Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mahnaz Shabbir on Islam

UPDATE: We recorded this podcast in the morning, and learned later in the day that a local triple shooting last night, leaving one man dead and two others injured, was a hate crime. It was directed toward two men who were, like my friend Mahnaz, of Indian descent. The other victim, Ian Grillot, was injured after standing up to the shooter. More than ever, I feel this weight of responsibility to increase dialogue with, and compassion toward, people who do not look like "us" or believe like "us," because this xenophobia and violence ratcheting upward in American society is destroying humanity. My prayers are with all of us, and especially the families and victims of this disgusting violence. May we all have the courage of Ian Grillot!

As part of my "Year of Faiths" podcasts, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Mahnaz Shabbir, who has given hundreds of lectures locally and internationally about her Islamic faith. Her article, “I am an American Muslim Woman” was syndicated throughout the United States, and she has been featured on CBS, "Voice of America," and recently co-authored the chapter on Islam in The Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health Care Providers. Mahnaz is a mother, grandmother, business owner, devoted citizen, award winning journalist and humanitarian, and among the honorees of Ingram’s Magazine’s list of the “50 Kansans You Should Know.”

Tomorrow I'm joining Mahnaz at The Project Equality Summit in Kansas City, where she is a guest speaker. What a treat!

Link on iTunes:

Link on Stitcher:

In this podcast episode:
0:00 - Have you ever had a mystical experience?
5:48 - Introduction
6:41 - Growing up in an immigrant family
9:51 - How does one become Muslim?
11:22 - History & beliefs of Islam
14:25 - Praying 5 times per day
15:12 - Ramadan, the month of fasting
20:27 - On her husband's death and the pilgrimage to Mecca
26:11 - The decision to wear a hijab
30:53 - On Islam and women
33:43 - Xenophobia and fear in America today
37:50 - Why Islam makes the world a better place
39:53 - On the meaning of life