May 30 2015

Liberty Movement Meets Islam at Porcupine Festival

M4L Iftar at Porcfest XI, 2014

M4L Iftar at Porcfest XI, 2014

Muslims for Liberty is gearing up for another successful showing at the annual Porcfest taking place at the end of June. This year the entire Procfest week falls within the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day. At last years Porcfest (see the article below), M4L fed hundreds of people. This year we hope to feed thousands of people! Please contribute to the M4L effort of bringing Muslims to liberty, and liberty to Muslims. Below is an article about last years Porcfest.

You can donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/muslims4liberty


From the Web
Source: http://www.illumemagazine.com/zine/articleDetail.php?Liberty-Movement-Meets-Islam-at-Annual-Porcupine-Festival-14638

by Brian Hagen
October 27, 2014

 (ILLUME MAGAZINE) In the mountains of Lancaster, New Hampshire, as crowds roam the grounds of Roger’s Campground, a bearded figure in overalls and cowboy hat leans over an assemblage of cookware, preparing a meal that will be served, at no charge, to the masses gathered for a week long celebration of liberty. The event is an annual gathering of libertarian-minded individuals, commonly known as PorcFest, and the evening’s cook is Will Coley, 33, a resident of Tennessee.

The Porcupine Freedom Festival, commonly referred to as Porcfest, is organized by the Free State Project, which works to gain movers to New Hampshire in order to create a more Libertarian state, the event is heading for its 12th year of featuring forums, seminars and workshops focused on a cross-section of libertarian thinking. While religion is not a central topic of Porcfest, the issue does arise, and Will Coley, of Muslims4Liberty, has achieved his goal of making the topic one of discussion at the event.

Standing 5’7” with a long beard, cowboy hat, and overalls, Coley looks all the part of a stereotypical hillbilly. Coley doesn’t mind that first impression; in fact, he feeds it, blasting the unmistakable country music of 1980’s era Dwight Yoakam as he kneels on one leg, stirring and mixing the food he is working to prepare. A Muslim, Coley made it his goal to feed those attending the late June gathering in commemoration of the Islamic month long fast known as Ramadan. “Well, we were already planning to attend, and to vend, and I was scheduled to speak,” Coley said. “When I found out that Ramadan was supposed to start the same [time] as PorcFest [was underway], I just had to find a way to bring the two together.” Coley’s plan remained unrealized, and unfunded, when he began the 16-hour trip from Maryville, Tennessee to Lancaster, New Hampshire accompanied by his wife, Farah, and their three young boys.

“We left Tennessee without having raised the money to get home. We coasted into PorcFest with twelve dollars in our bank accounts, no money to get home, no money to get plates and such.” Even if full funding were secured last minute to make the goal a reality, there was no guarantee the libertarian community would be responsive to the effort. Each day conservative broadcast talkers portray Islam as a dangerous faith which works to enslave non-believers through a shadowy faith-based legal system known as Shariah; and, right or wrong, the libertarian minded are often presumed to be entangled with such conservative thinking.

Coley, who serves as Director for the organization Muslims4Liberty, says he was faithful that the bridge between Islam and libertarian thinking would be a success, based on his longtime involvement within both communities. “I have no real desire or goal of converting people to a new faith. I simply want to educate people on what I believe, and why I think it fits with liberty.”

Guided by his belief, Coley, upon arrival at PorcFest, went to work to collect the needed funds to make the free meals available. “Within two days all the money we needed was there”, Coley said. “People had promised donations, they just couldn’t give at that moment. All those promises came through Alhumdulillah. Allah had his eye upon us, and allowed us what we needed.” Among the donations received was $500 contributed by the Muslim Community of Knoxville, which wanted to see Coley’s vision realized.

“We’re proud of the work he’s done representing the community in the liberty movement, particularly in hosting people in Ramadan,” said Nadeem Siddiqi, past board member and community outreach partner. “It’s a great intersection of thought and ideas. He’s introduced the liberty movement to our community and introduced our community to the liberty movement. He’s very passionate about both.”

It takes passion to make a project succeed, but even then, passion is no guarantee of the final outcome. Coley, with meals cooked, invited the near 2,000 PorcFest attendees to take part in his gift given in the name of Islam. Standing in front of his campsite, along the walking path, Coley, wearing a trucker-styled baseball cap and sunglasses, called out to those who walked by, explaining the reason for the meal he was serving. Interested, crowds gathered to hear Coley’s message, delivered in the slow drawl that only one who was born and raised in Tennessee would be gifted with.

The crowd formed lines to Coley’s makeshift buffet, handed cups filled with the food for the evening. The outcome was a success. Just ask Jeffrey Tucker, a longtime, well-known name in the liberty movement and a Distinguished Fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education. Tucker, who also serves as Chief Liberty Officer at Liberty.me was taken by Coley’s initiative, which he called “surprising and beautiful.” “Islam has a libertarian tradition and history, and has been a gigantic benefactor to humanity,” Tucker said. “It’s also rather counter-cultural right now. It’s only natural there would be a shared interest right now.”

Tucker says he would like to see the Ramadan component continue at future PorcFests. “What I absolutely loved was the spirit of generosity stemming from a sense of religious commitment.” Tucker’s embrace of Coley’s action was shared by other festival goers, observed eating the meal and speaking with Coley about the meaning and significance of Ramadan. Coley plans to continue the tradition in 2015, with ten engagements already booked, as his quest to educate while bridging Islam with the liberty movement remains a priority in his works of faith.


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