The Oldest Progressive Muslim Organization in America
 
 
        
 
 
Celebration of Life 

We’re only one month into the new year and MPV has been incredibly busy! Plenty of impactful projects are coming to fruition and we are prepared to take on the challenges and bring in the accomplishments of 2019.

Firstly, we are thrilled to announce that Blair Imani is MPV’s official Ambassador (check out the press release). Blair is a long-time activist, author of Modern HERstory, and loyal supporter of MPV’s work. We’re honored to have her on our team!

Next, I am also excited to announce that Muslims for Progressive Values is an official partner of UN Women’s new initiative Equality in Law for Women and Girls by 2030 to be launched on March 20 at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. Links to the launch will be shared in our March newsletter. In the meantime, please save the date.

As you can see, MPV has been working relentlessly to create our vision of an egalitarian future for all. Unfortunately, as human rights defenders, there are numerous adversities to overcome in this good fight. Just as the work of grassroots advocates is too-often forgotten, so too is the work, challenges, of Muslim communities forgotten -- overshadowed by harmful narratives that fuel anti-Islam rhetoric and beliefs.

This is why every year, MPV hosts Celebration of Life, our annual fundraising gala. The event is dedicated to human rights defenders from the Muslim world who have been jailed, tortured, exiled or killed for their advocacy. Throughout the evening we have musical and poetic performances, as well as celebrity guests who lend their voices to read first-person monologues in the persona of the activist being honored.

On February 10, 2019, we will be honoring Sudanese Reformer Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, Iranian Journalist Masih Alinejad, and the many Saudi women in jail. I wanted to take some time to share with you the stories of these brave men and women:
  • Mahmoud Muhammad Taha was a Sudanese engineer and religious leader in the 1980’s. He advocated and preached for an egalitarian and peaceful interpretation of Islam and, specifically, separation of Religion and State in Sudan. These beliefs landed him in jail 5+ times before eventually being executed on accounts of apostasy (although the government refused to say that was their reasoning). Bayadir Mohamed Osman, a Sudanese-American poet and activist, will be reading and performing in his honor.  
  • Masih Alienjad is an Iranian journalist that sparked the recent demonstrations of women removing their mandated hijabs in Iran. She founded #MyStealthyFreedom, an online platform where women could share photos of themselves without their scarves in regions where it is mandated. Due to her activism, the government spread harmful lies about her and she cannot go back to Iran, where much of her family still lives. Nikhol Boosheri, an actress from The Bold Type, will be reading in her honor.
  • The many Saudi women in jail were arrested for their women’s rights activism in Saudi Arabia. A majority of these women advocated against the driving ban and male guardianship laws; a few of these women were arrested for simply posting their support on Facebook. The driving ban has been repealed, but these women are still in jail. India Radfar, MPV-LA member and published poet, will be performing in honor of these women.

It’s important that these stories, struggles, and the people behind them do not go unnoticed. As privileged Americans, Muslims, and American-Muslims, we must fulfill our duty of speaking out for what’s right. I hope the messages of these stories resonate with you and that you can support us at Celebration of Life on Sunday, February 10 at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. Join us to witness, not only history in the making for American-Muslim culture and communities, but also a transformative afternoon, overall.

Onward and upward…







Ani Zonneveld
 
 
 
 
 
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The progressive Muslim voice for human rights and social justice. Thanks for your charitable donation!
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Book 

I, Too, Am America: Stories of 50 Amazing American Muslims 
        by Lekan Oguntoyinbo

They are business tycoons, philanthropists, inventors, scientists, star athletes, prominent entertainers and elected officials. In I, Too, Am America, veteran journalist Lekan Oguntoyinbo introduces us to some inspiring American Muslims, including a self-made billionaire, an astronaut, a Nobel Prize laureate, judges, members of Congress, Olympic medalists, an Oscar-winning actor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright! 

Choose Muslims for Progressive Values as a beneficiary when you shop on smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price to MPV! 
 
 
 
 
 
U.N. Update 

MPV Partners with UN Women 

Muslims for Progressive Values is proud to announce that we are an official partner of UN Women’s new initiative Equality in Law for Women and Girls by 2030 to be launched on March 20 at Commission on the Status of Women in New York. Links to the launch will be share in our March newsletter. In the meantime, please save the date.

