Who’s Daveed Gartenstein-Ross (DGR)…apart from a man with the one of the longest hyphenated last names in history? Well, he’s also a frequent Weekly Standard contributor who has written a new book, and it sounds fascinating.
Gartenstein-Ross reveals how widening doctrinal tensions are dividing twenty-first-century expressions of Islam in this memoir of his journey into and out of the faith. Raised by freethinking Jewish parents in a world of former hippies, Gartenstein-Ross finds himself pondering ultimate questions after two brushes with death. Friendship with a progressive Shiite Muslim offers answers. Gartenstein-Ross therefore converts. But both he and his Shiite friend subsequently encounter–and then cross over–the chasm separating moderates from radical orthodoxy. Gartenstein-Ross even works for a Muslim charity diverting funds to terrorists. After eventually turning away from the group hatreds and anti-intellectualism of radical Islam, Gartenstein-Ross embraces Christianity–and becomes an FBI informant. To his great joy, he subsequently discovers that his Shiite friend has likewise turned away from radicalism and has returned to moderate Islam. For readers trying to understand Muslims on both sides of the radical-moderate divide, Gartenstein-Ross’ story will be an eye-opener.
One hopes, though, that DGR picks better places to hawk his book than Hannity’s radio show, which he did yesterday.