Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of Hamas, is an enigma on the world stage. Born in Ramallah in 1978, the oldest of eight children, Mosab was considered the obvious successor to his father, a prominent Hamas leader. At an early age, he was indoctrinated into the fold, a ten-year-old ‘freedom fighter’ throwing stones at Israelis.
Yet as he continued to be arrested by the Israelis, he was blown-away by the difference between Israeli interrogation methods and the torture and horrors, prisoners of the Hamas were subjected to. Yousef agreed to become an informer for the Israeli intelligence on condition that they would not kill anyone based on information he gave, but only arrest them. Later Yousef converted to Christianity and found asylum in the United States.
It is hard to understand what motivates a young boy to move away from all that he has been taught to believe, risking his life in the process. As Yair Lapid (then a television personality and now an Israeli MK) says to him in an interview on Israeli television, “I ask myself whether this is courage or total craziness.”
Mosab Hassan Yousef is someone who has experienced both worlds, extreme Islam as well as western culture. He has a very important message for the world.