July 3, 2010

TO THE CONTRARY, HE'S BEEN AN AMERICAN CITIZEN FOR AWHILE:

Being American: Memo to Washington: At its core, this country is about freedom. (Claudia Rosett, 07.02.10, Forbes)

This weekend, on July 4, Americans celebrate the 234th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Over the burgers and sweet corn, that’s always a good day to think about what, exactly, it means to be American. One of the best summaries I’ve heard lately came during a press teleconference Wednesday with someone who is not yet an American citizen. His native tongue is Arabic, thus the slip of syntax: “I think I became an American when I start to fight for liberty and freedom.”

The speaker was a Palestinian émigré, Mosab Hassan Yousef, who grew up as the heir-designate of a founder of the terrorist group Hamas. Having witnessed firsthand the horrors that Hamas, in the name of Islamic purity, inflicted on its own people, Yousef secretly went to work for the Israeli intelligence service, Shin Bet, trying to thwart terrorist attacks. He also quietly converted to Christianity and in 2007 came to the U.S., where he made no secret of his past. Instead, he wrote an informative and damning book about Palestinian terrorism, Son of Hamas. And, out of what Yousef has described as his desire to live in freedom, he asked for asylum in America.



Posted by at July 3, 2010 7:56 AM
  
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