Beliefnet

My Year Inside Radical IslamHow does a secular Jew from a hippie town in

Oregon find himself praying for the success of extremist Muslim fighters around the world? In his new book "My Year Inside Radical Islam," 30-year-old Daveed Gartenstein-Ross describes his evolution from liberal campus activist to radical Islamist, and how an inner battle between his personal views of Islam versus the strict version he was shown led him out of danger.

His surprising journey began after a friendship with a moderate Muslim led Gartenstein-Ross to convert. A job with Al-Haramain, a Saudi-funded Islamic charity later indicted by the FBI, led him into radical Islam. Now a Christian and counter-terrorism expert, Gartenstein-Ross talked with Beliefnet about the attractions of extreme faith, the challenges of creating an authentic moderate faith, and why he still respects Islam.

Daveed Tells His Story

'My Path to Islam'

Raised by liberal Jewish parents, Gartenstein-Ross constantly searched for spirituality. A college friendship with a moderate Muslim brought him to a Sufi-inspired form of Islam. Watch »

'Faith as Submission to God'

In his search for faith, Gartenstein-Ross came to the conclusion that faith wasn't about what he wanted from God, but what God wanted from him. Watch »

'My Most Radical Phase'

A job with Al-Haramain, a Saudi-funded Islamic charity, soon tested his resolve to be a moderate Muslim. Faced with constant questioning by his co-workers, his radical conversion began. Watch »

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus