Faith McDonnell of the IRD contacted us today and, with her kind permission, we are reprinting her organization’s press release:
Why is the U.S. government threatening famous Hamas informant with deportation?
June 17, 2010
Contact: Jeff Walton 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell
“The Department of Homeland Security is intent upon deporting as a ‘terrorist’ the man who protected and saved many lives.”
-Faith J.H. McDonnell, IRD Religious Liberty Program Director
Washington, DC—The Institute on Religion and Democracy is expressing concern after reports this week that Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, is currently threatened with deportation from the United States. Yousef converted from Islam to Christianity, coming to the United States in 2007 and applying for political asylum. He also wrote a best-selling book, “Son of Hamas’ about his experiences in the radical Islamic organization and subsequent work as a spy for Israel helping to foil terrorist and suicide bombings and saving Israeli, Palestinian and American lives.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Yousef’s asylum request was denied in February 2009, Mr. Yousef says, on grounds that he was potentially “a danger to the security of the United States” and had “engaged in terrorist activity.” He faces a deportation hearing June 30.
Under a provision of U.S. immigration law, anyone who is shown to have provided “material support” for terrorist organizations is automatically denied asylum.
Yousef became a Christian after a British cabdriver in Jerusalem gave him an English-Arabic copy of the New Testament and invited him to a Bible Study. “I found that I was really drawn to the grace, love and humility that Jesus talked about,” says Yousef in “Son of Hamas.”
IRD Religious Liberty Program Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:
“Yousef is one of our allies and is a great source of help in understanding what we face in radical Islam. It makes no sense that we are now treating him like the enemy.
“The Department of Homeland Security is intent upon deporting as a ‘terrorist’ the man who protected and saved many lives, including those of Americans working for USAID.
“We are concerned because of the irrationality of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the danger to Yousef’s life, if he is deported. This threat of deportation says how little the United States government understands radical Islam and the global jihad to impose Islam around the world, to which Yousef testifies.
“We urge all to share Yousef’s story about his struggle with DHS from his blog, to write to the Senior Attorney for DHS in San Diego, Kerri Calcador, who is determined to deport him, and to contact your members of Congress regarding this travesty.”
The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.