May Already?!!

At MPV, we are always finding creative and effective ways to resolve old issues with new ideas. Last month, we partnered with Tunisian and Egyptian human-rights experts, scholars of Islam, and leadership trainers in an effort to begin  transforming individual belief systems from exclusive and tribal to one of inclusive and universal. I won’t say much more now, but in the coming months, we will have a product that we believe will reframe Islam in universal human rights language. I can already anticipate the push back!

The hot topic in America right now is immigration, with an extra focus on Muslims. This issue received special attention this past month at the Tribeca Festival through a virtual-reality project called Terminal 3. Using the power of virtual reality, Terminal 3 allowed attendees to play the role of an immigration officer and interview a Muslim immigrant. The answers to the questions were pre-recorded and shown via hologram through virtual reality glasses.  After interviewing the immigrant, attendees then decide whether to permit or detain him or her. I got the chance to be one of these Muslim immigrants. The exhibit was designed so that I would meet the “officers” as they exited. Having gone through several “immigration officers” the first eye contact I had with them was very emotional; many shook my hands warmly, some gave me bear hugs. All but one of the “officers”-- a Muslim! -- let me into America. You can learn more about the project on this BBC interview.  

Finally, our 2017 Annual Report is out! This year’s issue is packed with news of what MPV and our partner organizations accomplished in 2017. I couldn’t be prouder. Of course, our work is only possible with financial support form our funders — the ARCUS Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, Carpenter Foundation, A&A Foundation — our awesome Board members, the MPV team, our many supporters, and our community members. Thank you!

To those fasting during the month of Ramadan, we wish you a blessed month.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Onward and upward...

Ani Zonneveld
  • President's Letter
  • Featured Book​​​​​​​
  • Upcoming Event
  • Chapter Updates
  • MPV In the News

The progressive Muslim voice for human rights and social justice. Thanks for your charitable donation!
Featured Book:
The Perplexity of a Muslim Woman: Over Inheritance, Marriage, and Homosexuality 

In this book, Tunisian feminist scholar Olfa Youssef argues that only God knows the Qur’an’s true meaning. Her job as a Muslim female scholar is to raise questions over those human interpretations that many Muslim societies mistake for divine will by using the methodology of modern scholars in the fields of Arabic lexicography, linguistics, and psychoanalysis. Youssef investigates the rulings about inheritance, marriage, and homosexuality in the Qur’anic text itself, and compares them with the interpretations provided by male Muslim theologians and legal scholars from medieval times to the present.

Choose Muslims for Progressive Values as a beneficiary when you shop on and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price to MPV.
Upcoming Events:       At the UN in Geneva:
MPV, in partnership with the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and Cultural Rights, and the Alliance of Inclusive Muslims, is organizing a day long event entitled Symposium on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs, Cultural Rights and Women: Promoting a Gendered Perspective on Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion. We thank the Special Rapporteurs Ahmed Shaheed and Karima Bennoune for being such allies and for working their schedules to accommodate us, all the Missions for their support and Tunisian Ambassador Walid Doudech.

Date: May 23, 2018        Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Location:Room XIV, Palais des Nations

Inclusive Islam Workshops:
These workshops are coming to four cities - Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, and a non-MPV city, Dearborn. To RSVP for Dearborn please click here. The workshop features Islamic scholar and theologian from France, Imam Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed.

Chapter Updates


On Friday, May 18th MPV-LA is Co-sponsoring JQ International’s 5th Annual Iftar Shabbat. We are honored to have guest speakers who will share their stories as queer & ally Muslims. A Halal/Kosher-catered meal provided by Ta'eem Grill will be served. Come, mingle, eat and hear the stories of our community as we celebrate Shabbat and Iftar together as our community expands and promotes even greater inclusion.

On Saturday, May 19th MPV-LA will be hosting our first MPV Potluck Iftar of this year’s Ramadan at Maisa’s home. Please RSVP here if you are interested in joining us. The address will be shared via e-mail only after RSVP.
On May 27th, MPV-LA will be hosting another joint Iftar with “Muslim Christian Interfaith Families” and MCC United Church of Christ at the United Church of Christ location in the Valley. Stay tuned on our Meetup and Facebook pages for further details!  
On June 10th, MPV will participate in West Hollywood’s Pride Parade. If all goes according to plan, we should have ourselves an MPV float with the Bangladeshi techno group Pink Turban Multibandi. Join us!


We congratulate MPV Secretary and Director of MPV-Atlanta Kelly Wentworth for her appointment to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ LGBTQI Advisory Board! Read more about the appointment here.

MPV-Atlanta took part in a panel on faith and sexuality at Kennesaw State University in March - The video of the event was released in April and can be seen here.

MPV-Atlanta meets weekly at the Phillip Rush Center (1530 Dekalb Ave A, Atlanta, GA 30307) for jum'a on Fridays from 1:30-3:00 pm, and for communal prayers on Sundays from 10:30-11:30 am. Please e-mail for more details.

May 22: To attend the Inclusive Islam Workshop: Is LGBTQI Halal? in Atlanta please reserve your spot here

May 18-19: MPV-Atlanta is planning a Ramadan retreat to start the month in community. Please e-mail to help plan or to find out more details.

In March of 2018, MPV Boston set up its Facebook group and added over 70 members to its page. If you’re in Boston and subscribe to our progressive values, join our FB page!

May 30th, May 31st: MPV-Chicago will be holding a two-day Inclusive Islam Workshop: Is LGBTQI Halal? Both events will be held with our partner the Chicago Theological Seminary (1407 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637), is free and open to the public. Please RSVP through these links for May 30th and May 31st.

MPV-Chicago will also be holding its next Friday prayer on May 11th at 1:00 PM (333 West Wacker Drive Suite 1900 Chicago, IL 60606). Please RSVP by e-mailing

MPV-DC continues to hold bi-weekly prayer at Emergence Community Arts Collective. Beginning June, MPV-DC will move its prayer location to the DC Public Libraries.

May 12: MPV-DC members are meeting for dinner at Raouche Cafe in Virginia.  

May 25: MPV-DC is hosting its annual iftar dinner at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) headquarters. Prior to the iftar, MPV-DC will host the first workshop in the Inclusive Islam Series: Is LGBTQI Halal?, also at the HRC building.

Please click here for more information about MPV-DC events.

MPV-New York

June 7th: MPV-NY is once again partnering with The LGBT Community Center in New York City for the LGBTQ Community Iftar. Stay tune for further details and other community events on MPV-NY Facebook Page.
MPV in the News

Pew Research Center interviews American Muslims including MPV’s Yasmin Kadir.

Along with the documentary film, Pew Research also published a multimedia data essay titled "Muslims in America". It looks at how Muslim immigrants and those born in the U.S. see life differently. You can find the data essay here.

Find out how Muslims for Progressive Values inclusive readings of Islamic scriptures provided Raiful the basis to starting a Delhi University Queer Collective, India.