Dr. Bilal Ansari, Other Hartford Seminary Community Members, Join Fast Against Police Brutality

Picture of African-American man with friendly smile in Islamic dress

Bilal Ansari, Faculty Associate for Muslim Pastoral Theology, was pictured on the front page of the printed version of The Hartford Courant on Tuesday, June 9, his head bowed. Also pictured were his wife, Colleen Keyes, a Hartford Seminary corporator and adjunct faculty member, and Rabbi Herb Brockman, a former Hartford Seminary Trustee.

They were among an interfaith group of religious leaders who are occupying the steps of the state Capitol and pledging to fast from sunup to sundown until the state legislature is called back into session to address police brutality and abolition.

“Gov. Lamont, it is time to open the session and get the people’s business done,” said Bishop John Selders, another Hartford Seminary corporator whose Amistad Church meets in the Seminary’s chapel.

Selder’s Moral Monday, a social justice and civil rights coalition, organized the fast. Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith leaders joined him.

“Until the legislature responds completely and wholly to our ask, we will fast,” Dr. Ansari told The Courant. “If we don’t fast, we won’t last. If we don’t pray, we won’t stay.” The newspaper used his quote for its main headline: If We Don’t Fast, We Won’t Last.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office could not give a definite timeline for when the legislature might be called into a special session but said it’s the “governor’s intent” to call that session soon.


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