Son of Hamas, Part 1
3 March 2010
Yesterday was the world premiere of the book Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices by Mosab Hassan Yousef.
My copy arrived today, and I'm SO looking forward to reading it! Once I do, I will post an article about it. Until then, here is some excerpts from the book to whet your appetite:
"My name is Mosab Hassan Yousef. I am the oldest son of of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the seven founders of the Hamas organization. I was born in the West Bank village of Ramallah, and I am part of one of the most religious Islamic families in the Middle East." (p.5)
Mosab hated the Jews. He cheered when Saddam Hussein fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, and was disappointed when Israel wasn't destroyed. He wanted Hamas to seize back all the land of "Palestine" from the Jews. But in 1996, at the age of 18, he was arrested for buying automatic weapons to kill Jews, and was sent to an Israeli prison. There he was stunned at what he saw: Muslims torturing Muslims. "I had never heard a human being scream like that guy did. What could he have done to deserve that." (p.97)
"Nearby, fellow Hamas members — fellow Arabs, fellow Palestinians, fellow Muslims — shoved needles under [his friend] Akel's fingernails." (p. 100)
"Every day there was screaming; every night, torture. Hamas was torturing its own people! As much as I wanted to, I simply could not find a way to justify that." (p. 102)
One day after being released from Israeli prison, Mosab was walking past the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Someone — not knowing who he was — invited him to a Bible study. Curious, he attended. They studied the New Testament, and gave him a copy to read for himself. "I began at the beginning [in the Gospel According to Matthew], and when I got to the Sermon on the Mount, I thought, Wow, this guy Jesus is really impressive! Everything He says is beautiful! I couldn't put the book down. Every verse seemed to touch a deep wound in my life. It was a very simple message, but somehow it had the power to heal my soul and give me hope. Then I read this: 'You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.' (Matthew 5:43-45).... I was thunderstruck by these words. Never before had I heard anything like this, but I knew that this was the message I had been searching for all my life." (p.122)
"For years I had struggled to know who my enemy was, and I had looked for enemies outside of Islam and Palestine. But I suddenly realized that the Israelis were not my enemies. Neither was Hamas nor my uncle Ibrahim [one of the torturers in prison] nor the kid who beat me with the butt of his M16.... I understood 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.... Five years earlier, I would have read the words of Jesus and thought, What an idiot! and thrown the Bible away.... But now, everything Jesus said on the pages of this book made perfect sense to me. Overwhelmed, I started to cry." (p.122-123)

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To the right is the video of a 25 minute interview Mosab gave yesterday to CNN's Christiane Amanpour. (Click on the video to watch it now — just be sure to give it some time to start, it might take a while — or click here to download an iPod version.)
I can't say that I have had a very high opinion of Christiane Amanpour. And it just got a lot lower after watching this video. Over and over again, she makes comments to paint Mosab as a liar. It's really sick. But Mosab does a great job, and he is taking a radical stand for the God of Israel. One of his best statements in the video was something along these lines: The biggest gangster and terrorist in the world is the god of Islam. Wow! That's really telling it like it is! Incredible!
Also, see this related article and video on the Atlas Shrugs Web site.
Lastly, following is an excerpt from an interview that Mosab gave Joel Rosenberg:
JOEL: How has your life changed since becoming a born again Christian? Specifically, how have your attitudes towards Israel changed since your dramatic conversion?
MOSAB: My conscience is not the same. This doesn't mean that I became a perfect person but at least when I do a mistake I know how to fix it and avoid it in the future. Today, I am free from sin because I am the son of the King. When I first understood how religion is imperfect in general — and in Islam in particular — and allowed myself to accept Christ as my personal Savior and get out of the box of religion, not only did Israel look different to me, I started to see everything differently.
I remember one day walking in Jerusalem right after I studied the Scripture that says give to those who ask you. [Jesus said in Matthew 5:42, "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."] There was a homeless Jew in the Jewish side of Jerusalem, and I answered the call of the Lord to share with him some of the change in my pocket. Then I sat down and cried because I had the chance to understand the unconditional love God has for everybody. It was shocking to me that I never felt sorry for a homeless Jew. Then gradually — through God's grace and mercy, through the years — all humans became equal to me. My people see the sun every day but they never ask themselves why the sun shines on both east and west Jerusalem. The easiest thing to me was to hate my enemy but the real challenge was to love them. Later on I realized my enemy was not man anymore — not Israeli, not Palestinian — but sin and darkness within us.

JOEL: What can followers of Jesus do in real and practical ways to love the Palestinian people and reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
MOSAB: This is an excellent question, thank you. Christians have a huge duty to love his neighbor and his enemy. Every Christian needs to carry this heavy cross. Loving Muslims and Palestinians is our responsibility. And our duty as Christians to show God's love toward Muslims is more important than governments, the United Nations and the international community. All of those don't have a clue how to deal with the Islamic problem. We know as Christians that the conflict is spiritual and ideological. You can't kill an idea. You have to replace it. Governments can send troops to change a regime or kill terrorists, but they don't have the type of weapons that we have — love and hope and grace.
Today, I need from my Christian brothers and sisters to understand the sensitivity of our mission of hope, love and forgiveness. Without these values humans will self-destruct everything beautiful. Be proud of our God and take Him to the Muslims. How come Christians are ashamed of such a loving, forgiving God? Our God is sending a great message of hope through my experience with Him. He is telling the Israelis, my people and everyone who is involved in the Middle East conflict that unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness through the example of Jesus Christ in our lives is the only hope for peace in the Middle East and the entire world — peace with God, peace within, and peace with others.
Love is not an idea, it is a reality. Our Lord showed us His love through the shedding of His innocent blood. His love is a reality we live in everyday of our lives. We can't be perfect, but if we show the world the minimum of our Lord's love we will be able to change the entire world in few years. Get out of your churches! Remove the dust of religion and human traditions and go out to the world. Show humanity who we are in Christ and who our God is. Humanity is hurt and its wounds are bleeding. Let's heal it with the cure of love, the love of Jesus!

JOEL: Are you worried for your safety as you release this book? And how can we be praying for you and your family as your book releases?
MOSAB: The One who saved my life in the past is able to save it in the present and in the future as well. Physical death is not the worst thing that can happen to a man. Spiritual death is much more dangerous. This is not the time to give up. Our goal is to liberate people and our weapon is love. They can hate us but we will still love them. They can torture us but we will pray for them and they will accuse us but we continue to forgive them as we were forgiven!
Find out more about Mosab and his new book in my follow-up article, Son of Hamas, Part 2.