Sunday, January 20, 2008

MAS Freedom Joins Call for 40-Days of Nonviolence in Honor of MLK

Building the Beloved Community One Pledge at a Time

"Today there is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." - Excerpted from a 1967 interview of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Arnold Michaelis

"Every King Holiday has been a national 'teach-in' on the values of nonviolence, including unconditional love, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, which are so desperately needed to unify America." - Coretta Scott King, "The Meaning of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday"

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Jan. 20, 2008 - As we turn our attention to the King Holiday and pause to remember the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr., MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), joins the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project in calling for 40-Days of Nonviolence, January 21 through February 29, 2008.

The year 2008 will mark 40-years since the assassination of Martin Luther King, thus, it is especially important to connect more intentionally with the principles upon which Dr. King built his life, his service, and the movement that he championed—the principles of nonviolence. He believed that applying the principles of nonviolence in all areas of one's life would ultimately bring about the Beloved Community, the end goal of nonviolence, where differences are resolved peaceably and reconciliation occurs among adversaries.

To connect the King Holiday to the example Dr. King set and to engage more Americans in honoring him through service, the Corporation is joining with others in its network to provide tools for the "40 Days of Nonviolence: Building the Beloved Community" initiative, which includes a Pledge of Nonviolence.

Pledge of Nonviolence in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Life and Work

I PLEDGE TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN to make America and the world a place where equality and justice, freedom and peace will grow and flourish.

I PLEDGE TO MAKE NONVIOLENCE A WAY OF LIFE in my dealings with all people.

I WILL REJECT all forms of hatred, bigotry and prejudice, and I will embrace the values of unconditional, universal love, truthfulness, courage, compassion, and dedication that empowered Dr. King.

On the King Holiday and during the 40 days that follow, individuals and organizations participating in the initiative would:

>>>Study, discuss, and reflect upon the principles of nonviolent action as a strategy for bringing about stronger communities;

>>>Examine the structures in their communities that lead to violence and engage in projects that address those underlying issues;

>>>Plan for 40 days beginning with the King Holiday and implement sustainable service activities to extend throughout the year and beyond.

These elements reflect the fundamental steps in Dr. King's vision for nonviolent social change: information gathering, education, personal commitment, negotiations, direct action, and reconciliation. What better learning mechanism can there be than one in which everyone can be actively engaged in their community?

40 Days of Nonviolence: Building the Beloved Community will have a powerful and lasting impact on the reach of the King Day of Service campaign. Linking the powerful principles of nonviolence with the tradition of service brings contemporary stature to a historical movement in our country and contemporary meaning to the unfinished work of Dr. King. Linking service more directly to the teachings of Dr. King provides a great opportunity to educate youth and others who have little or no knowledge of this important part of American history and to engage them in service that is grounded in his teachings and creates lasting change.

"MAS Freedom encourages community members nationwide to participate in this important initiative," stated Director, Mahdi Bray.

Sign the Pledge here.

Get a 40 Days of Nonviolence Badge for your website or blog here.

Additional community action resources are available here.

MAS Freedom (MASF) is a civic and human rights advocacy entity and sister organization of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and educational organization in America – with 55 chapters in 35 states. Learn more here.

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Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 552-7414
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Fax: (703) 998-6526
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