My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir

Product Description
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.

My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir

5 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - June 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags: , , , ,

My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir

Product Description
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.

My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir

5 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - at 3:41 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags: , , , ,

5 Responses to “My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir”

  1. P. SONTI says:

    This is a book about a confused young man seeking an anchor in the midst of secularism and unprecedented personal freedom. He is not an expert on the Islamic faith, nor should this book be used as a fuel for Islamic hate or fan the flames of Islamophobia. Here is another review that may be helful:

    Reviewer: Last Knight “Miles” (N California Mountains) – See all my reviews

    I opened this book with fascination since I am familiar with many of the events and persons related in this memoir by Mr. G.-Ross. By the end of the book I was saddened and concerned, especially in regards to the kudos and recommendations this dreary work has occasioned.

    Mr. G.-Ross seems to regard his unhappy experience with some deviant and misguided individuals as carte blanche to judge the centuries-old and transcendent Islamic faith. These events that occured in his backwater town in Southern Oregon would be of little or no import were it not for his subsequent offering of himself as some sort of expert.

    I would strongly urge folks not to buy this book, since after reading it with close scrutiny, I suggest that Mr. G-Ross’ sole expertise is in exploiting a culture of mistrust and xenophobia for his own personal advantage.

    **********************

    That review says it better than I did!
    Rating: 2 / 5

  2. I found Mr. Ross such an irritating shallow little person it was hard to get to the meat of the book. He was so worried about what everyone thought of him for so much of his life he never had any direction of his own. Maybe it was his pampered leftist upbringing. It was worth the read, but just barely.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  3. Last Knight says:

    I opened this book with fascination since I am familiar with many of the events and persons related in this memoir by Mr. G.-Ross. By the end of the book I was saddened and concerned, especially in regards to the kudos and recommendations this dreary work has occasioned.

    Mr. G.-Ross seems to regard his unhappy experience with some deviant and misguided individuals as carte blanche to judge the centuries-old and transcendent Islamic faith. These events that occured in his backwater town in Southern Oregon would be of little or no import were it not for his subsequent offering of himself as some sort of expert.

    I would strongly urge folks not to buy this book, since after reading it with close scrutiny, I suggest that Mr. G-Ross’ sole expertise is in exploiting a culture of mistrust and xenophobia for his own personal advantage.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. I had hoped for more of an insight inside Islam, and less of an autobiography.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. Jerry Marcus says:

    I applaud anyone who goes on a sincere spiritual journey, realizing how difficult such a journey can be. However, it would have been helpful if the author had used his intellect to also remind readers about the extremism of Christianity throughout history. If Gartenstein-Ross had added this dimension to the book, his critique of radical Islam would have provided more perspective – and his opinion seem more genuine.

    Perhaps to give the author’s memoir some balance, he and his readers should also read “Ordained To Be Jew” by John David Scalamonti, a Catholic Priest who converted to Judaism.

    I don’t want to be cynical about Daveed Gartenstein-Ross’s motives. But one has to wonder if like many lawyers, he is keeping all his options open and hedging his bets. Being an expert on the Gordon Liddy Show and Pat Robertson’s 700 Club is not a very good recommendation for his sincerity. (Jerry Marcus is the author of the novels: “The Salvation Peddler” and “The Last Pope.”)
    Rating: 3 / 5

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