MPV's Board of Trustees
November 2017
Entering Our 11th Year

President’s Note:

With the launching of the global umbrella organization Alliance of Inclusive Muslims (AIM) out of the way, the month of October was dedicated to MPV matters - and important ones, at that. We held our annual Board meeting in New York, for the purpose of reassessing our mission, vision, accomplishments and goals. As the oldest and largest progressive Muslim organization in America, our newly revamped Strategic Plan for 2018-2020 reflects our maturity as we enter the second decade of our lifespan. 

In addition, here are some of the highlights of our work at the United Nations in New York this October:

MPV joined numerous other civil society organizations as a member of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) Civil Society Collaboration Committee, which is responsible for reviewing civil society proposals for as part of a process to strengthen the UNDS to be better apt at facilitating the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets adopted in 2015. MPV’s responsibility on the Committee, in addition to reviewing proposal submissions and identifying key emerging themes related to sustainable development, will be to ensure that progressive and inclusive faith based organizations are considered as relevant stakeholders in sustainable development discourse. MPV will also contribute to a synthesis report to be drafted by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service that will collate and circulate the responses collected from this process in an official UN report.
Ethics of Reciprocity Event:
On 26 October, MPV, in collaboration with several LGBTI and faith-based organizations, including International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), Global Interfaith Network for People of All Sexes, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (GIN-SSOGIE), SoulForce, and Political Research Associates, co-organized a powerful multifaith event at UNHQ in New York entitled the “Ethics of Reciprocity”. The event featured numerous LGBTI faith leaders and activists from Samoa to Tajikistan to Brazil, who each delivered moving testimonies detailing the violence and exclusion they have experienced because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and how they have reclaimed religious narratives that are often weaponized against LGBTI people to justify such violence and exclusion. Representatives of UN Member States, Special Rapporteurs and other independent human rights experts, several civil society representatives, and even conservative religious right actors attended and engaged in dialogue regarding steps that can be taken to finally eliminate religious violence against LGBTI people across the world.
Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights' Panel: 
Also on 26 October, MPV in collaboration with the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), International Humanist and Ethical Union, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and as a member of the UN Faith and Feminism Working Group, co-sponsored a compelling side event featuring Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights Dr. Karima Bennoune presenting main themes and key messages from her report delivered to the UN General Assembly earlier in October. Her report focused on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women, and provides recommendations to states regarding how to broadly create and sustain cultures of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The panel featured cultural rights activists and women’s human rights defenders from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Poland, and the United States.
Lastly, our annual Celebration of Life is confirmed for February 4th, 2018, 5:00 - 7:00 pm in Los Angeles at CBS Studios, our corporate sponsor. This year we will be honoring Nadia Anjuman (Afghan, killed for advocating for girls’ schooling) Xulhaz Mannan (Bangladeshi, killed for LGBTQI advocacy), Elham Arab (persecuted Iranian model), and Sheikh Hamza Congera (Burundi, killed for advocate for women and girls’ rights).
As the year comes to an end, we ask you to support our work with a monthly or annual donation. Please be generous.
Onward and upwards…

Ani Zonneveld
  • President's Letter
  • November Update
  • MPV In the News

The progressive Muslim voice for human rights and social justice. Thanks for your charitable donation!
November Update 


December 6, 2017, Ani Zonneveld will be travelling to Morocco to attend the Rabat+5 conference on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that incites discrimination, hostility or violence. As a Board member of AIM, and founder of MPV, Ani will highlight works implemented by member organizations and allies in advancing Freedom of Religion and Belief.

MPV-Los Angeles

November 20th:  MPV is hosting a private luncheon for funders, donors, friends and allies to share this past year's successes, our ongoing projects and our upcoming strategic directions.

Joining President and Founder, Ani Zonneveld, is Board Trustee Michael Alexander sponsored by California Community Foundation. We personally welcome you to come learn about the extensive work MPV is doing, both nationally and abroad, pertaining to:
  • Challenging human rights abuses in the name of Islam
  • Counter-extremism
  • The global umbrella organization MPV recently launched
  • Social justice advocacy in advancing women's and LGBTQI rights and
  • On freedom of expression and of conscience

If you’re in Los Angeles and interested in attending, please write to


November 16, 2017: Ani Zonneveld will be speaking at The Glastonbury Abbey lecture series, established in the Fall of 1999 to foster interfaith dialog under the overall theme of “Listening to Other  Voices.” The program starts at 7:15 pm and the talk is titled: The Pursuit of Justice  in Islam and Understanding How It Got Away, touching on “how did the concepts of mercy and justice, the very essence of the Quran,  become distorted and unfulfilled by many of its followers?”, “what is the ethics of Sharia and the human rights language of Islam?” As a treat, the Monks of Glastonbury Abbey will join Ani in a song.

If you’re interested in attending, please visit The Glastonbury Abbey website for further details.

November 20th, 2017: The 11 am song and talk at Community Church of Boston titled “What is Progressive Islam” will define the alternative and traditional interpretations of Islam in contrast to the current belief system. The issue of Sharia law, women, LGBT rights, apostasy, music, hijab, women imam and all the hot topics will be covered. Ani’s talk will cover the problems, the solutions and the work she’s doing in the U.S., the U.N. and globally.

For more information please visit the Church website for details.
MPV-Atlanta celebrated their 10th anniversary on October 19 with representatives from the Atlanta Pride community.

MPV-Atlanta gathers every Friday for Jum'a (discussion, action and prayer) from 1:30-3pm at the Phillip Rush Center (1530 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307) in the Sheffield Lounge. Please email to RSVP.
MPV-S.F./Bay Area
On October 21st members of MPV-S.F. joined in a Diwali celebration at The S.F. Sikh Temple in El Sobrante, CA. Members spoke with the leader of the Sikh Student Association of The University of California about an interfaith dialogue to be held on the campus with the student organization.

Upcoming Potluck: MPV-S.F./Bay Area will be holding a pre-Thanksgiving potluck on November 18th from 6 PM -9:30 PM. MPV-S.F./Bay Area president Naji Ali will be hosting. Please bring a side dish or a non-alcoholic drink, if you are able, though no will be turned away for lack of food. For more info please contact Naji at 415-745-4955.

MPV Nederland will held their Inclusive Jum’a on November 3, 2017. They will hold their next inclusive Jum'a on December 15, 2017. 
MPV-Washington DC

A bi-weekly prayer service on Saturdays beginning in November at the Emergence Community Arts Collective in DC.

On November 7, 2017, MPV-DC hosted an event featuring Heidi Naguib, the creator of Muslim American Faces.

November 20, 2017: MPV-DC is participating in an International Transgender Day of Remembrance event in Maryland and MPV-DC member Nabeel Kirmani will be speaking and reciting a prayer at the event.
MPV in the News

Nearly 1,300 faith leaders representing 500,000 congregants oppose anti-LGBTQ religious exemptions in Supreme Court case: 
“Clergy Agree Religious Beliefs Should Not Give Business Owners a License to Discriminate”
"More than 85 national religious leaders signed the brief including the leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Alliance of Baptists, Muslims for Progressive Values, and Reconstructionist Judaism. The presidents of ten seminaries and the leaders of 40 religious organizations also signed the brief."