Last month, Ahmed Bedier, an extremist Muslim from Tampa, Florida, who had attended Cairo rallies against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, tried to apply the lessons he learned while agitating in Egypt, and attempted to apply them to the Florida State Legislature. Sadly, those in power gave him the "red carpet" to do so.
On February 18, 2011, more than one million Egyptians amassed in Cairo's Tahrir Square as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, led them in Friday prayer, calling for an Islamic conquest of Jerusalem. It was the first time Qaradawi had been back in Egypt since being banned from the nation three decades ago.
Qaradawi, who has supported suicide bombings and attacks against American troops, is presently banned from entering the United States and the United Kingdom.
Ahmed Bedier, and Egyptian-American, was one of the prayergoers in the crowd listening to the sermon; he said he had traveled to his birthplace to participate in the anti-Mubarak demonstrations.
Speaking on the phone in the weekly radio program he co-hosts from the States, Bedier attempted to downplay the fact that he was present at the Qaradawi event earlier in the day.
"The sermon took place in the Square," he said, "so people who were there in the Square – whether you like Yusuf Qaradawi or not – whether you are a Muslim or Christian, you were in the Square, you were listening to the sermon."
While Bedier can run away from his personal feelings regarding Qaradawi, what he cannot run from is his own connection to the Brotherhood and radical Islam.
Until a few years ago, Bedier held the position of Executive Director for the Tampa office of CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been associated with the leaders of Hamas and the financing of Hamas. Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, is one of the main divisions of the Muslim Brotherhood.
During his time with the group, Bedier became the "unofficial spokesman" for the convicted terrorist and co-founder of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Sami al-Arian, who also co-founded CAIR's parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).
Today, Bedier is the President of United Voices for America (UVA). Although the name sounds patriotic, in reality the group is nothing more than a political arm of CAIR-Florida.
Last month, on March 29th, Bedier took some of his UVA troops to Tallahassee, Florida, to lobby members of the Florida Legislature, and to promote his Islamist agenda. Some legislators, including the Governor of Florida, himself, Rick Scott, embraced the group.
Ignored was Bedier's background, as well as physical attacks perpetrated by UVA delegate Bassem Alhalabi on two individuals – including this author – in Tallahassee, a year ago.
In March 2009, Bedier made the true goal of his lobbying efforts public when he declared to a Tallahassee UVA crowd, "We want the government to fear us."
As an outspoken proponent of what is known in Muslim Brotherhood circles as a Caliphate, or Islamic Kingdom, Bedier's "fear" is most likely of Egyptian type, related to fear, induced by intimidation, for political goals.
About his wish for an Islamic Kingdom, Bedier has stated, "Yeah, well, we're looking for it still. Right now... Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire – that was the last major Muslim organized religion – we don't really have a hierarchy that's organized how the Catholics are organized. We're looking for that, and once we have that one voice, unified voice, we'll be able to speak up."
According to the New York Times, the Egyptian Revolution is now being organized and manned by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been accepted by the military regime now in power there, and which permitted Qaradawi's to appearance in Cairo in the first place..
For Islamists like Bedier, who are waiting for the Brotherhood's Caliphate, an Egyptian Revolution cannot come soon enough – whether in Egypt or the U.S..
Sadly, there are those who are ignorant of this agenda, or who pretend to be – including, it seems, the Obama administration – who are willing to stand with him and help it happen.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.