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July 1st, 2010
01:06 PM ET

'Son of Hamas' gets political asylum

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a co-founder of Hamas, has won his bid for political asylum in the United States, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Yousef, a Christian convert, is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the most prominent Hamas figures in the West Bank. Yousef says he was an Israeli spy for a decade in a recently released autobiography, “Son of Hamas.”

Watch CNN's interview with Mosab Hassan Yousef

Yousef applied for political asylum in 2007 but was denied.  The San Diego newspaper said that government lawyers announced Wednesday during a hearing before a Homeland Security Immigration Court that they no longer opposed Yousef’s request.

When he heard the news, Yousef hugged his pastor and members of his church, according to the article.

“I was surprised,” Yousef said. “This country is the greatest country because the Constitution protects liberty all the time.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Courts • Islam • Middle East • Religious liberty

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. douglas

    Anne,
    Israel have had no problem protecting its citizens from the various Muslim countries that surround it, as well as the settlers living in Palestine, the Golan Heights and at one time in Gaza. So why would they have any problem with ONE christian Arab living in Israel.
    Just admit the obvious ; Arabs cannot emigrate to Israel no matter what faithful service they may have provided for the state of Israel.
    In contrast, the United States provides for a expedited procedure for those soldiers who serve in the US military to become citizens and many illegal immigrants have used this way to become US citizens.
    Also, after the cold war persons who spied for the US was granted US citizenship when they became exposed after the fall of communism. The question is why should Israel be expected to do less.
    By the way Mosab is in more danger in the US than he would be in Israel if there was a desire to harm him. Have you noticed the number or muslin communities in the United States or when have this country has been able to keep anyone out of it.
    Remember the Hondoruan assasination in the streets of Washington DC, or the problems in Arizona right now. He has a better chances in Israel- but he can't get in because he is a Arab.

    July 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Anne

    Douglas, I think the point was that Israel would not be a safe asylum for him because of the proximity to a large Muslim community which might seek revenge.

    As for U.S. support of Israel, we do not need to condone everything Israel does to recognize that Jews have a right to live in their historical homeland. If you find some of the things Israel does in self-defense to be repulsive, I can only answer that I find the continued provocation of Muslim extremists and the refusal of Palestinians to be a good-faith partner equally repulsive. Mosab has the respect of certain bloggers because he lost faith in violent extremism and actively pursed a different path. I think this makes him a suitable candidate for American citizenship.

    July 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • DanW

      Thank you, Anne. Well said.

      July 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  3. douglas

    John Smith and Mary

    Your anti-semitic charges against anyone who criticizes Israel just does not work here.Why wouldn't Mosab want to go to Israel and why wouldn't Israel wouldn't want him in their country for the faithful service he provided. The reason is Israel does not allow Arabs to emigrate to Israel for ANY reason. A example is the marriage laws(for Arabs only) that prevents Israel Arabs citizens from bringing their wives to Israel if they are between the ages of 18-38.
    So this refusal to allow even a valuable person like Mosab live there while petitioning and campaigning for him to be granted immigration status in the US is hypocritical and racist.
    By the way if you wish to complain about anti-semitism , start with the new testament book of Mathew. It doesn't get any worst than that.

    July 2, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  4. Alan

    Mosab is a pathetic child trying to do whatever he can to be accepted by the people around him. I doubt he believes in anything. He's just that kid who was always a loser and picked on, and now, people like you finally make him feel special.

    And your racist, anti-Muslim comments speak volumes about the kind of people that support him. Seriously, educate yourselves people. Not everything your millionaire pastors feed you is the truth.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:55 am |
    • DanW

      Wow. How sad that you are so blinded by your accusations that you cannot see that you are as bad as those who you accuse. You cannot see into this man's heart and are in no position to state who he is or whether or not he got picked on in school. Not everything your millionaire liberal politicians feed you is truth either.

      July 3, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  5. Mary

    Doug huh ...u make no sense take a trip to Israel and see how it set up then u will understand

    July 2, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  6. Mary

    This was a wonderful decision by the court, Mosab is a wonderful man and he should get together with Walid shoebat and others and educate people properly about the truth os islam. Muslims listen towhat they are told not wht they read and they are so decieved Islam is a lie ,

    July 2, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  7. Bob

    Department of Homeland Security doesn't have an immigration court... The immigration court system is under the Department of Justice. They're called the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

    July 2, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  8. BlessedGeek

    יי רעי
    The LORD is my shepherd
    לא אחסר
    I shall not be in want
    בנאות דשא ירביצני
    He causes me to recline in lush vegetation
    על מי מנחות ינהלני
    He sets me by waters of relaxation
    נפשי ישובב
    He restores my soul
    ינחני במעגלי צדק
    He places me in confines of righteousness
    למען שמו
    for the sake of.His Name
    גם כי אלך
    Even when I traverse
    בגיא צלמות
    in a ravine of shadow-of-death
    לא אירא רע
    I will not fear evil
    כי אתה עמדי
    for You are with me
    שבטך ומשענתך
    Your sceptre and Your staff
    המה ינחמני
    they shall comfort me
    תערך לפני שלחן
    You arrange before me a table
    נגד צררי
    as an afront to my enemies
    דשנת בשמן ראשי
    You luxuriate my head with oil
    כוסי רויה
    My cup overfills
    אך טוב וחסד ירדפוני
    but goodness and mercy shall pursue me
    כל ימי חיי
    all the days of my life
    ושבתי בבית יי לארך ימים
    and I shall lengthened the days that I spend in the house of the LORD

    July 2, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  9. John Smith

    Douglas:
    You clearly do not know what is going on with Yousef. He did not want to "emigrate to Israel." What are you thinking? After he came out with his book describing the work he did for Israel against the terrorists, he would be quickly killed by the Muslim terrorists if he returned to Israel. This is well known.
    Beside that, please don't be anti-semitic, as in your comment about Israel. If you have any sense, you will believe what the bible says in Jeremiah 33:
    19 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 20 "This is what the LORD says: 'If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.' "
    God is NOT through with Israel. Curse them at your own peril.

    July 2, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  10. douglas

    Why are we happy that the US gave him asylum--FOR WORK HE DID FOR ISRAEL!!
    Don't you get it? In spite of the work he did for Israel he could not emigrate there becase he is
    Arab, so who is the pasty who cleans up for Israel, the US of course.
    Remember, at first he was denied entry because he had participated in violence. Now he is set free to
    act against US citizens not his chosen people who were the Israeli Jews.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  11. Abigail

    Yay for him!!! There needs to be more people like him that see the light and realize violence doesn't help anybody. I can't wait to start reading his book. Thanks for helping to do your part to protect the "infidels."

    July 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  12. Selfish Gene

    Let's get him a job in the State Department. Something in the Nuclear Arms ward.

    July 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  13. jan suzanne

    Congratulations to our Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Department for doing the right thing. Yousef is a true hero who has put his life on the line to save many people. He will become an American citizen and do himself and our country well. One hopes that God will watch over him and protect him from the people who would like to see him dead. He can really make a difference in the Islamic world on the next generation of children who are still indoctrinated with hatred against Jews and non-Muslim people. More power to him!

    July 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.