At forty-five minutes after midnight last night (Florida time), Ahmed Bedier, Executive Director of the Tampa, Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, dropped by to comment on this Jihad Watch thread.
When it was brought to my attention I removed the comment, not because Mr. Bedier is not welcome to comment here -- he is most welcome to do so -- but because I was not sure it wasn't someone else posting under his name. However, the email address used is the one at his website, and the experts have assured me that TypeKey registration makes it extremely unlikely that anyone was counterfeiting his email address. (If, however, Ahmed Bedier does appear and asserts that he did not write this, I will remove it.)
Here is his comment:
Maybe you should consider taking your hate-fest workshops on the road and train bigots how to restrain their hatred so not to expose themselves.
Bobby, the reality is NO ONE cares about your views and the handful of visitors that read the hate speech that you spew are the lowest segment of our society.
The majority of Americans do not respect bigots like yourself that spread hate daily. Including this letter writer, SEE: http://www.hernandotoday.com/letters/MGB3E2EJ4UE.html
It's entertaining watching you and your ineffective friends get desperate.
Remember to restrain yourself.
A few observations:
1. Note the fury, the contempt, the intent to demean, the will to hurt. This is an extremely common feature of the replies of Islamic apologists to those who discuss the elements of Islamic theology that are used to justify violence. But that's all there is. Glaringly absent from this comment by Mr. Bedier, as well as from every other critique of my work, is any substantial refutation of its accuracy. Mr. Bedier doesn't supply even one example of my alleged "hate speech" or "bigotry."
I suspect that he knows that such charges themselves, however baseless and silly they are, will be enough to turn away many people from the substance of what I say about Islam, jihad, Sharia, and CAIR itself. But he doesn't dare meet those things on an even intellectual playing field.
2. He says to me: "Bobby, the reality is NO ONE cares about your views and the handful of visitors that read the hate speech that you spew are the lowest segment of our society." It's ironic that he cares enough about my views to make sure I know that, but I rather think that 30,000+ visitors per day to Jihad Watch, plus the readers of the two New York Times bestsellers that I have written (The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)), suggest that he is grasping at straws here, or presenting his wishes as reality.
"The lowest segment of our society" (or, as a commenter on the original thread suggested, "the vilest of creatures" -- Qur'an 98:6)? I am confident that Mr. Bedier has no demographic data on Jihad Watch readers. Here again he manifests the will to demean, and, by dismissing as "bigoted" those readers' legimate concerns about CAIR and its intentions, as well as larger concerns about jihad and Sharia supremacism, he is only reinforcing those concerns.
It would be interesting to see Mr. Bedier address the question of how CAIR's own disingenuousness and constant resistance of legitimate anti-terror efforts fuel suspicion toward the Muslim community -- which suspicion it then trumpets as "Islamophobia" in order to enhance that community's claim to privileged victim status, beyond criticism or reproach. But I won't be expecting anything. The unrestrained and rather desperate fury of his comment above, even as he charges me with desperation and lack of restraint, doesn't brighten my hopes for any intelligent discussion of important issues.
But if Mr. Bedier has a change of heart, he is welcome, right here on this comments thread, to answer these questions about CAIR that I formulated in 2003 -- when Ibrahim Hooper, again with characteristic grace and open-hearted honesty, hung up on me before I could pose them to him. Or Mr. Bedier can contact me, Bobby, at firstname.lastname@example.org, here in my offices among the Lowest Segment of Society.