Rejecting radical Islam — one man’s journey

CNN has the story of a man who was born Jewish, converted to Islam and then converted to Christianity.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The path to faith often takes unexpected twists. In the case of Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, the road went through three of the world’s major religions — Judaism, Islam and Christianity — and ultimately brought him to the FBI.

Born to Jewish parents who call themselves mystics, he grew up in what he calls the “liberal hippie Mecca” of Ashland, Oregon, a town of about 20,000 near the California border. It was in this ultraliberal intellectual environment that a young Gartenstein-Ross experimented with a radical form of Islam that eventually led him to shun music, reject women’s rights and even refuse to touch dogs because he believed this was “according to God’s will.”

“I began to pray for the mujahedeen, for these stateless warriors who were trying to topple secular governments,” he said.

His journey began in 1997, when as a junior at Wake Forest University, he began to examine his own spiritual identity after experiencing a couple of brushes with death caused by illness. “That kind of thing can cause spiritual discomfort and make you reevaluate what it is that you’re living for,” he told CNN in an upcoming documentary called “God’s Warriors.”

It is an interesting story and I really have touched upon just a brief element of it. If you read more you’ll see his encounter with radical Islam and how he has become a counter terrorism consultant.

I am not really focusing on any of those things. What I am curious to learn is what made him feel the need to go through three religions. What was he searching for. What was missing in his life. What drove him on this search. He sounds like a lost soul who was just buffeted around a bit.

How many lost souls are there floating through life. Quite a few I’d imagine.

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  1. Jack's Shack August 19, 2007 at 5:10 am


    I’ll probably check it out.


    It doesn’t sound like he received much guidance.

  2. WomanHonorThyself August 17, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    he grew up in what he calls the “liberal hippie Mecca”…that was the beginning of the end for him.

  3. Debbie August 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    I just got an email from CNN about this, they are having an exclusive preview of CNN Presents: God’s Warriors for bloggers. That was the first I had heart about it. It sounds very interesting.

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