Since he was a small boy, Mosab Hassan Yousef has had an inside view of the deadly terrorist group Hamas. The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status . . . and power.
But everything changed when Mosab turned away from terror and violence, and embraced instead the teachings of another famous Middle East leader.
In Son of Hamas, Mosab reveals new information about the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization and unveils the truth about his own role, his agonizing separation from family and homeland, the dangerous decision to make his newfound faith public, and his belief that the Christian mandate to “love your enemies” is the only way to peace in the Middle East.
A compelling chronicle of one man’s transformation from a would-be terrorist into a man who works with Israel to track down terrorists – and who rejects the Muslim faith he grew up with to convert to Christianity.
As “insider” history, “Son Of Hamas” is invaluable. For instance, Mosab tells how Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat sabotaged the 2000 Camp David talks between Israel and the Palestinians to help provide a pretext for the bloody Second Intifada:
” [Arafat] insisted that all the [Arab] refugees be permitted to return to the lands they had owned prior to 1967 – a condition he was confident Israel would not accept… Arafat had been handed the keys to peace in the Middle East along with real nationhood for the Palestinian people – and he had thrown them away.” The conventional wisdom, Mosab insists – that the Second Intifada was “a spontaneous eruption of Palestinian rage” – is dead wrong.
In this Israeli prison – ruled on the inside by Hamas in the same way that street gangs hold power in some American prisons – Mosab sees Hamas leadership inflicting unspeakable cruelty on their fellow Palestinians.
His faith in the terrorist group begins to weaken. “Every day, there was screaming; every night, torture,” he remarks with horror. “Hamas was torturing its own people!
Was this Hamas? Was this Islam?”
When offered freedom in exchange for acting as an informant for the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, he accepts, but only because he believes that it will put him in a better position to take revenge on his Israeli captors.
Ironically, Mosab’s work with the Shin Bet only serves to greatly improve his view of Israel. “The world I knew was relentlessly eroding, revealing another world that I was just beginning to understand,” he says.
“Every time I met with the Shin Bet, I learned something new, something about my life, about others. It wasn’t brainwashing through mind-numbing repetition, starvation and sleep deprivation.
What the Israelis were teaching me was more logical and more real than anything I had ever heard from my own people.”
In the end, however, what really reconciles Mosab to the Israelis is his conversion to Christianity, which gradually leads him to a new understanding of his “enemies,” his friends, and himself.
“For years I had struggled to know who my enemy was, and I had looked for enemies outside of Islam and Palestine,” he says, describing his transformation. “But I suddenly realized that the Israelis were not my enemies… I saw that enemies were not defined by nationality, religion or color.
I understood that we all share the same common enemies: greed, pride, and all the bad ideas and the darkness of the devil that live inside us.”
Whatever your religion, if you are a friend of Israel you will find “Son Of Hamas” to be a compelling and engaging story of faith and intrigue.