“When you commit to participate in SE7EN FAST this year, you are committing to receiving an invitation to relationships that has been extended to you by Muslims in your community. You are committing to finding a place in your community in which you can be transformed through relationships at a common table of peace.”
To commit to something is to pledge or bind oneself to a cause. It may be the most difficult thing for us (American) humans to do these days. We are, after all, committed to a lot of different relationships and activities already. Some weeks it seems we expend so much energy trying to figure out how to get out of some of our commitments.
So what makes SE7EN FAST so important that it is worth committing a day to this Ramadan?
SE7EN FAST is more than a cause. It is an idea based upon our deep need for relationships with people who think/act/believe differently than ourselves. We believe that these sorts of relationships are necessary for peace. Instead of spending time avoiding and ignoring differences, we need to come to a mutual (and literal) table to break bread, share stories, listen, learn, laugh, and allow ourselves to be transformed.
Muslim communities, throughout the United States and the world, have been opening their doors to ‘outsiders’ every Ramadan for many years to share in a communal feast at a common table. To say this is a big deal is a profound understatement. A few very powerful and persuasive people have spent millions of dollars trying to demonize and marginalize the Muslim American community for over a decade, creating a new word (Islamophobia) and a terrifying new reality for Muslim Americans. Every day, another instance of hate speech or violence is carried out by people who have bought into this narrative of fear.
So why do Muslims continue to open their doors to us? To be sure, there are myriad reasons. Aside from being good PR, it is an act of faith in the idea of community. It is an act of neighbor love, and a desire to be known,seen, and understood. And it certainly stems from a desire to be welcomed as an important piece of the fabric of America.
When you commit to participate in SE7EN FAST this year, you are committing to receiving an invitation to relationships that has been extended to you by Muslims in your community. You are committing to finding a place in your community in which you can be transformed through relationships at a common table of peace. We have done all the leg work for you. All you have to do is say, “Yes, I will confront this narrative of fear and division, and seek peace through engaging in relationships with Muslims in my community.”
What better commitment can you make this year?