Ani Zonneveld representing MPV at the E.U. Forum for Fundamental Rights. Details in issue!
How Will You Vote Ennahda? 

As I shared in last month’s newsletter, MPV has joined Alliance of Inclusive Muslims in throwing progressive Muslim support behind the revolutionary initiative of Tunisian President Essebi’s proposal for equal inheritance for women and men. Our open letter to President Essebsi now has 48 organizations signed on. While I was in Tunisia for work, I made a point of meeting up with the President’s spokesperson and Speaker of the Tunisian Assembly, Ms. Saida Ben Garrach, to present the letter and its signatories.

The politics around women’s rights can be depressing. But the good news is that al-Azhar, Algeria, Morocco are all now debating women-related law issues. Nevertheless, the moment of truth will be how the Tunisian, ex-Islamist party Ennahda will vote. Today, Ennahda has claims to be a secular party. If Ennahda is truly a secular party, why then are they against such an egalitarian initiative, and utilizing an argument of an interpretation of Islam that is unjust and outdated?

The Muslim women of the world will be watching how Tunisian politicians vote.

Onward and upward...

Ani Zonneveld
  • President's Letter
  • Media Updates
  • Highlighted Updates
  • Chapter Updates
  • MPV In the News

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Media Updates

The Documentary al-imam about the work of MPV’s president Ani Zonneveld continues to garner viewership and awards. It made the National Geographic Short Film Showcase Special Selection, distributed on all its platforms. You can watch it here.

In partnership with The American Pavilion, IndieWire and San Antonio Winery, KCET, Los Angeles’ largest public television station, celebrated the 19th annual FINE CUT Festival of Films at the Directors Guild of America, announced Winners and Awards Trips to 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Omar Al Dakheel, writer/director of al-Imam, won Best Documentary film, which means that al imam will play at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019! Yes, a documentary about a progressive Muslim movement will be screening at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. 

Dutch TV “Brandpunt+” did a focus on women imams featuring Ani Zonneveld and Seyren Attas of Germany. You can watch the 30 minute episode here.
Highlighted Updates

Upcoming Event!

On October 23, 2018, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT, MPV will co-sponsor a side-event during the U.N. Third Committee at the United Nations Church Center. The panel event is entitled The Universality of Human Rights: A Cultural Rights Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and will feature U.N. Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights Karima Bennoune among other star panelists. The panel discussion will explore the relationship between universal rights and cultural diversity, using a cultural-rights approach. During the event, Ms. Bennoune will also present on her report to the General Assembly and discuss threats to human and cultural rights. For event details, please Omair at

MPV at the U.N.!
The first U.N. Faith Advisory Council of the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion was convened September 21, 2018. This was the first time in the history of the UN system that a diverse group of UN system entities, nominate their faith-based development, humanitarian and policy advocacy partners, and then convene them in an Advisory Capacity, to the whole of the UN system. Representing Muslims for Progressive Values on the Council was Ani Zonneveld.

E.U. Update

On September 27, 2018, Ani Zonneveld spoke on a panel titled “Power of Art in Promoting Belonging,” at the E.U. Forum for Fundamental Rights.  During her panel discussion, Ani spoke about creating a Western Muslim musical spiritual culture as a way to create a new identity as “until that happens, we will always be an ‘other’” At the end of her presentation, Ani illustrated that point with a song.

National Update

Ani Zonneveld will start a national speaking engagement on university campuses in pursuit of promoting critical thinking and progressive Islam. The first stint will be on October 24 in Michigan.
Title: “Minority Muslims in the Media”
Speakers: Ani Zonneveld and Blair Imani
Location: William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center, 1443 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Chapter Updates 


MPV-LA will have a booth at Politicon, also known as the “Coachella of Politics,” at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday October 20 and Sunday, October 21. Come say "hi" and stick around for MPV's panel “al-imam: Misconceptions & Mini Skirts in Islam”. Check out Politicon website for date, time and panelists.  

Early bird Celebration of Life tickets will go on sale October 14, 2018. This year MPV is honoring Ghazala and Khizr Khan, the Goldstar parents of Humayan Khan, with the Badshah Khan Beacon of Truth Award, and with two new awards to be announced. The event will be held on Sunday, February 10 at Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood.

MPV-S.F./Bay Area

MPV-S.F./Bay Area held its monthly evening jumm’a with featured guest Dr. Yarehk Hernandez giving the sermon, bringing about a more holistic Umma that emphasizes human rights and inclusion including women imams, the LGBTQI community, and marginalized Muslim groups. Following the prayer a lively Q&A session followed during the social hour.


In October MPV-Boston organized a volunteer day with a local charity in the area. Members got together on a Saturday morning to serve over 150 homeless individuals. It was a great team-building activity and an opportunity for families with children to attend and help out with educating locals about our progressive advocacy in the area. Consequently, this activity allowed Muslims to communicate with people from all backgrounds, genders, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic statuses. 


Starting on July 6, 2018, MPV-Chicago will be holding Friday Prayers in the Loop area at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP (333 W. Wacker). All are welcome to join, including non-Muslims! Please RSVP by emailing

MPV-New York

In September, MPV-NY, in partnership with Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, hosted a 9/11 Remembrance event. Members from both organizations gathered and prayed for an end to anti-Muslim and religious violence, and for peace and togetherness between the different faith communities. As part of the event, members participated in mediation and reflection.

November 2: MPV-NY will be hosting the 5th Interfaith Couples event! This is an excellent opportunity to mix and mingle over dinner with other like-minded couples who have partners of a different backgrounds. Sign up to attend the event via Facebook event page.

Join MPV-NY chapter Facebook page to stay tune to all upcoming events on!

MPV-DC began the month of September with a brunch in downtown DC. The brunch followed with a film screening of Viceroy’s House. Several members attended the film screening and panel discussion about Playing the Taar, a film about gender equality and social justice in Afghanistan. In the middle of September, MPV-DC organized a group lunch and some members attended a mindful meditation event focused on racial justice. We wrapped up the month with another prayer and halaqa. The halaqa was focused on the prophet Muhammad’s last sermon. There was a lively discussion on the prophet’s last message to the Muslim ummah.

October 6MPV-DC is planning to host a film screening of the documentary al-imam.

October 21: Join MPV-DC for an event at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries titled "Anissa Helou on Food of the Islamic World." 

October 28: MPV-DC will hold another group prayer and halaqa. For full calendar of events, please visit MPV-DC’s meetup page and join us!

MPV Nederlands

On September 21, the International Day Against Islamophobia, the Dutch Collective Against Islamophobia and Discrimination organized a conference on the detrimental effect that current anti-terrorism and anti-radicalisation measures have on Muslim communities in the Netherlands. The Collective's manifesto against Islamophobia was officially presented during the event.

Also on this occasion, a wake up call on the European Day Against Islamophobia was published on the European Observer. The article includes specific recommendations against Islamophobia and warned against the increase in xenophobia and intolerance throughout the EU. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) took the lead on the letter for the European Network Against Islamophobia, and was signed and endorsed by many organisations/activist.

MPV Nederlands will participate in the ground-breaking and innovative European Symposium on Intersectionality as a tool for Equality and Justice in Europe on October 3, organised by the ENAR and CIJ. Furthermore, MPV Nederlands will participate in the seminar on Women’s Rights, Gender and Religion on October 4, organized by the European Network on Religion and Belief.
MPV in the News

In-Sight Publishing | An Interview with Ani Zonneveld | September 22, 2018