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How an act of kindness prevented an act of terrorism

Richard McKinney and Bibi Bahrami
"Stranger at the Gate"
"Stranger at the Gate"
Richard McKinney and Bibi Bahrami

When a former Marine showed up at an Islamic center in Muncie, Indiana in 2009, his plan was to bomb it. Richard “Mac” McKinney said that he had developed a hatred toward Islam during his deployment and had been taught to dehumanize his targets.

But that changed when a member of the mosque hugged him. That gesture of kindness led McKinney to abandon his plan. It also led him to become a member of the center.

This powerful story is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, “Stranger at the Gate.” It will be screened at Nazareth University Thursday, but first, we talk with the remarkable people behind it. Our guests:

  • Richard “Mac” McKinney, former Marine
  • Bibi Bahrami, co-founder of the Islamic Center of Muncie, Indiana
  • Joshua Seftel, director of “Stranger at the Gate”
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.