate' Muslim Brothers?

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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.

Ayman-Al-Zawahiri

Regardless of all that, Ahmed Bedier is still touted as a “moderate” by those who are clueless and/or compromised – which includes most of the government, as well as the mainstream media and even an increasing segment of law enforcement personnel. Yet now his brother has been killed while fighting for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It is interesting how many Muslim leaders in the U.S. have spent years denying any ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, despite all the evidence to the contrary, but have rallied to support the Brotherhood when it was cast out of power in Egypt. In his statements of grief over his brother’s death, Ahmed Bedier never distanced himself from his brother’s political or religious stances.

Then Saturday there came the news of another Muslim Brother with a famous Muslim brother: Mohammed al-Zawahri, brother of the al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, was arrested while fighting for the Brotherhood. It is not known whether he was acquainted with Amir Bedier.

Mohammed al-Zawahri is the leader of the Jihadi Salafist group, whose goals and understanding of Islam are virtually identical to those of his brother’s better known and more notorious organization. It is likely that in both the al-Zawahri and Bedier families, the same understanding of Islam was taught to all the children, and there is no clear indication that between either pair of siblings was there any notable disagreement about how their religion should be understood and practiced. So probably the mainstream media assumption would be that the al-Zawahri brothers grew up in an “extremist” household, and the Bedier brothers in a “moderate” one. Yet there were Mohammed al-Zawahri and Amir Bedier, both fighting for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – a group that is dedicated to imposing Islamic law upon Egypt and the world.

And so it is a revealing tale of two brothers: one of the leader of al-Qaeda, the other of a “moderate” Muslim leader, ending up on the same side — while mainstream analysts still tell us that “moderates” will have nothing in common with “extremists,” and never the twain shall meet. Will this cause those mainstream analysts to reexamine their faulty assumptions about the nature of the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism? Not a chance – but reality will still, inexorably and ever more insistently, continue to intervene.