Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fasting Against War

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following is posted at the request of a friend. It is an action worth considering.

Last year I fasted during Ramadan in solidarity with my 5 Muslim students, and all Muslims. This year I hope I can find people to join me. It is a very personal action, but it made me very aware for a full month that there is a war out there I oppose, and kept me thinking about many of the issues connected to this war. (I also became very aware of sunset, and that was a delight.)

Why this? I have long felt a need to do something more than attend protests against the war once or twice a year. It seems most of the people I know stand firmly against the war, but we have no effect on government actions. As a single parent, as a person who loves the work I do, I have not seen what more I could do. This is something I can do that will not require large chunks of time. And I think it will get us talking more about what else we can do to change this government run amuck.

Last year I noticed that a few of my friends seemed to blame the victims (saying things like “they’re violent”). I think our government promotes that idea. What is truly happening is that our military is killing thousands of civilians in Iraq, and that’s the violence we must take responsibility for. I also know that the number of hate crimes against innocent Arabs and Muslims in this country has gone way up since 9/11.

Why now? Ramadan will begin on September 13th, or shortly after that (as soon as the new moon has been sighted). It’s a month-long time of fasting for Muslim people. They fast from sunrise to sunset, and eat a small meal once the sun is down. Muslims do not even drink water during their fast, but I felt more comfortable modifying my fast to allow for water.

Will you join me? I am hoping to spread this idea across the country through anti-war websites and email lists. Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested. If you join me in fasting, or have ideas to share about making this a more powerful joint action, please write me ( I will write you back.

-Sue VanHattum
Richmond, CA

August 25, 2007


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