SE7EN FAST: Food-based Peace Protest

You may have heard about the terror attack in Brussels earlier this week. You may have heard about the attacks in Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Iraq, Yemen, Paris, or San Bernardino. You may have heard a viable candidate for President declare that we need to “patrol Muslim neighborhoods” in the U.S. to combat radicalization. You may have heard another one say that Muslims are worthwhile because they work hard, pay taxes, serve in the military/police, and can help us in finding and arresting potential terrorists. You may have Muslim friends, and you may not. You may be a Muslim.

You may be wondering how you can be a light, show love, and make peace in the midst of all of this craziness, evil, and nonsense.

Last year, my wife and I had a not so radical idea to create a framework to give people all the reasons and none of the excuses to engage in relationships with their Muslim or non-Muslim neighbors. That framework is SE7EN FAST.

The idea is simple: fast for one day during Ramadan, give money to the World Food Programme to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and break fast at a local mosque or Islamic Center. Last year the motivation was to speak against the narrative of hate being spewed by the Bikers Against Islam rallies and the Prophet Muhammad Cartoon Drawing Contests. To stand in solidarity with Muslims is one thing. To break fast, to eat alongside your Muslim neighbors, that’s a profound act of peacemaking.

This year, it seems that SE7EN FAST is even more important. If there is any hope for our country and our world, it has to start with individuals who are actively seeking to change and challenge a hateful, divisive, or short-sighted narrative that is being told by our Presidential candidates and our media. Together we can start a movement of peace and love while eating food together with one another.

It’s so simple. And it’s so profound.

That movement starts with a decision to participate. Then, you take a picture of yourself holding a sign declaring your intention to fast on 6.7.16 with Muslims during Ramadan. Then you fast on 6.7.16. You give money if you can. And then you break fast in your community with your Muslim neighbors.

The framework is all set up. We need you, if you are not a Muslim, to make that commitment and follow through on it. We need you, if you are a Muslim, to take this idea to your mosque/Islamic Center/friends and open your doors on 6.7.16 to people seeking to make peace, to transform their fears, and to write a new story in your community.

Please visit se7enfast.com and find everything you need to make this happen. Together we can change everything. Let’s do this!

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