Graeme Wood

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My Conversion Will Not Be Televised

I debated an Egyptian cleric on Salafi TV: a report for The Atlantic.

Filed under: Atlantic Monthly, ,

Preacher, Tailor, Salafi, Spy

A report for The New Republic.

Filed under: New Republic, ,

The Blasphemy Divide

At The Boston Globe, I have a piece about the different ways in which the West (the U.S., really) and the Muslim world (and Europe) approach blasphemy.

Filed under: Boston Globe, , ,

Trouble in Timbuktu

At the Boston Globe Ideas section, I wrote about the history of Timbuktu.

Filed under: Boston Globe, ,

Cullen Murphy’s new book on the Inquisition

Originally appeared in The Daily.

God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World

by Cullen Murphy

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 320pp.

“Inquisition” is among the least cuddly words in the English language — an odd state of affairs, when you consider that some of its linguistic cousins are perfectly lovely. The ultimate Latin root means simply to ask a question, and its English relative “inquisitive” is something we typically laud children for being. But to be the object of any sort of inquisition, whether headed by a hellbent bureaucrat or a man in a scarlet cassock, is very bad news for you indeed, with a guarantee of psychological discomfort and strong hint of the physical sort as well.

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Filed under: Daily, , ,

Clinging to the Egyptian Army

I visited Nag Hammadi for the IHT and found an Egyptian Wild West.

Read my story here.

Filed under: International Herald Tribune, ,

Janet Reitman’s “Inside Scientology”

Originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Inside Scientology

By Janet Reitman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 444 pages, $28

The Church of Scientology, founded in 1950 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, is not a church that turns the other cheek. In the early 1990s, the Internal Revenue Service went after it for taxes; Scientology unleashed an enfilade of lawsuits and complaints that eventually brought the IRS to heel and won the church tax exemption. In “Inside Scientology,” Janet Reitman says that when the church was charged criminally in 1998 over the death of a parishioner, the organization overwhelmed the medical examiner in Clearwater, Fla.; within two years she had resigned and later suffered a nervous breakdown. According to Ms. Reitman, David Miscavige, the church’s leader, called these acts a ” ‘holy war’ of litigation.” If the English language has a more frightening phrase, I haven’t come across it.

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Filed under: Wall Street Journal, ,

Portrait of a Pope

Carl Franzen and I produced a file on Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II) for The Daily.  Check it out here.

Filed under: Daily,

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