A Window into Life in the Suburbs


"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Review: Son of Hamas



When I feeling especially cantankerous about the Middle East mess... I occasionally wonder if it isn't better if the rest of us just stand back and let the big boys fight it out among themselves and see who emerges victorious.
I know, I know... it sounds simplistically Darwinian of me but by golly it's so frustrating. So much back and forth, back and forth. Flip flopping by powerhungry pollies and blood thirsty interest groups. But stuck in the middle of this maddening conflict are little boys and girls who are raised on a diet of anger and violence. All they know is war and the cycle of violence and they're trapped in it like their parents and grandparents. One such boy... is Mosab Hussein Yousef, whose father was one of the founders of Hamas, known to us in the West as a terrorist organization.

Although set in the context of international events, the Son of Hamas is a deeply personal tale of a young man whose love of family and nation leads him to become increasingly disturbed and disillusioned by what he perceives to be the senseless deaths of young men all around him. A chance meeting with a British tourist sees him come into possession of an Arabic New Testament. Brought up to treasure a gift given, he opens the New Testament and for the first time in his life confronts the words of Jesus.
"Love your enemies... pray for those who hate you." These words confound him... the worldview that is offered by Jesus of Nazareth becomes attractive because it is contrary to everything he had known. This earthshattering event takes him onto a different path to eschew the violence that had dominated his entire life.

The Son of Hamas helps an outsider like me get an insider view of the travesty that goes on in that tiny strip of land called Gaza. At times it reads like a gripping espionage thriller, at other times it is a plea for understanding. Myself I'm of the opinion that Mosab, who left everything to find freedom in the US, has written this account to help his family back in Gaza grapple with the ramifications of his newfound faith in Jesus.

As I read this riveting piece of personal history, I am grateful that God continues to bring people in unexpected ways to himself through his Word. Hence, I choose to cling with confidence to the truth that there can be no peace on earth until the peoples of the earth come to Christ as their Saviour and Lord.

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