Intense, fascinating, and intriguing, Son of Hamas is the true account of author Mosab Hassan Yousef’s life as the eldest son of one of Hamas’ founding members, Sheihk Hassan Yousef. Mosab offers readers an inside look at one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations and explains why Israelis and Palestinians continue to fight one another. Not only that, in the middle of working with Israel against Hamas, Mosab becomes a Christian. It is a tale so twisted that it must be true.
Starting with his childhood, Mosab outlines his upbringing as a good Muslim and speaks of his father as a loving man, who becoming disgusted with the secular Muslims, joined with like-minded individuals to form Hamas. However, despite its humble beginnings as an organization that sought to encourages others to embrace the values and traditions of Islam, Hamas grew into a one of the largest terrorist networks in the world. Its main goals are to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and reclaim the land given to Israel in 1948.
Disillusioned by the blood shed by both sides, Mosab collaborates with Israel’s Shin Bet (one of the country’s spy agencies) to destroy Hamas from the inside, hoping to alleviate the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis. This book is a chilling account of his undercover work as a spy, the inner workings of Hamas, and what it is liked to be locked in a Middle Eastern prison. Eventually, Mosab doesn’t know who to trust, who to believe, and what to make of this God-man called Jesus. However, the more he reads the Bible, the more he realizes that loving one’s enemy is the true path to personal peace and peace in the Middle East.
While the names and dates can be a bit dizzying at times (thank goodness for the glossary and time line provided in the back of the book), Son of Hamas is a terribly interesting book, especially for those who want to know what is at the heart of tensions between Israel and Palestine. Mosab clearly did his homework when putting together the history of the conflict. Instead of being pro-Palestine or pro-Israel, Mosab manages to present the ideologies of both sides. He then asks the reader if these are ideologies worth killing over. This book isn’t an easy read, but Son of Hamas has expanded my understanding of conflict in the Middle East and taught me a lot about Islamic beliefs and practices. If you want to learn why suicide bombers are so willing to blow themselves and others up, if you wonder why everyone can’t just get along, or if you just want to read a great story, check out Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yosef.
Amy’s Rating: B
*Thanks to Adam at Tyndale House Publishers for my review copy of this book! He’s very cool. You should follow him on Twitter.*