Tampa, Florida - A group opposed to the teachings of radical Islam in public schools planned a quiet press conference on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the event is disrupted as opponents show up.
The clash between the two groups outside of the Hillsborough School Board building on Kennedy Boulevard got loud and very opinionated. Police are called, but violence never breaks out.
The press conference calls for the Hillsborough school district to pass a tougher guest speaker policy that would ban any group or individuals with ties to terrorism from speaking to students.
Hillsborough School Board member Stacy White supports a tougher policy, "A carefully crafted policy could protect children from radicalism, propaganda, indoctrination by groups who advocate such agenda under the guise of diversity and tolerance."
One group in mind is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The Tampa group's director spoke to students at Steinbrenner High School last year, sparking a wave of controversy. Supporters of the tougher policy say CAIR and some of its members have ties to terrorist groups.
Video shows Roger Homefield, host of JoeCitizenShow.com saying to one protester interrupting their press conference, "This is what happens in America when the left doesn't like what we've got to say."
The protester Kenny Benjamin responds, "This is what happens when the right tries to discriminate against people in this country."
Protesters carried signs asking for less hatred and more peace as the scheduled press conference outside the Hillsborough school board office brought a who's who of anti-radical Islam speakers.
Terry Kemple, Hillsborough School Board candidate and founder of the Education Coalition says, "This is not anti-Muslim this is talking about an organized link to terrorism. "
Charles Jacobs with American for Peace and Tolerance says, "We can show you the same people who speak nicely to you to rabbis and pastors say horrible things about Judaism, Christianity, Democrats, Americans, Gays and Women."
Melvin Bledsoe says his son was converted to radical Islam while at Tennessee State University in 2008, and a year later killed a U.S soldier in Little Rock on behalf of Allah. Bledsoe's son pleaded guilty in 2009 and is serving a life sentence.
Bledsoe says, "The God I know gave his only begotten son for us to live. The god they talk about wants you to go kill for him."
Bledsoe says the radical Islamists target anyone regardless of race or ethnicity. His son is African-American. He says, "It's a problem in America. I know it came into my home and stole my son."
Hillsborough School District's policy is for all speakers to be supervised by a teacher or school administrator.
CAIR officials say when they speak to students, they explain their faith and its history and clear up any misconceptions in society. CAIR representatives say most Muslims are peaceful people who oppose violence.