Ex-Hamas Christian Convert and Co-Author on Israel

GQ has an interesting interview with Mosab Hassan Yousef. Yousef is the son of a senior Hamas figure, and he gained some media attention in 2008 for moving to America and announcing his conversion to Christianity (I blogged on this). He subsequently revealed that he had worked with Israeli security services, and his memoir, Son of Hamas, is garnering consderable interest.

Unsurprisingly, he has a jaundiced view of his former religion, and he rails against what he regards as the essence of Islam, not just fundamentalism. Naturally, the anti-Islamist right is overjoyed at the thought of a new recruit to the band of ex-Muslims who regularly regale conservative groups with tales of Muslim depravity, and Walid Shoebat has conferred his imprimatur via his handler Keith Davies:

Walid and I believe this man is the real deal, he says the exact same things as Walid, understands the bible and also understands the real meaning of Islam.

You cannot be a fraud and speak this way. speaking the truth like this is from a man who has been redeemed.

For those nay sayers, it has been confirmed by the Israeli authorities that he worked for them so his story checks out.

However, it’s not entirely certain that Yousef will welcome this endorsement, and he may yet resist the lure of a career as a professional apostate. According to the interview, Yousef has said he does not want to be regarded as a “spiritual trophy”, and he adds:

Israel can be a problem, yes, I admit that, and I agree, I am against occupation. But they blame everything on occupation, Muslims look at themselves and say, ‘We are the victim. We are under occupation. Israelis have been killing us. And we kill, but not because we love to kill.’ What I’m saying is: Yes, you are right, you are wonderful people, but study your religion. Know who you’re worshipping. You’re worshipping a god who is sending you to destruction.

Some of that is not likely to go down particularly well with hard-core Christian Zionists. And although his book is published by Tyndale (publishers of the apocalyptic Left Behind novels)

…the book is not an advertisement for Christians. When I first sat down with Tyndale, I explained that this is beyond religion, beyond politics. They understood, they sympathized with my story. Of course, they’re a Christian publisher, but this isn’t a typical Christian book, this is the reality I lived.

It’s also worth noting that although Yousef’s co-author, Ron Brackin, is a Christian Zionist of sorts, he’s off-message as regards Christian Right support for Israel. In 2002 he co-authored a book on evangelical Palestinians entitled Between 2 Fires: The Untold Story of Palestinian Christians. This book is sympathetic to Palestinian anger about Israel, and it includes an appendix (solely authored by Brackin) on “The Zionism of Man vs the Zionism of God”:

The Zionism of God sovereignly raised Israel from the ashes, resurrected a dead language, preserved a remnant of Jewish believers and will one day fulfill every prophecy concerning Zion. The Zionism of Man buys tanks for secular Israel, applauds its campaign of ethnic cleansing, encourages it to forcibly restore its ancient boundaries and ignores its sins.

…The fruit of Man’s Zionism is hatred, despair, hostility, intolerance, malice, iniquity, treachery, brutality and unrestraint.