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Ingrid Mattson On Moving Past Fear And Islamophobia

Courtesy Festival of Faiths

“Sacred Wisdom: Pathways to Non-Violence” is the theme of this year’s Festival of Faiths in Louisville, which begins Tuesday.

The festival brings spiritual leaders and others together for five days of panel discussions, music, film screenings and more.

One of the participants will be Ingrid Mattson. The Canada-based professor of Islamic studies is a former president of the Islamic Society of North America. I spoke with her about her festival presentation coming up later this week.

Listen to the interview in the player above.

On recent suggestions by Donald Trump and others that Muslims should be prohibited from entering the country:

"I think it shows that we're living in a time where not only is there a lack of rationality in much of the politics, but just a kind of wild attempt to grab any kind of support in a very unprincipled way. And I think that doesn't bode well for developing policies that will keep anyone safe or happy."

On non-Muslims learning about Islam:

"Trust is the biggest barrier to understanding and getting rid of fear. So, by making a connection with other people to the point where you can ask those hard questions -- those questions that are troubling you -- I think it is important not to keep things in. And I know when you feel concerned because you've heard certain things, the best thing is to ask people."

Hear our conversation in the player above.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.

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