June 19, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Kaufman (joe4rep@gate.net)



(Coral Springs, FL) Yesterday, June 18th, Ahmed Bedier, the Communications Director for the Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was a featured speaker on a panel sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County. The event - 'Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities' - took place at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus.

During Bedier's speech, a tirade against the U.S.A. Patriot Act, Bedier blamed the United States government for the 9/11 attacks. He stated, "The bottom line is the Patriot Act is not working. And to simply give the power to renew it - it's not the tools. The tools are you have to have better intelligence. The people that failed on 9/11 was the government."

Following the speeches, the panel took questions from the audience. Joe Kaufman, Chairman of Americans Against Hate (AAH), stood at one of the microphones and asked Bedier about his relationship with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, Sami Al-Arian. Kaufman asked, "When the media looks for a quote concerning Sami Al-Arian, they go to you. My question is, how did you become the spokesperson for the leader of the North American faction of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one of the co-founders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? And if [Al-Arian] is found guilty in the trial he is in right now in Tampa - where you're from - will you, if he is found guilty, will you then still like this man and support him?"

Bedier, who was noticeably angered, refused to answer the question except to say that he was not the spokesman for Al-Arian. He stated, "I don't think that's the topic of discussion today."

When asked by an audience member why CAIR was the defendant in a lawsuit for the murder of FBI agent John O'Neill during the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center, Bedier stated, "You might want to ask law enforcement. I don't know what you're talking about."

Joe Kaufman, who Bedier at the panel discussion referred to as a "dumb moron," stated, "How Bedier claims he is not the spokesman for Sami Al-Arian, when the media rushes to ask him for quotes concerning Al-Arian's legal troubles, is beyond me. He was even the motivating force in trying to get Al-Arian's trial moved out of Tampa!"

Kaufman continued, "For Bedier to plead stupidity about the lawsuit against CAIR for the 9/11 murder of FBI agent John O'Neill is preposterous. The case has been reported since December of last year! As a leader in CAIR, he has to know about such a high profile lawsuit. His denial of this and his reluctance to answer about Al-Arian is proof that CAIR has something to hide."

Joe Kaufman is available for interview. E-mail: joe4rep@gate.net.


© 2005 Americans Against Hate