A Middle East on fire, as the Islamic State burns and slashes its way toward its goal of a global Caliphate.
A divided field of GOP presidential candidates, who debate the best method to confront the threat. Airstrikes. Economic damage. “Boots on the ground.”
The world waits for an answer.
One man has found it.
Oregon folk singer James Twyman plans to travel to Syria next week to confront the mass-murdering terrorist group — with songs of peace.
The Portland native and self-described “Peace Troubadour” will perform a concert at a venue in ISIS-controlled territory in Syria on January 31, according to Fox News. Armed with nothing more than a guitar and a prayer, Twyman believes that focusing on positivity can held put an end to the devastating bloodshed.
“It’s going to be pretty powerful,” the singer told Fox. “When people come together and focus on something in a positive way… there’s scientific evidence that it can change things for the better.”
Twyman reportedly plans to depart for Israel on January 20. From there, he’ll cross over the country’s northern border with Syria, and meet with contacts who are helping to plan the peace concert. Twyman says that Christian, Islamic and Jewish leaders — and more than 2,500 Tibetan monks — will join with him as he sings song infused with the traditional prayers of each of the three religions.
The singer is also simultaneously organizing a worldwide prayer vigil, to be conducted on the day he performs in Syria.
“With all the violence, with all the fear that has been generated, I think the only answer is for us to focus on love and compassion and peace,” the singer told Portland Fox affiliate KPTV. “And so to do something as crazy as going over there — it hopefully inspires people.”
Twyman claims that a similar prayer event he helped organize in 1999 during Desert Storm drew roughly 2 million participants, who helped stave off air strikes by focusing their prayers “at the same moment [they] were ordered to begin.”
The singer has reportedly ignored repeated warnings from the State Department advising him not to take the trip: “No part of Syria should be considered safe from violence,” reads the agency’s longstanding travel warning for American citizens.
Still, Twyman hopes that his extensive catalog of music, including songs like “Let’s Put an End to War” and “God Has No Religion,” will help inspire peace and unity in the traditionally sadistic and bloodthirsty terrorist group.
“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,” he said on his website. “That is what we are about to change.”