The Florida Times-Union ran a piece this morning on a Jacksonville group’s renewed call to oust a Muslim man from the city’s Human Rights Commission, and now a man associated with that group is speaking out.
According to the article, Randy McDaniels, the head of the Jacksonville chapter of ACT! for America, “began e-mailing supporters Saturday and urging them to contact Jacksonville City Council members and call for [Dr. Parvez Ahmed]‘s ouster.”
Ahmed is no stranger to controversy. Upon being nominated for a seat on the commission, he was met with intense scrutiny from ACT!, whose members penned a 20-page report accusing him of having ties to Islamic-extremist groups. Ahmed is a former chairman of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, but has since severed ties with the group.
Around the time of the controversy surrounding his appointment to the commission, a pipe bomb exploded outside of a Jacksonville mosque, which many believed was related to his confirmation.
This latest attempt to oust Ahmed, a University of North Florida professor, from the Human Rights Commission comes as a result of video footage that allegedly proves his radical ties.
McDaniels, who informed The Florida Independent he was unaware of the Times-Union article, says his group is taking the footage very seriously:
We do have video, and we plan on releasing that publicly, after we show it to City Council members. We asked a counter-terrorism expert to lend his expertise and look over the footage with us so we can figure out exactly what we have. The email I sent out to ACT! members was meant to be confidential, so I’m not sure how that information was released. All I can say is that we will be releasing that video eventually, but we want to show it to City Council members first.
The Times-Union quoted City Council President Jack Webb saying that he took the allegations very seriously. Of the video footage, he said: “I want to read it, I want to dissect it, I want to analyze it.”