Powered by WebAds

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mus'ab Hassan Yousef, Son of a West Bank Hamas Leader: Atrocities Committed by Hamas Led Me to Convert to Christianity

Following are excerpts from an interview with Mus'ab Hassan Yousef, the son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, which aired on Al-Hayat TV (Cyprus) on August 19, 2008.

Let's go to the videotape. A transcript follows and I will have a comment after that.

Mus'ab Hassan Yousef: My name is Mus'ab Hassan Yousef. I am the eldest son of Sheik Hassan Yousef. I was born in the village of Bir Zeit, near Ramallah.


Yousef: My father began his Islamic activity from the very beginning by founding the [Palestinian branch] of the Muslim Brotherhood, by preaching to join it, and by recruiting young Muslim men for the sake of Allah and Islam.


Yousef: To be honest, I hated the occupation. I hated every Israeli soldier carrying a gun and every settler. I threw stones, and I participated in the Intifada in all its forms. Call it peaceful activity if you like, or call it violence, but I participated in the Intifada in most of its forms. This included throwing stones, burning tires, and so on – activities in which most of the youth took part. I was a child, not even a young man, in that period, which lasted six years. I used to go to the mosque all the time. When I was five, I fasted for the first time in the month of Ramadhan. Until my conversion to Christianity, I used to fast during the entire month of Ramadhan.


Yousef: I did not know that my father was one of the founders of Hamas. It was a secret, and I did not know anything about it.


Yousef: I never joined Hamas, but I loved the movement because of my love for my father. I began to go to high school. During that period, due to my father, my knowledge of Islam and the Koran, and my personality, I became a leader of the Islamic bloc. I was the head of the Islamic bloc at the Ramallah high school. We were involved in the rivalry between Fatah and Hamas, which has existed since Hamas was founded – internal struggles for power and for influence over the public.


Yousef: About ten days before the end of the final exams, I was arrested by the [Israeli] special forces. They gave me a brutal beating, and broke my jaw. They interrogated me for three months at the Russian Compound detention center, where I was held in solitary confinement.


Yousef: After three months of interrogation, I was transferred to a prison where Palestinian prisoners from all factions were held. Even though the prison is run by the Israelis, the prisoners manage affairs on their own. Each faction plays a role in the management of the prisoners' affairs. Hamas was the majority in the prison. This was not the case at the beginning of the Intifada, when Fatah was the majority, but later, Hamas became the majority and had control of the prison – especially over its own people, who were the majority. This was the beginning of my awakening.


Yousef: As a child, I believed that all Muslims are like my father. If you are brought up on Islamic values – how do you turn out? You will be like my father, who is my role model, and whom I love very much. But then, my surprise began. After three days or so, [I began witnessing] greed and avarice, prisoners stealing food from others, prisoners enjoying things that not all prisoners could enjoy, such as visits inside the wings, which were restricted to some leaders of the Islamic movement in the prison. Such things may happen. People may become greedy sometimes, and their faith weakens, and they eat more. This is not our business. But the problematic thing was the interrogation of people suspected of collaborating with Israel. That was one of the most serious things, which led to a fundamental change in my life – not just in my life, but in the lives of many. Beatings, floggings, needles under the fingernails, the melting of plastic on the body, days and weeks of sleep deprivation... Hamas – or to be more precise, the Hamas leadership in prison – all played a role in this. They all praised and applauded the Hamas security apparatus, and even backed them fully when they tortured prisoners. I don't want to mention names. The Palestinian people are unaware of this. To be honest, I am sorry that the Palestinian press, which is supposed to be free, has not shed light on what goes on in prison. These people have made sacrifices. Some of them have been in prison for 20 years. How can you interrogate them, accusing them of collaborating with the occupation? He made sacrifices, just like you and me, and is a human being, like you and me. How can you place yourself above these people, and torture them, flog them, and interrogate them? We are talking about brutal, violent torture. Imagine, all night long... I was only 18 years old, sleeping in my bed under conditions... In a prison of the occupation... But that was not enough – they had to create a prison within the prison, and inflict torture in addition to the [Israeli] torture. For a whole year, I would hear people being tortured screaming all night long. Sometime they interrogated three people at the same time, and they would torture them in the most brutal ways. In approximately three years, no fewer than 16 people were killed. I say to the people of my region, Ramallah, if they are watching this show – who killed brother Muhammad Abu Shakra? Outside prison, people believed Israel killed him, but in fact, it was Hamas. Later, Hamas paid "blood money" as compensation for its crime.


