Son of Hamas has been discussed on several of the blogs I follow, and I was eager to read it. This book did not disappoint. It offered more insight into the Israel-Palestine conflict than anything else I’ve read. It offered a better face of Palestine, reveals problems with how Israel handles the occupation, and shows the power of the Christian message.
Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas (the acronym of Islamic Resistance Movement) in Palestine. The younger Yousef describes his father as a good Muslim with a love for his people. However, he begins to question the terrorist actions that Hamas is involved in, and works with Israel’s Shin Bet—the equivalent of our F.B.I.—as a spy. Imagine the son of Hamas passing on key information to Israel to thwart future attacks.
The story is more than a spy tale; it’s an account of the crisis of conscience that Yousef undergoes as he wants the best for his people while realizing that bombs and guns are not the answer. He is a man between two worlds, and he no longer belongs to either.
This alienation is complicated further when he meets a British missionary who invites him to a Bible study. Being an inquisitive man, Yousef attends and learns about the teachings of Jesus. Even though he isn’t yet a Christian, Yousef begins to put Jesus’ teaching into practice: he’s a Muslim becoming more Christi-like. Finally, in 2000, Mosab Yousef becomes a Christian.
I enjoyed this book because it was many genres in one: history book, spy thriller, political overview, and a conversion story. All are told well in this volume.
Son of Hamas is a book that you should read regardless of your religious persuasion or political affinities. It will provide you an important overview to the Middle East conflict, one that will be with us for some time to come.