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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > Muslim accused of treason speaks on 'God and Country' to help raise $200,000 for new CAIR Orlando office

Muslim accused of treason speaks on 'God and Country' to help raise $200,000 for new CAIR Orlando office

May 29, 2005

"CAIR is ... carrying the torch..."



MIM: Onward Muslim Soldiers

Ex Muslim army chaplain Yusuf Yee, who is being trotted out at every CAIR event to pay off the $200,000 dollars in legal fees the group ponied up for him, shows that you get what you pay for . On Saturday night, the espionage tainted convert urged :"... Muslims to mobilize and not dwell on the past, ...and to ... seize the moment and take advantage of opportunities.'

"The past is history and the future is a mystery," he said. "But what we have today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."

MIM:For his part, Ahmed Bedier wooed the crowd with some vintage CAIR dissembling:

"He's the only Muslim I know who went to Guantánamo Bay and came out," Bedier said amid a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd.

Yusuf Yee may be the only Muslim Bedier knows who 'came out of Guantanamo Bay' and is a typical of CAIR's MO which fails to note that Yee went in as a translator, and was put in jail on espionage charges. The government dropped the case against Yee, not because he was considered innocent, but because the evidence presented would have been a breach of national security.

In another bit of misinformation the Orlando Sentinel journalist writes that Hamdi' was released','without facing charges' but fails to note the following:

Hamdi was an American citizen by birth who was given the choice of renouncing his citizenship and be 'repatriated' to Saudi Arabia where he had lived most of his life, or remain at Gitmo and be tried as an enemy combattant. After months of wrangling- Al Hamdi was 'returned' to Saudi Arabia.

A former Army captain once accused of treason addresses a fund-raiser for a local Islamic group

By Pedro Ruz Gutierrez
Sentinel Staff Writer

May 29, 2005

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orl-locmuslims29052905may29,0,6786954.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

Former U.S. Army Capt. Yousef Yee -- who spent 76 days jailed on charges of treason and espionage that later were dropped -- urged fellow Muslims in Orlando on Saturday to assert their rights and not be discouraged in seeking justice.

Yee, 35, once ministered to Muslim detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, then became a captive himself when the military charged him in late 2003. He spoke at the Orange County Convention Center at a fund-raising banquet for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Quoting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Yee said, "Injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action."

Before his 15-minute speech, Yee said he had "a little bit of advice" for the 420 people at the event.

Much like other CAIR officials before him, Yee said Muslims should educate themselves so they can teach other Americans about Islam.

Ahmed Bedier, director of communications for CAIR's Florida operations, called Yee a "true hero," adding a quip that referred to tight security at Guantánamo, which houses prisoners captured in America's war on terrorism.

"He's the only Muslim I know who went to Guantánamo Bay and came out," Bedier said amid a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd.

Yee was arrested in 2003 by U.S. Customs officers in Jacksonville as he returned from Cuba. They accused him of spying for a terror group.

Yee recalled being jailed in a naval brig in South Carolina alongside two men accused of being "enemy combatants": José Padilla, suspected of plotting to explode a radioactive bomb, and Yaser Esam Hamdi, a Louisiana-born Saudi-American caught allegedly fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Padilla remains in custody, but Hamdi was released without facing charges after three years in 2004.

Yee was initially charged with illegally transporting classified material, and later faced counts of adultery and storing pornography on a government-issued computer.

In April 2004, however, all charges and reprimands were dropped. Yee later returned as an Army chaplain to Fort Lewis, Wash. He was honorably discharged in January without an apology and has joined CAIR as one of its featured speakers.

On Saturday, he said he is still awaiting results from a Department of Defense inspector general's inquiry into his case.

He said CAIR had covered his nearly $200,000 in legal fees.

Urging Muslims to mobilize and not dwell on the past, Yee said they must seize the moment and take advantage of opportunities.

"The past is history and the future is a mystery," he said. "But what we have today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."

Yee's presentation, "For God and Country," came as CAIR expands its operations in Florida. On Saturday, local Muslims were pledging money in a fund-raiser that sought at least $200,000 for an Orlando office.

Dr. M.A. Saleem, a pediatrician who practices in Ocoee, said the new office will offer services to more than 30,000 Muslims in Central Florida. Saleem said the need for the office is driven by demographics and the state of civil rights since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.

CAIR, which bills itself as the largest Muslim civil-rights organization in North America, recently reported that hate crimes nationally have risen 50 percent since 2003. In Florida, there were 104 reports of discrimination, violence, slurs and other incidents to CAIR last year.

The group is not without controversy. Critics and pro-Israel groups have accused it of defending terrorism suspects and Palestinian-American charities that later were shut down or prosecuted for providing material support to terrorist groups.

But Central Florida Muslims say the actions of a few should not smear an ethnic or religious group. Now, they say, it is time to speak up.

"After 9-11, we were just isolated and being targeted," Saleem said.

Danette Zaghari-Mask, a CAIR Florida board member and Gainesville attorney, said hate crimes should not deter Muslim-Americans as they assert their rights.

"CAIR is taking its place within that continuum of civil rights, doing its duty to uphold the Constitution and carrying the torch," Zaghari-Mask said.

Pedro Ruz Gutierrez can be reached at pruz@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5620.

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