Source: St. Petersburg Times
On November 16, 2005 the St. Petersburg Times ran a feature article on Ahmed Bedier, a Muslim man born in Cairo and now living in Hillsborough. "As Bedier's faith deepened [in his early adulthood], he questioned his decision to remain in a non-Muslim country. Around him were myriad temptations. Ultimately, Bedier decided to stay - but to work on behalf of Islam and American Muslims. He volunteered at his mosque, which eventually led to work with CAIR... Bedier, 31... works daily to dispel stereotypes and seek equal treatment for Muslims who face discrimination. Recently, his push to include Islamic holidays on the Hillsborough County public school calendar launched a national debate. In October, when the board voted to cancel all religious holidays, Bedier was at the forefront of the discussion again, urging restoration of Judeo-Christian holidays. Muslim inclusion, he said, should not harm others. But Bedier isn't giving up. He has already vowed to try again next year. Many local Muslims are glad he's on duty. 'He at least speaks and brings out their issues,' said Mohammad Sultan, imam for the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area Mosque in Tampa. 'They see at least some kind of hope.'"