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February 6, 2017

American Muslim Marine hopes to foster dialogue about religion

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  • Mansoor Shams is a former U.S. Marine who served from 2000 to 2004. Shams has been traveling around the U.S. with a sign that reads, “I’m a Muslim and a U.S. Marine, Ask Me Anything.”
  • Shams said engaging in an open dialogue with other Americans about his faith is crucial to combating Islamophobia.
  • Shams said he follows Sharia law, which is the religious law that forms part of the Islamic tradition.
  • Despite having mixed feelings about President Donald Trump, Shams said he’d like the opportunity to explain his faith to the president. The Koran’s teachings require Shams to be loyal and obey those in authority, according to Shams.

Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: What can learning about the world’s religions teach us about our society?
  2. What does Mansoor Shams say about his belief in Sharia law? Why is it seen as controversial by some people?
  3. Do you think Mansoor Shams’s one-on-one approach is effective in helping people understand more about Islam? Why or why not?
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