Yousef: I call upon the Palestinian people to open its eyes and see what Hamas was doing, when it functioned as a mini-state within the prison, and was in control inside the prison.


Yousef: Usually, if you leave an Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Al-Tahrir Party, or Islam itself – you are considered an apostate. Some of them may feel sorry for you and try to talk to you, but if you are adamant and stick to you position, you are considered an enemy.


Interviewer: What made you accept Christ as your savior, in an extremist Islamist environment?

Yousef: I have accepted Christ as my personal savior, but as far as Muslims are concerned, accepting Christ is like an elephant passing through the eye of a needle. What does this mean? That's what I've been trying to explain. The mentality with which Islam perceives Christ and God Himself is distorted.


Yousef: When I got to the U.S., I followed the news from Palestine closely, especially what was going on in the Gaza Strip. Without going into the anarchy over there, or the fact that Hamas was "forced" to reach a military resolution in Gaza, what was going on there was painful – assassinations, people being thrown from tall buildings... The reaction of the world to this organization and its actions were very passive.
I'm disappointed with this interview. What comes across is that despite his conversion to Christianity, Yousef still hates Israel and still doesn't understand that the 'Palestinians' are the cause of their own troubles. Don't just read the words - watch the way he talks about the 'occupation.'

Hope he stays in the West forevuh.


At 11:27 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The imprint of the Islamic mentality, with its presumed superiority over Jews and Christians, is very difficult to get rid of. And apostates are not looked upon kindly by Islam. He had better be watching his back for the rest of his life.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

I don't get the idea that he hates Israel, I believe when he is speaking about the "occupation" he is referring to his pre-conversion ideology. This is the same one that said the following:

"I hope that someday God will give the opportunity to meet the right one. She will have to be a believing Christian, and if she's a Jew who converted, even better."

This is probably the most outrageous quote from him in which he hints at Israeli military killing civilians which is understandable on his side anyway. The quote really is not that outrageous.

"I respect Israel and admire it as a country. I'm opposed to a policy of killing civilians, or using them as a means to an end, and I understand that Israel has a right to defend itself. The Palestinians, if they don't have an enemy to fight, will fight each other. In about 20 years from now you'll remember what I'm telling you, the conflict will be among various groups within Hamas. They're already beginning to quarrel over control of the money."

Carl, is there something I am missing? I just cannot find the Jew/Israeli Hatred, especially after considering he now worships the God of Israel. Maybe I missed something in the video?

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

For further clarification of my statement: "I believe when he is speaking about the "occupation" he is referring to his pre-conversion ideology."

I just think he is referring to his mind set at the time of the events in which he is speaking about. So when he recounts events, he is recounting them as they were in his mind and how he felt at the time.

Who knows, maybe I am just thinking too much, but I don't see hatred in the interview. Although, it wouldn't surprise me, but, it would be disappointing to say the least.


P.S. - Keep up the great work , Carl! There's always so much new and exciting and/or interesting info to read on your blog everyday except for Sabbath ofc. :) Don't stop!

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I do not see hate for Israel, not saying that he does not have lingering animosity, just don't see it necessarily. Also, I have read every single book by Egyptian Al Azhar educated, former imam, now Christian Mark Gabriel (name changed), and he relates in them that there was a process of shedding his own anti-Jewish prejudices and ignorance. Quite frankly, in Christianity, though salvation (being "born again" or "saved") is instantaneous in Christianity, the heart and mind changes are not -- we even have a theological word for the transformation process: "sanctification." For some people it's shedding cussing, for others it's a sex addiction, for others its anger.

