Monday, January 16, 2006
Soft-selling terror ties?: Today's St. Petersburg Times has a largely superficial look at bloggers who closely watch American Muslims and mosques for terror ties.
I must confess that of the bloggers mentioned in the story, only Robert Spencer, author and proprietor of JihadWatch.com, was a familiar name to me.
The article is mainly a "he said, she said" piece with bloggers defending what they do and Muslim interest groups crying "bigots!"
To Kaufman and other bloggers, the events of Sept. 11 were born of Islam's teachings.
"We want to wake up the people of the Western world to the dangers of Islam," said Miami's Sorge Diaz of WesternResistance.com.
The bloggers cite verses in the Koran that encourage believers to kill enemies of the faith. But Muslims say these passages are taken out of context and refer only to historical times.
"It's not an open-ended edict to go out and kill people," said Bedier, the CAIR spokesman. "There are hundreds of thousands of verses that talk about peace."
Bedier of Tampa is familiar with the blogs. His name often appears as a supporter of terrorism on Kaufman's site.
"It's a clearinghouse for defamation and attacks against Muslims," Bedier said.
"I like to go out and reach out to folks and build bridges," he added. "These types of people, they want to be able to wedge a gap between Muslims and the rest of society."
To fight back, Bedier is starting his own blog, AhmedBedier.blogspot.com. He said he wants to set the Internet record straight.
"Nowadays when you meet people, they go home and Google your name," he said. On the search engine, the top hits for Bedier's name are articles by Kaufman.
"I'm not going to let bigots like that define who I am," Bedier said.
And that's pretty much the extent of the article's analysis of the truth of the bloggers' reports.
The rote claims by Muslims that the Koran's verses directing violence against non-belivers are historical would be more believable if, well, Muslims weren't flying airliners into skyscrapers.
Or you didn't have the weekly calls for the destruction of Israel and the West from the mosques of Saudi Arabia. Or you didn't have the president of Iran calling the Holocaust a "myth" and calling for all the Jews to be pushed into the sea.
You see, Bedier may honestly believe that those head-chopping-off verses are no longer valid, but there are far too many Muslims who believe they're still in force -- and some of them want nukes.
The media does the public no service when it ignores the danger that radical Islam poses worldwide and makes no effort to see if local mosques and Islamic organizations are indeed preaching hatred and violence.