King of the World

King of the World

A Pakistani American Muslim teenager comes of age post-9/11 and, twenty years later, tries to figure out what the hell happened to him and to us. Hosted by Shahjehan Khan, King of the World is his journey through addiction, identity, creativity, and what it means to belong as a Muslim in America in the 20 years after 9/11. A story told in seven parts. AWARDS WON ***WEBBY Award Honoree for BEST DOCUMENTARY Podcast for 2022*** ***BEST PRODUCTION - Golden Crane Awards, Asian American Podcasters Association*** ***Platinum Winner - Podcast Series, Hermes Creative Award*** ***Platinum Winner - Podcast Episode (Episode 1) Hermes Creative Award*** ***2022 Award of Excellence - Communicator Awards*** ***Platinum Winner (Episode 1) - Audio Production - AVA Digital Award*** Nominated for: Best Podcast Host, Ambie Awards Best Podcast Production, Ambie Awards Best Mental Health Podcast, Golden Crane Awards, Asian American Podcasters Association Best Society & Culture Podcast, Golden Crane Awards, Asian American Podcasters Association Best Sound Design, Golden Crane Awards, Asian American Podcasters Association Best Asian Culture: Stories and Experiences Podcast, Golden Crane Awards, Asian American Podcasters Association For advertising opportunities please email We wanna make the podcast even better, help us learn how we can: Privacy Policy:


August 16, 2021 1 min
Rifelion Media presents King of the World, a seven-part podcast series about a Pakistani American Muslim teenager who comes of age post-9/11 and, twenty years later, tries to figure out what the hell happened to him and to us.  Hosted by Shahjehan Khan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mark as Played
Host Shahjehan Khan acquaints us with his family—a fivesome in a predominantly white suburb of Boston by way of Pakistan—and his conflicted identity. Despite his name literally meaning “king of the world,” young Shahjehan feels increasingly powerless. We learn three of his favorite things: a shiny red Fender Strat, weed, and figure skating. September 11th, 2001, starts out like any other school day, then the first plane hits the Wo...
Mark as Played
September 8, 2021 60 mins
The United States initiates the War on Terror in response to 9/11, starting with Afghanistan and then moving seamlessly into Iraq, despite the disconnect. Historian Dr. Huma Gupta helps us understand Afghanistan’s relationship with the U.S. pre-9/11 and its history of being a World Power staging ground. We meet Bashir Ahmad, who shares his experience joining the National Guard after being kicked out of college for smoking weed a fe...
Mark as Played
September 15, 2021 55 mins
Shahjehan introduces us to two American Muslims profiled after 9/11 in very different ways: one’s arrival in his “dream country” nearly costs him his life as the other’s family trip becomes an interrogation. Everyone seems to be on high Muslim alert, and the American Muslim community comes out in droves to publicly denounce any and all terrorist or suspected terrorist activity by anyone Muslim or seemingly Muslim, anywhere. Islamop...
Mark as Played
September 22, 2021 57 mins
Shahjehan and guests walk us through the history of Brown representation in Hollywood, politics, and American pop culture. From swarthy villains and caricatures with funny accents to slightly more nuanced and uncensored depictions in the early 2000s, Muslim actors move beyond making their bread by portraying terrorists as Muslim politicians and musicians start appearing on the scene. The highly uncensored Kominas cause a stir as th...
Mark as Played
It’s 2008 and Shahjehan has just booked a one-way ticket to Pakistan. He moves in with his best friend and Kominas bandmate in Lahore, where new musical and social highs are interwoven with drug relapses, encounters at gunpoint, and Al-Faida conspiracy theorists. News from his hometown mosque in Wayland reveals that a childhood friend has been convicted of terrorist activities, which brings to question government-orchestrated spyin...
Mark as Played
Shahjehan takes us along on The Kominas international tour, where a career pinnacle at the BBC coincides with a critical relapse into substance abuse. The consequences are dire but lead to a sincere shot at recovery with a lovable sponsor. After the Boston Marathon bombing and targeted expletives cast from a carful of dude bros, Shahjehan speaks out, this time without the cover of the band. Islamic law expert Sumbul Ali-Karamali wa...
Mark as Played
Shahjehan starts touring the East Coast as an actor in a troupe for people in long-term recovery, and meets an unanticipated fan. We wrap up the “anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, racial, racist, white supremacist kind of mindset” that took hold during Trump’s presidency and its trickle-down effects, while also examining its function as a catalyst for the uptick in activism, improved representation, more diverse pop culture, and the eve...
Mark as Played
November 10, 2021 11 mins
Bonus Episode: Listeners of King of the World share their own experiences post 9/11 and what the series means to them. Check out the Rifelion blog. Also visit to send us an audio message, some of which will play on future episodes. For more information on King of the World, visit our website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mark as Played
Bonus Episode: Tanzila Ahmed, an artist writer, political activist, and co-host of the good Muslim bad Muslim podcast, shares her reflections on 20 years since 9/11. Follow Taz on Twitter, read her articles on Substack, and visit her website. Listeners of King of the World can share their own experiences post 9/11 and what the series means to them. Check out the Rifelion blog. Also visit to send us a...
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    "McCartney: A Life in Lyrics" offers listeners the opportunity to sit in on conversations between Paul McCartney and poet Paul Muldoon dissecting the people, experiences, and art that inspired McCartney’s songwriting. These conversations were held during the past several years as the two collaborated on the best selling book, “The Lyrics: 1965 to Present.” Over two seasons and 24 episodes of “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics”, you’ll hear a combination master class, memoir, and improvised journey with one of the most beloved figures in popular music. Each episode focuses on one song from McCartney’s iconic catalog – spanning early Beatles through his solo work. Season 1 premieres on October 4th. “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics” is a co-production between iHeart Media, MPL and Pushkin Industries. Cover Portrait © 1967 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney

    Dateline NBC

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.


    Unforgettable true crime mysteries, exclusive newsmaker interviews, hard-hitting investigative reports and in-depth coverage of high profile stories.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.