My own case, I was a far left ("progressive") PC proud agnostic who of course supported the Palestinians, and it took several years before I changed my views on Israel, just because God was dealing w/me in other areas first. Same thing on creation vs. evolution, it took years before I shed the evolution theory. Again, not saying one way or the other for my new brother "Joseph" here, but *if* he does still have anger towards Israel, that will go if he studies the Bible.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Daniel and Orde,

It wasn't what he said but how he said it. It's difficult picking up nuances when you're watching an interview in a language you don't speak and for which you are dependent on translation, but I felt like I saw the hatred in his eyes.

You may be right that he needs to get the anti-Jewish prejudices out of his system, and obviously others have done that (Noni Darwish to name one). But the guy gave me the creeps.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Abu Yussif said...

FWIW from haaretz:

He does not conceal the fact that he supported contact with the Israeli media and has almost warm feelings for Israel. "Send regards to Israel, I miss it."

You miss Israel?

"I respect Israel and admire it as a country. I'm opposed to a policy of killing civilians, or using them as a means to an end, and I understand that Israel has a right to defend itself.


At the moment he doesn't have a partner, but he is relying on help from above on this matter, too. "I hope that someday God will give the opportunity to meet the right one. She will have to be a believing Christian, and if she's a Jew who converted, even better."



At 11:14 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

@orde: Good post, and regarding the comment: "but *if* he does still have anger towards Israel, that will go if he studies the Bible."

I would like to say that the closer I grew to the Lord, the more I loved Israel and the Jewish people.

I am completely befuddled by this supersessionism/replacement theology which dominates our Church's today. I mean, if your a dispensationalist, many will call you a heretic and you know I touched on this in an earlier post. I just wish others who studied the Bible (or claim) to show themselves approved would realize the jealous love He has for His people the Jews and God is not a liar, His promises still remain to them. This is why I believe this man Yousef/Joseph may be in the process of shedding his former ways and growing in intimacy with his true love, the God of Israel.

@Carl: I respect you as a blogger, you are my favorite blogger and my favorite source of information from the middle-east, but I'm disappointed when you declare "Yousef still hates Israel and still doesn't understand..." on the basis of nuance or that you felt you saw hatred in his eyes or he gave you the creeps. I believe, with all due respect, those reasons are a cop-out and a poor excuse to label this man a hater of Israel and I'm just very disappointed in you on this issue.

Now, there are many professing Christians who do hate Israel and the Jews and it grieves me to no end. So, you very well could be correct Carl, because we truly don't know his heart although his interviews giving so far show a respect for them and possibly even love for them.

I do think it is a very lame excuse though to call him a hater of Israel on the basis of nuances and his "eyes". I wonder if he became a proselyte to Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism if your opinion might be different due to hearing many Rabbi's teach that all Christians want to do is steal the Jews souls, etc. I don't want to interject a religious argument, but your excuses are so lame I'm trying to understand them from your perspective. Nonetheless, this is your blog and your opinions. I agree with you 99.999999% of the time, Carl and I love all the hard work you do. I really wanted to donate to you at the end of last year but unfortunately I had a crisis with a close family member stealing my identity and getting numerous credit cards in my name....Anyway, keep up the great work, I guess we have to just agree to disagree.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger ArcadiaP said...

Very interesting conversion if it is true. We have seen many, many times God using divine providence in the human experience for His objective to bring us all to enlightenment. Take Abraham (no previous experience), St. Paul (knowledge of both Roman and Jewish influence)and many others. As Paul was sent to be the Apostle to the gentles though being a Jew himself then maybe Mus'ab is being called to bring modern Jews and gentiles to the same table. Only God can reach down into a soul that has been indoctrinated in hatred and ideological radicalism from birth and change that person forever. We will find out. He certainly could bring many of his fellow Palestinians to enlightenment if it were true. No need to judge him now you will know by his fruits in due time.


Post a Comment

<< Home