[Publisher’s note: Although this article was published several months ago, the below-interview provides insights into the violence that is currently spreading across the Muslim world]
Mosab Hassan Yousef has a knack for controversy. The son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, he has already broken every taboo in the Palestinian book. He has worked for Israeli intelligence and converted to Christianity. Now he is developing a new film which is sure to be no less sensational: a biography of the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
Yousef, 33, broke ranks with Hamas in 1997 and began working for the Israeli internal intelligence service Shin Bet. Ten years later, after helping Israel thwart dozens of terror attacks and arrest many members of his former movement, Yousef left for the United States where he sought political asylum and later converted to Christianity.
Today, he says, he is back in Israel for the first time on a personal visit “to inspire a new generation of Palestinians.”
“I love Israel because I love democracy,” he told journalists in Jerusalem Tuesday. “I am here to protest religion’s absolute control of people’s lives.”
Standing next to his retired Shin Bet handler, Gonen Ben-Itzhak, Yousef refused to answer questions in Arabic. He said he was on a mission to educate the public about the true nature of his former religion.
“Islam is not a religion of peace. It’s a religion of war,” he said. “Muslims don’t even know the true nature of their own religion.”
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