Source: St. Petersburg Times
On June 6, 2004 the St. Petersburg Times reported, "While reports of harassment against Muslims have been on the rise nationally, many Muslims in Hernando County say they move effortlessly through the community... Even so, announcements such as the one made last week in Washington - that the FBI will be canvassing Muslim communities for information about terrorist threats - has created varying degrees of unease among Muslims. 'We don't want to be viewed as potential suspects, and as the enemy within,' said Ahmed Bedier, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa. Bedier estimates 30,000 to 40,000 Muslims live in the Tampa Bay area, and they are just as concerned about terrorist threats as anyone."