by Melanie Phillips
Thursday, 25th February 2010
I have been following for some time the remarkable journey of Mosab Hassan Yousef, about whom I wrote here last year. Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader, renounced not just terrorist violence but his family and his faith to become a Christian and move to California. Since apostasy from Islam carries a death penalty, this in itself was an act of extreme courage. The Telegraph ran an interview with him which set out starkly the extreme risk he was running, along with the principled reasons for his actions:
Mosab Hassan Yousef, 30, said that his decision to abandon his Muslim faith and denounce his father's organisation had exposed his family to persecution in his home town of Ramallah and endangered his own life.
... "˜I’m not afraid of them, especially as I know that I'm doing the right thing, and I don't see them as my enemies,’ he said. "˜I do think about this a lot. But what are they going to do? Are they going to kill me? If they want to kill me, let them do it. I'm not going to stop anyone. It's going to be my freedom.’
... Mr Yousef said that his doubts about Islam and Hamas crystallised when he realised not all Hamas leaders were like his father, a moderate who he describes as "˜open-minded, very humble and honest’. Mr Yousef said that he was appalled by the brutality of the movement, including the suicide bombers seeking glory through jihad. "˜Hamas, they are using civilians' lives, they are using children, they are using the suffering of people every day to achieve their goals. And this is what I hate,’ he said.
But now we learn that his courage and his principles extended far further than this. As Ha’aretz reports, for ten years Yousef worked for the Israeli security service Shin Bet for whom the intelligence he provided saved countless lives from human bomb attacks:
During the second intifada, intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings... Loai [Yousef’s Shin Bet handler] makes no secret of his admiration for his former source. "˜The amazing thing is that none of his actions were done for money,’ he says. "˜He did things he believed in. He wanted to save lives. His grasp of intelligence matters was just as good as ours - the ideas, the insights. One insight of his was worth 1,000 hours of thought by top experts.
Click here to read the rest of the story.
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