01: A national campaign for repairing attacked Christian churches in the West Bank and Gaza in reaction to Pope Benedict XIV’s controversial speech on Islam was recently launched by Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Bedier presented the first $5000 check to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. The following Sunday at a Mass at St. Paul’s Catholic church, in front of people congregated from both traditions, Bedier insisted that the violence against a house of worship is un-Islamic, immoral, and unacceptable. The effort is said to have its roots in the frustration over the stereotypical images of Islam especially presented by the American Media that often focuses on the violence of a few Muslims. (Source: St. Petersburg Times, September 20) — By Ayako Sairenji, a New Jersey-based freelance writer.