January 13, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On Friday the U.S. Department of Defense, Central Command [CENTCOM] confirmed that an upcoming event featuring a speech by CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier, had been cancelled or, as CENTCOM put it, "postponed."
No future date is planned.
The event had been scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 15th. A CENTCOM representative declined to state the reason for the "postponement."
The decision to cancel Bedier's appearance occurred after a phone conversation on Thursday between Joe Kaufman, Chairman of Americans Against Hate [AAH], and a CENTCOM official, who said that he would bring the matter up for discussion.
AAH had discovered that Bedier was speaking at the government agency from a posting on the website of radio talk show host Michael Savage. According to that lead, Bedier was going to address the nation's central military command about such controversial topics as jihad, martyrdom and dhimmitude [serving as a non-Muslim under Muslim rule], followed by a "question and answer session."
At the behest of the official, Mr. Kaufman sent him an e-mail stating his specific concerns. The e-mail read in part:
"[I]t would be wrong for CENTCOM to host Ahmed Bedier from CAIR this coming Tuesday, given CAIR?s extensive ties to terrorist organizations... Please reconsider allowing Mr. Bedier to speak to your personnel on Tuesday the 15th or anytime in the future. CENTCOM should be fighting terrorists, not embracing their friends."
Kaufman's email also noted that CENTCOM had previously hosted a similar event attended by Ramadan Shallah, a colleague of Sami Al-Arian, who went on to become the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ]. Given Bedier's own ties to Al-Arian, Kaufman queried, "Why do you want a repeat performance?"
When contacted by PipeLineNews.org, Mr. Kaufman commended CENTCOM "for no longer having this event with CAIR" stating that he "hopes the government agency exercises better judgment as to who it invites to speak for upcoming CENTCOM events."
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