How does a secular Jew from a hippie town in
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »