CAIR: Are Bloggers Against Hate, or Feeding It?
S.I. ROSENBAUM, St. Petersburg Times, 1/16/06
Kaufman’s site is only one of a constellation of blogs with names like JihadWatch.com, MilitantIslamMonitor.org, and WesternResistance.com that are dedicated to the surveillance of American Muslims. The blogs link to one another, with more-traveled sites amplifying stories from more obscure ones, like Kaufman’s.
He claims he has not found a single mosque in Florida that is not linked to terrorists. . .
A lot of people are listening.
Last month, after Kaufman called a Tampa Muslim religious retreat a “jihad camp for children” and wrote that the speakers were “linked to al-Qaida,” death threats poured in to the Presbyterian camp hosting the event.
Muslims say the blogs breed hate.
“He’s spreading lies, slandering individuals,” said Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Tampa Bay chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “These are vigilantes.”. . .
To Kaufman and other bloggers, the events of Sept. 11 were born of Islam’s teachings. . .
Jennifer Valko opened her e-mail and saw a message of hate.
I will undress you paint your body with pig fat & light you. America is on to you! Watch your back!
It was the Thursday after Christmas. In two days, the Muslim spiritual retreat she had helped plan was scheduled to take place at Cedarkirk, a Presbyterian camp and conference center in eastern Hillsborough County.
That morning, Kaufman had appeared on Fox News to talk about the retreat.
On his Web site, he had posted articles about it. He posted computer-altered images of masked terrorists standing in front of the Lithia campsite.
He said these images were meant to be “tongue in cheek.” But some readers took them seriously. Hate mail and death threats poured in to the Tampa Muslim American Society. (MORE)
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