- Former Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Supported Sami Al-Arian, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative
- Attended a pro-Hamas rally in 2008
- Supporter of Hezbollah
Ahmed Bedier is President of the Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council in Florida. He is also a co-host (with Samar Jarrah) of WMNF-FM’s True Talk, a Muslim radio talk show.
Bedier has had ties to radical Islam since at least 2002, when he was the Outreach Director for the Islamic Society of Pinellas County (Florida), a mosque whose website features material calling for violence against Jews. Moreover, he has cultivated relationships with organizations and individuals connected to anti-Israel terrorist groups overseas, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah.
In February 2003 Bedier began working as Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). This was subsequent to CAIR’s involvement in the funding of Hamas, which had taken place prior to December 2001, at which time Hamas’ American financing wing, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), was shut down by the U.S. government.
Also in February 2003, the Tampa-based terrorist and former University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian was taken into custody by the FBI -- indicted for his leadership role within Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Bedier became Al-Arian's “unofficial spokesman,” holding press conferences where he voiced concern about the government’s treatment of the professor, and allowing his radio program to be used as a propaganda vehicle for al-Arian’s family and his PIJ colleagues.
In December 2003 CAIR opened a separate office in Tampa, and Bedier was named its Executive Director.
In December 2005 Bedier appeared on local Fox 13 WTVT’s Your Turn with Kathy Fountain to discuss Sami al-Arian’s ongoing legal troubles. During the show, Bedier was asked if he believed that al-Arian’s involvement with PIJ was immoral, to which he replied: “To a certain degree. Now, before 1995 there was nothing immoral about it.” It should be noted that PIJ had taken credit for five pre-1995 terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of eight innocent people.
Bedier left CAIR in May 2008. On December 30, 2008, he joined hundreds of demonstrators in a pro-Hamas rally in Tampa. Organized in large part by the Muslim American Society, the event featured signs that read “End Zionism” and “Zionism is Cancer; Radiate It.” Some participants at the protest donned keffiyehs, Palestinian symbols of violence worn as scarves.
On his radio program, Bedier often conveys his opinions on controversial matters through his guests. For example, on July 21, 2006 -- while Israel’s war in Lebanon against Hezbollah was raging -- Bedier’s three guests filled the entire show, to Bedier's approval, with expressions of praise for Hezbollah. Among their comments were the following:
- “I’ll just say that [Hezbollah is] not at all the picture that is portrayed of it in the West, as some sort of cartoonish terrorist group. It is a liberation movement in many senses for the Lebanese Shia … It has quite a clean record, and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is revered probably by most Lebanese as a fairly eloquent and capable leader.”
- “Hezbollah is composed of families that believe in liberation, families that believe [in] dignity, families that believe [in] purpose.”
- “Yesterday alone, there was a 20-hour battle between the Israeli army and the National Resistance Movement of Hezbollah. For 20 hours they fought. This speaks volumes about the heroic nature of Hezbollah.”
In early 2009 Bedier established United Voices for America, a political advocacy organization that aims to portray Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance.
This profile is adapted from "The Dual Life of a Pro-Terror Activist," written by Joe Kaufman and published by FrontPageMag.com on February 12, 2009.