The Oldest Progressive Muslim Organization in America
Taxing Hate Speech?

The birth of a new year is always a time for reflection, but also preparation. 2018 has been a very dynamic year for MPV — our role in the international stage gained legitimacy at the U.N and in our international projects; we’ve made wonderful partners and attracted big players to our board; we’ve laid strong groundwork through our partnerships with U.S.-based FGM/C and Forced Marriage Working Group coalitions to take our domestic work farther than ever before. MPV sees this as the groundwork for a very productive 2019.

Hate speech in the name of Islam is rampant, destroying innocent lives, fanning mob rage at the slightest hint of offence of Islam and/or Prophet Muhammad. Historically, Prophet Muhammad was known for shrugging off offensive language and murder attempts. Why, then, do pockets of the Muslim world now erupt into violence against anything and anyone deemed offending the Prophet?

We in the Muslim world need to reset the button on “hate speech.” I am pleased to announce that I have taken another step toward this change. Over the past few months, I have collaborated with the UN Agency for the Prevention of Genocide and the right to Protect to produce curriculum for a two-day anti-hate speech workshop. The UN has slotted this workshop to be rolled out in 10 countries between 2019 and 2020.  

MPV’s ongoing initiative, #ImamsForShe, continues to thrive in Burundi: our Burundi partner Imam Khalfan’s radio show La Femme en Islam attracts millions of listeners; #ClubsForShe is empowering young women with Islamic human rights language by educating them about their rights to access education, work, and keep their earnings, and apply the theology into practical usefulness by teaching them entrepreneurial skills. Our groundbreaking work through radio and #ClubsForShe camps have stirred deep ripples — we are getting requests to expand #ImamsForShe to five other African countries! If you would like more updates on #ImamsForShe, sit tight — we are distributing a devoted newsletter issue for #ImamsForShe in January! And if you would like to fund this initiative, please email me.

We agree wholeheartedly with Germany’s proposal to tax Muslims. As the money trails have proven many times, (and as one example, I recommend you read Terence Ward’s book “The Wahhabi Code”), the influence of foreign governments through Islamic institutions have failed Muslims in the West with their promotion against pluralism, which undermines the very democratic systems that have protected the rights of Muslims. Why not use the German’s Christian business model of taxing German Christians for the benefit of Churches? For Muslims in Germany, this will give an even footing for progressive Muslim institutions to flourish, to have equal say at the table in competition of good, universal rights ideas rather than the status quo of conservative institutions serving their foreign masters with their political agendas.  I would go as far as to say, for its own good, and in my opinion, the EU should roll this idea out.

And, how about we flip the idea and tax hate speech?  

I wish you a wonderful 2019!

Onward and upward…

Ani Zonneveld
  • President's Letter
  • Featured Book
  • U.N. Updates
  • National Updates
  • Chapter Updates

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

Light upon Light 
        by Mickey Weems

Light upon Light is the penetrating account of MPV’s Mickey Weems search for meaning. In this book, Weems gives a philosophical, yet sensitive, account on how he comes to light while attempting to reconcile seemingly conflicting aspects of his identity: Muslim, ex-Marine, and gay. In so doing, Weems offers deep reflection on Islamic theology and his own experience. Buy yourself a copy here

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

Commission on the Status of Women  

Please join MPV on March 20, 2019 at the 63rd meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women in the launching of UN Women’s initiative: Equality in Law for Women and Girls by 2030. More details to follow!

MPV’s president, Ani Zonneveld will be present at CSW63 and welcome invitations to speak and contribute during the second week of the Commission.
National Updates

Celebration of Life: Feb 10, 2019

Join our host committee members Momal Iqbal, Kevin Jennings, Nahil Sharkasi-Wang, Ansari Family Foundation, and chair Madana Azad for our 4th Celebration of Life honoring:
  • Ghazala and Khizr Khan with the Badshah Khan Beacon of Truth Award
  • National Geographic and KCET with MPV Media Awards
  • Iranian Masih Alinejad
  • 15 Saudi women human rights defenders in jail
  • Sudanese reformer Mahmoud Mohammed Taha

This is an event that is celebrative and transformative. Come, fill your heart with love, compassion and renew your faith in humanity.

*All the way from Tunisia/Geneva, confirmed presenter is Mr. Frej Fenniche, Former Head of Pacific, Asia, Middle East and North Africa Branch (the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights),   
*Celebrity presenters to be confirmed. Stay tuned!

Congratulate the honorees with an advertisement in our program and/or sponsor the event. Get your sponsorship form here.
Chapter Updates 


MPV-LA held its year-end Holiday Lunch on Saturday, December 15. This year the celebration was held at at Beach Tandoori in Manhattan Beach and everyone enjoyed catching up with each other.
On December 20, Ani moderated a discussion titled “Ending Saudi Extremism" with author of "The Wahhabi Code" Terence Ward, that was sponsored by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC) and The Markaz. Check out the key takeaways as observed by LAWAC.

January 19, 2019: Annual Women’s March Los Angeles. At last year’s march, Ani spoke to an audience of more than 650,000 people. Watch her 5-minute speech here.  We urge you to get your voices heard at the largest march organized by Women’s March Foundation Los Angeles, which is a completely different entity from the New York chapter. Come have fun and join MPV-LA for the 3rd annual Women’s March. Click on our calendar for details.


On Tuesday, December 11, MPV-NY co-sponsored an interfaith event with Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus. The event was an excellent opportunity for open-minded and inclusive discussion for all participants from different faith groups. Participants came together and reflect on what the holiday season means to all and to pray for peace in 2019.

On January 18: MPV-NY will be hosting the first of a series of monthly Friday Jum'a Prayers. To participate and get more information, please sign up either through MPV-NY  event page or MPV-NY Meetup.


On December 14, MPV-Atlanta had its first annual Big, Fat Muslim Christmas Party. The celebration included decorating gingerbread prayer rugs, singing karaoke, eating, and fellowshipping with community members, family and friends.

Fridays, MPV-Atlanta has Jum’a from 1:30-3:00 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center. On Sundays there is a communal prayer at 10:30 a.m.


MPV-Boston announces its new local board members. MPV-Boston co-founder Kandeel will also co-chair the LGBTQ+ committee along with Montana. The interfaith committee chair is Abdul Majeed with MPV-Boston co-founder Aicha chairing the gender equality committee supporting women, trans and non-binary members of MPV-Boston. With years of experience, Nadia chairs the fundraising committee and with these new volunteers in place the MPV-Boston Board is very excited for 2019!


On Saturday, December 8, MPV-DC held a brunch at Bread & Chocolate in DC.  

On Christmas day, members of MPV-DC joined other interfaith groups for a volunteering event with the Holiday Project.  This event encompassed an afternoon of ward visits and Christmas caroling at the Washington Hospital Center.

January 5: MPV-DC will be hosting a new year social at Maggiano’s in Chevy Chase.
January 12: MPV-DC will be hosting its monthly film screening at the Cleveland Park Library. The film is titled “Paradise Found: The Wonder of Islamic Art.”
January 26: MPV-DC will be hosting its first monthly prayer/halaqa of the new year.  This event will also take place at the Cleveland Park Library.

MPV Nederland

MPV Nederland is looking back on a great year in which much was accomplished, despite funding struggles. Over 2018, MPV Nederland has built great partnerships and implemented projects like National Project against Islamophobia (funded by ENAR) and are looking forward to the new year. Due to funding cuts, MPV Nederland will use the start of the new year to evaluate its activities and focus for the coming year. Look for updates in upcoming issues!