The following are excerpts from an interview with Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf, the son of Sheik Hassan Yousuf, Hamas leader in the West Bank. Yousuf Jr. converted to Christianity, and recently revealed that he had collaborated with Israel. The interview aired on BBC Arabic on March 12, 2010.
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: I have said, and I continue to say, that my problem is not with Hamas or with the Muslims. My problem is with the God of Islam and with the Prophet of Islam. With regard to... There were continuous conflicts, which drove me to think about which direction I would like my life to go. Of course, the torture carried out by Hamas on its people in prison, their stupidity, and their political inadequacy drove me to speak out.
Interviewer: Are you saying that your views on what you call "the Islam of Hamas" are what led you to collaborate with the Israelis?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: Who said there is the Islam of Hamas and the Islam of Al-Qaeda?
Interviewer: That's what you are saying, more or less.
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: No, I am not saying that. What I am saying is that Islam is Islam, and the Koran is the Koran. The Koran suffers from a split personality, and the God of Islam suffers from a split personality. All the Muslims who follow the God of Islam interpret Islam as they like, but this does not negate the terroristic and murderous character of Islam, which incites people, through the Koran, to kill people and blow themselves up.
Interviewer: Where does the Koran call for terrorism?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: Go to Surat Al-Tawba, verses 5 and 29. The problem is that Muslims do not understand their own religion. I call upon the Muslims to read their Koran and understand it, before they say that Islam is a religion of peace and compassion.
Interviewer: I asked you...
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: The God of Islam calls to kill any non-Muslim. The God of Islam calls to kill me today.
Interviewer: But don't you agree that Islam recognizes other religions, exalts Jesus, recognizes Judaism, and so on? Do you or do you not accept this?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: There are several unreliable views of several Islamic thinkers, but their authority does not supersede that of the God of Islam, who said: "Slay the People of the Book wherever you find them."
Interviewer: How can you say that? Did the Koran call to slay the People of the Book?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: He said: "Slay the polytheists wherever you find them." Read the surah.
Interviewer: But the People of the Book are not polytheists, are they?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: If you want to argue with me – let's argue. Is Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, the supreme role model for the Muslims?
Interviewer: What do you think?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: Did Muhammad kill the Jews of Khaybar, or didn't he? You tell me. Why distort the facts? The Muslims must be honest with themselves and with the rest of the world. Muhammad – the supreme role model for the Muslims – killed the Jews of Khaybar, of Qureiza, and of Nadhir. He killed their children and captured their women. This is the supreme role model for the Muslims.
Interviewer: So your problem is with history, not with the present.
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: My problem is with that false prophet, Muhammad, and with the God of Islam.
The Muslims are not terrorists by nature. They are among the best nations, in my opinion. However, if the Muslims continue to cover for the terrorists, and to glorify and honor terrorists who blow themselves up, killing children, they will continue to be accomplices. My father is an accomplice.
Israel has been acting with violence, and killed innocent people. It killed people with or without a reason, but mistakes may happen. Every country on the face of the earth makes mistakes, not only Israel. The difference between Israel and Hamas...
Interviewer: When Israel kills innocent people, this is a "mistake," but when others kill innocent people, it is not?
Mus'ab Hassan Yousuf: Killing is a mistake – regardless of who the killer is – but Hamas has no principles, no laws, and no limits, whereas Israel is bound by law and constitution. If there is a racist Israeli, he will stand trial. Give me one example of a Hamas official who stood trial.
In my view, if Islam were implemented properly, this would spell the destruction of the Arab and Muslim world – the whole world, in fact – because every Muslim would become a Bin Laden.
The Christians have been persecuted for the past 14 centuries – not by the Muslims, but by the God of Islam. The persecution begins in the Koran and in the behavior of the Prophet of Islam.