My Year Inside Radical Islam by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
A Memoir

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My Year Inside Radical Islam is a memoir of first a spiritual and then a political seduction. Raised in liberal Ashland, Oregon, by parents who were Jewish by birth but dismissive of strict dogma, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross converted to Islam in college-a process that began with a desire to connect with both a religious community and a spiritual practice, and eventually led him to sympathize with the most extreme interpretations of the faith with the most radical political implications.

In the year following graduation, Gartenstein-Ross went to work for the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, a charity dedicated to fostering Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia's austere form of Islam-a theological inspiration for many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda. Shortly after he left Al Haramain-when his own fanaticism had waned-the foundation was charged by the U.S. government for a money-laundering scheme that was seemingly designed to finance terrorist organizations.

Gartenstein-Ross, by this time a lawyer at a prominent firm, volunteered for questioning by the FBI. They already knew who he was.

The story of how a good faith can be distorted and a decent soul can be seduced away from his principles, My Year Inside Radical Islam provides a rare glimpse into the personal interface between religion and politics.


About Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

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Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a counterterrorism consultant. He is frequently asked to give recommendations to law enforcement and senior federal officials, and his articles on terrorism, religious extremism, and the law have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Weekly Standard, The Dallas Morning News, Commentary, The New York Sun, and The Washington Times.
Published January 31, 2008 by Tarcher. 308 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Still, he becomes a Muslim puritan, tossing out his rock cassettes and becoming “more amenable to the idea that sharia, or Islamic law, was the best way to govern a society,” with all its fiery condemnations of gay people, unveiled women and assorted infidels.

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Born into a spiritually ambiguous family (his parents are nonpracticing Jews who follow the "Infinite Way"), Gartenstein-Ross grew up in the 1980s, in Ashland, Ore., a bucolic, posthippie paradise with a live-and-let-live ethic.

Oct 23 2006 | Read Full Review of My Year Inside Radical Islam:...

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