Oregon folk singer James Twyman hopes to serenade the so-called Islamic State group in an effort to curb violence in the Middle East.
The self-proclaimed “peace troubadour” says he is “not a hero” but does want to bring peace to Syria through his plans for a concert there.
Twyman is no stranger to performing concerts in war-torn nations and has been singing peace songs for them for the past 20 years. According to his website, he visited Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan War and had the dubious honor of being invited by Saddam Hussein in 1998 to perform at the national theater in Baghdad.
He is recruiting participants through his website, where he has stated his mission for the project.
“The world seems to be spinning out of control and there’s nothing an individual like you can do to stop it. But that’s not really the truth, is it?” he said on his webpage. “Imagine what would happen if you combined your energy with that of millions of other people at the exact same moment, focusing on a specific world situation or event.”
The singer believes the impact of focused, affirmative prayers can be pretty powerful and can turn tides.
“Performing the peace prayers in ISIS-controlled Syria will be the most important and dangerous peace mission of my life,” he explained.
The U.S. State Department has warned the singer of the dangers of ISIS-occupied Syria and has urged him to cancel his plans; however he is adamant and plans to leave for the war-riddled country in a week.
“Every peace mission I’ve been on has been dangerous,” said Twyman, “but this journey is without question the most perilous, and in my opinion – the most important. People everywhere are concerned about the escalating violence in the Middle East, especially with the rise of ISIS, but they don’t feel empowered to be part of the solution. That is what we are about to change.”
Twyman will be joined by Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders for the event on Jan. 31. Anyone who is interested in his cause is welcome to register on his site.