For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire
Wrongly accused of treason, imprisoned and later discharged, Muslim U.S. Army Chaplain James Yee served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba-a detention center for War on Terror detainees-for most of 2003 before his Catch-22esque descent into a military inquiry fueled by suspicion of his faith, not evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. A graduate of West Point, Yee later converted to Islam and, upon his assignment to Guantanamo (Gitmo, to the locals), he became the base's third Muslim chaplain in six months, a contentious role that saw him educating soldiers that ""Muslim"" and ""terrorist"" were not synonymous, leading prayer services and ministering to detainees. He struck up friendships with the small group of Muslims working on the base, and, unbeknownst to him at the time, his group of friends had been dubbed ""Hamas"" by other Gitmo soldiers, an anecdote indicative of the accusations of treason that would soon hound him. Sincere almost to the point of naivete, Yee realizes the distorted view many Westerners have of Muslims, but is constantly surprised he would become a target. A searing indictment of justice gone awry and unchecked, systemic ignorance, Yee's story is sure to stimulate its share of discussion on a volatile subject at a crucial time. Photos.