Whenever I hear a story of someone converting to Islam, my heart leaps with excitement. I wonder about the journey they went through before embracing Islam, the thoughts they had. Do you also enjoy these heartwarming life stories? The story of McKinney, once filled with hatred for Islam and Muslims, even planning to bomb a mosque but later finding faith in the very Muslims he intended to harm, has been turned into a documentary. Let’s take a journey through this transformation together.
The documentary “Stranger at the Gate,” directed by Joshua Seftel, tells the story of Richard McKinney, a former American soldier who converted to Islam while planning to bomb a mosque. This heartwarming 30-minute movie is an Oscar nominee.
McKinney served in the military for many years and received advice that dehumanizing people made it easier to harm them. After leaving the military and influenced by 9/11, his anger and hatred toward Muslims grew. One day, his daughter mentioned a Muslim classmate, triggering McKinney’s anger.
Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, McKinney went to the Muncie mosque with thoughts of bombing it. There, he met the mosque managers, Bibi and Saber Bahrami, and Jomo Williams, a Muslim convert. To his surprise, they welcomed him with warmth and even embraced him.
The movie is about good people who are tolerant of each other. Bibi Bahrami, one of the mosque managers, and her family are grateful to be part of this message.
The movie is about good people who are tolerant of each other. I am grateful that my husband Saber and my son Zaki and I are part of such a beautiful message. – Bibi Bahrami
“The Secret Lives of Muslims” Documentary Series
“Stranger at the Gate” is the final movie in the “The Secret Lives of Muslims” series, which explores the daily lives of American Muslims. The series also features notable figures like American athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad, Palestinian-American journalist Dena Takruri, and Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American author.
In the movie “Stranger at the Gate”, listening to a true story from the language of the protagonists showed me once again what it means to be human, how valuable it is to approach a heart with compassion, and how sincerity and goodwill can destroy hatred. I pray to be one of those who say, “I am happy if I can reach one person and be good to him/her without caring about numbers”.
Whoever kills a soul, it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one, it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. – Surah Al-Ma’idah, Verse 32
You can watch the “Stranger at the Gate” Short Movie here: