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.
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