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Circles of Nonviolence / Community

Founder’s Background

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Founder’s Background

In November of 2012 Moji Agha (a.k.a. Mojtaba Aghamohammadi) founded the Mossadegh Legacy Institute (MLI), and the Circles Movement of Movements eventually evolved out of the MLI as an independent initiative--outlined in the “America for Nonviolence” page in the MLI's website.

Since the beginning, Moji has gone to extreme pains to make sure that the "theory-praxis" process of this "post-modern" work would be an evolutionary product of actual movement-building practice--emerging from his traveling the U.S. (in his "still-running NV Mobile" nonviolence car) since May of 2013.

Brother Moji is an Iranian-American Sufi "monk" (dervish) with a life-long vow of poverty and service. He is a bilingual poet and author of numerous essays, as well as a book on how to quit smoking naturally. To dedicate his life to full-time "civility" work, he abandoned well over two decades ago a promising clinical and academic career, shifting his extensive education and experience to cultural psychology and conflict resolution.

The civility initiatives brother Moji has founded (in peace, social justice, democracy, human rights, interfaith dialogue, and the environment) include a comprehensive list of projects and campaigns. However, when a struggle/project has faced obstacles (or has had to be stopped), rather than giving up he has started another one, because (as he says) "all these struggles are deeply inter-related."

Apart from the initiatives mentioned above, here is the list of brother Moji's projects since 9/11, including their year(s) of initiation:
 

  • Universal Coalition for Interfaith and Intercultural Knowledge and Action (Founded purposefully on September 11, 2002);
     
  • Around the Clock Interfaith Vigil to Stop Violence (Started in March 2003--protesting the "Iraq War"); Re-named as Simple Peace Vigil in 2008. This 24/7 vigil is still on-going, and January 26, 2017 marked  VIGIL DAY 5,060, so far with over 19,000 vigilers around the world;
     
  • Project on Culture and Conflict (University of Arizona) and the Iran Peace Project (2005/2006);
     
  • International Institute to Study Climate Change in the Islamic World (2007/2008);
     
  • Think Tent of Tucson (Part of the Occupy Movement--2011/2012);
     
  • Active participation in the "Green Movement" of Iran (2009 to 2012);
     
  • Truth and Reconciliation Process, Iran (2012--Continuation of the Green Movement);
     
  • Mossadegh Awareness Begets American Nonviolence Speaking Tour of the U.S. (Started in May 2013--An independent project of the Mossadegh Legacy Institute--2012);
     
  • And finally, the following four self-explanatory petitions, of which Prof. Noam Chomsky and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have been  initial signers: 

 

  1. Gandhi/Mossadegh Nobel Peace Prize Petition (A project of the Mossadegh Legacy Institute--2012/2013); 
     
  2. Supporting Iran's Nuclear Agreement Petition (2015); 
     
  3. Solidarity with the Climate Change Encyclical by Pope Francis Petition (2015); and, 
     
  4. Iran/Saudi Arabia Peace Petition (2016).
     

An important aspect of brother Moji Agha's “civility” activism is tied to him being a Muslim (Sufi) from the Middle East. And defying stereotypes, he (an Iranian-American Muslim male) happens to be building nonviolence, educating folks about Islamic nonviolence in the process; for example, founding Abraham's Peace Tent--envisioned for the rural areas of the U.S. 

And all this at a time when the violent extremism of the likes of ISIS seems to be appreciated by Islamophobic nativist extremists like Donald Trump--given that both sides need each other as “enemy.” 

In this dire context, such interfaith peace and human rights activism exposes brother Moji even to the physical risks of savage ignorance from both sides; so all his civility-building efforts need to be joined, and supported.

 


 

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