 
 
 
 
 
National Updates

Celebration of Life: Feb 10, 2019

On Sunday, February 10 MPV is hosting Celebration of Life at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. Special guests include Blair Imani, Kevin Jennings, Nikhol Boosheri, Frej Fenniche and more. Join us for a transformative afternoon of honoring human rights defenders from the Muslim world. Tickets can be purchased here.

Blair Imani Joins MPV Team

Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is thrilled to announce Blair Imani, activist and author of Modern HERstory, is joining the MPV team as an official Ambassador. Please click here to read the press release.
 
 
 
 
 
Chapter Updates 


MPV-LA

On January 19, 2019, MPV-LA marched at the Women’s March LA. A group of loyal MPVers and friends gathered for the third annual march with creative signs and to stand for shared values of human rights for all..

MPV NY

On January 18, 2019 MPV-NY hosted the first of a series of monthly Friday Jum’a Prayers with a discussion on pertinent matters for the community. January’s discussion was on “Navigating life as a Muslim in the United States.” To participate and get more information, please sign up either through MPV-NY event page or MPV-NY Meetup.

February 15: MPV-NY will be having a Friday Jum’a Prayer and private film screening of “A Jihad for Love” with a discussion afterwards. To get further detail & to attend, please sign up either through MPV-NY event page or MPV-NY Meetup.

MPV-Atlanta

On January 21, MPV-Atlanta participated in the Rustin Lorde Breakfast. The theme for this year was “What Now: Where Will You Be?” as a call-to-action for those working for social change.

February 16: MPV-Atlanta will be partnering with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and their ACCESS/Young Professionals night. The movie screened will be Leona, a drama about a young Jewish woman in love with a non-Jewish man. Tickets are on sale here. You can use discount code YPMPV to receive 50% off a ticket!

Fridays: MPV-Atlanta meets at the Phillip Rush Center for Jum’a from 1:30-3 p.m. The khutbahs are currently working through the 99 names of God.

Sundays: MPV-Atlanta offers a communal prayer at 10:30 a.m. at the Phillip Rush Center and partner with Kaleemi Khanqah Atlanta for dhikr/zikr at 5pm in Midtown. Email kelly@mpvatlanta.org for details.

For other events, please check out our Meetup group.


MPV-Boston

Social acceptance is reaching new heights!!! Women are rising, and social support is becoming more prevalent in times of oppression. We are pleased to announce that on January 19, MPV-Boston participated in the Women's March. In these pivotal times support is pouring from all social and political organizations, and MPV-Boston was no exception! Our support to our sisters, neighbors, aunts, and mothers was necessary to demonstrate the current political apparatus that equality cannot co-exist with particularism: we need to afford women seats on the table, hopefully giving all people the opportunity to debate social issues that are affecting everyone, specially, but not limited to, women of all races, color, religious creed, national origin, sexual orientation, and/or age. We demonstrated that inclusion and/or tolerance is a right that cannot be taken for granted in a democracy.

MPV-DC

MPV-DC began the new year with a new year social on January 5.

 On January 12, MPV-DC hosted its first monthly film screening, showing the film “Paradise Found: The Wonder of Islamic Art.”  

MPV-DC partnered with Veterans Against Hate to participate in the annual wreath removal service at the Arlington National Cemetery on January 19.

On January 26, MPV-DC hosted its monthly prayer and halaqa at the Cleveland Park Public Library.

February 16: MPV-DC will be holding another prayer and halaqa.

February 24: MPV-DC will commemorate Black History Month at its monthly film screening where the film “Prince Among Slaves” will be screened.

MPV San Francisco/Bay Area

On January 19, MPV S.F./Bay Area participated in the third annual Women’s March in San Francisco’s Civic Center. MPV-S.F. had a strong turnout for the march which was coordinated by S.F. co-director Carman Nareau.

February 8: MPV-S.F. will be hosting its second Friday monthly Jum’a. Services will be held at Martin De Porres House of Hospitality, located at 225 Potrero Ave in San Francisco.

This is a great opportunity for folks to meet like-minded progressive sisters and brothers. After the khutba and salat, led by Sabahat Ashraf, everyone is invited to join us for dinner at a local restaurant.

Please check out our Meetup page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
MPV in the News

Ask a Leader podcast with Claudia Shambaugh, February 5, 2019.  

Videos and highlights of the conversation MPV’s Ani Zonneveld had with author Terence Ward of The Wahhabi Code: How the Saudis Spread Extremism Globally, a forum sponsored by The Markaz and Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

Videos: