Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stephen Schwartz via Michael Totten

"From San Francisco to Sarajevo" - An interesting take on current affairs from Stephen Schwartz, a former Communist born of an interfaith (Jewish/American) family, whose intellectual journey led him into Republican-neoconservatism and ultimately conversion to Sufi Islam (via his encounter with Albanian Catholics, no less):
I had been interested in Islam, and especially Sufism, since I was a teenager. You see, even though I was an “official” atheist, I realized at age eight that I believed in God. But I was not what we call in California a “shopper for God.” I kept my religious feelings to myself. I did not leave the Communist milieu for religion, though I was tempted to do so.

After I was about 15, I started to read anti-Soviet literature on the sly, in the library away from my parents, who were appalled when I told them I read Whittaker Chambers and Ayn Rand and National Review. I was more interested in Chambers than Rand. Though I rather like some of Rand’s writings, I was not drawn to her philosophy. ...

Interview courtesy of Michael Totten, one of my favorite foreign correspondents, particularly on all things Middle East, with a forthcoming first book: The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel

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