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West's 'nuts' Islam letter makes $2,625

UPI News Service, 01/24/2013 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations/Florida said it made $2,625 by selling a "nuts" letter from former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.

The council, based in Pembroke Pines, said it sent West a letter in 2011 asking him to cut ties with "anti-Islamic extremists," and he responded with a letter reading, "I am writing to you with regard your recent letter. 'NUTS!' Steadfast and Loyal, Allen B. West," the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.

Nezar Hamze, executive director of the South Florida CAIR, said the letter was put up for sale on eBay after the tea party Republican left office this month and the sale yielded $2,625 for the organization.

Hamze said the money will likely be used for an advertising or educational campaign about Islam.

"I'm really happy that we could take something that was meant to be so hurtful or so disrespectful and kind of brushing our concerns off and turn it into something real positive," Hamze said.

The winning bid was placed by former high school teacher Frank Langben of Stockton, Calif. The bidder said in an email to Hamze that "many groups through our history have been the target of mindless demonization, and right now American Muslims, and indeed Islam itself, are chosen as the targets."

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