In the 40 years I worked as a congregational rabbi, I interviewed many women and men who wanted to become Jewish. One of the criteria that determined my attitude was the way they described the faith in which they were reared. If their picture was a caricature, and their assessment of their roots uncompromisingly hostile and distorted, I wouldn't cooperate. Misrepresentation of one religion is a poor basis for wanting to embrace another.
That's why I'm so uneasy about the widely publicized confessions of Mosab Hassan Yousef promoting his book, Son of Hamas. He's not the first person to have spied against his people, nor is he the first convert who has gone out of his way to blacken the religion he came from but, as he said earlier this month to a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, he had crossed every possible red line.
He crossed at least one too many when he described God as worshipped by Islam to be "fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist."
Though the legal category may no longer exist, morally he should nevertheless be charged with blasphemy when he says about the God Muslims know as Allah: "The problem is their God. They need to be liberated from their God. He is their biggest enemy." Referring to the history of Islam, he adds: "It has been 1,400 years they have been lied to."
In a seemingly candid moment he admits that, despite his reputed conversion, he's not a very devout Christian. Whatever his excuse, the real reason seems to be that nobody can be a devout adherent of a religion by denigrating another. Religious commitment must be based on love for the faith born into or adopted, not on the hatred of the one rejected.
I hope, therefore, that every responsible exponent of Christianity of whatever denomination will refuse to accept Mosab Hassan Yousef into the fold until he recants and repents at least as loudly as he has accused...Unbelievable. Too bad Marmur's a Jew. Given his thinking on blasphemy and apostasy, he would have made an excellent ayatollah. Then again, he does make a superb dhimmi.