If you like autobiographies, if you like spy stories, if you like suspense, political analysis of the Middle East, or stories of salvation, you will want to read Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef with Ron Brackin.
It is the fascinating account of Mosab Hassan Yousef’s life growing up as a Palestinian in Ramallah on the West Bank. Yousef’s father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, is a humble, dedicated Muslim cleric whom Mosab admires above all others, but he is also one of the founders of Hamas. During imprisonment and torture by the Israelis and after seeing Hamas torture its own, Mosab agrees to spy for Israel’s secret police, Shin Bet. Shortly after this, he begins to attend a Bible study. The words of Jesus delve deep into his heart: “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 the sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45). Though not yet a Christian, those words change his life in his dangerous role as both a spy for Israel and the protector of his father.
The story grabs you, especially the suspense of Mosab trying to stay alive, to remain under cover, and to protect his father, who was a likely target for assassination by the Israelis. His growing admiration of Jesus and disaffection with Islam provide emotional conflict in this hard-to-put-down book. Mosab shares insight and analysis of the Middle East crisis and shows the political intrigue and cowardice of many of the terrorist leaders.
One of the most challenging moments for me in the book was when Mosab recognized the difference in the Christians he was meeting. “This is not the religious Christianity I see in Ramallah. This is real. The Christians I had known before had been no different from traditional Muslims. They claimed a religion, but they didn’t live it” (p. 123). Ouch. I have thought about that in relation to my own testimony since reading it.
Son of Hamas is fast paced but thoughtful. It inspires and packs an emotional punch. Though I found it one of the best books I’ve read in some time, it will probably appeal to more men than women. The authors include helps in the back, such as a glossary, a list of the major figures, a timeline, and endnotes. The book is available on audio CDs also. This book is highly recommended. – Debbie W. Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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 Yousef--now called "Joseph"--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.