Capt. James Yee, a Muslim U.S. Army chaplain who was jailed for 76 days by
his government on suspicion of espionage before he was cleared, stood with
his prayer cap on Saturday evening and explained some basics of Islam to an
audience at the Washington State History Museum.
“I’m here today as James Yee – your brother in humanity,” he told the
audience at a program by the The Bill of Rights Defense Committee – Tacoma.
“Today’s special for people who have a passion for justice and diversity.
Islam is relevant and all over the news. We must understand each other. I’m
wearing my prayer cap tonight.”
More than 75 people heard his talk on the tenets of Islam and expressed
appreciation for his presence. They filled a hat full of money to help with
his legal bills after being told they were substantial. Afterward, people
came up to shake his hand, get his autograph, give him more money, and ask
“I apologize as an American,” one man said as he shook Yee’s hand. Yee
smiled and thanked the man