Another Revolution in Tunisia will Spark A Global Shift 

Systemic injustices — oppression, inequity, and income disparity — do not make for a sustainable system. On December 17, 2010, a poor young Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, fell victim to this system and set himself on fire. This fire spread through the people of Tunisia to the Arab world, and melted away their oppressors. Now, in 2018, Tunisia is the only Arab country that still bears the revolutionary flame of democracy and equality.

The revolution continues with a report published by Tunisian Individual Freedoms and Equality Committee (COLIBE). COLIBE was formed at the initiative of the President of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi, in August 2017 to prepare a reform project. In its final report, published June 8, COLIBE presented a list of recommendations for several radical reforms, namely equal inheritance for women and men, abolishing capital punishment and decriminalization of homosexuality.

We are excited to see the Tunisian spirit of human rights, as exemplified in its legislation for the right to vote for women, right to file for divorce, reproductive rights and the abolishment of polygamy in 1957 lives on.  With this report, we hope Tunisia will set off another chain of positive effects. Just imagine what good would come out of revising inheritance laws to allow Muslim women to inherit their due? If these women can inherit property, then they can use that property as collateral for loans that can kick start businesses and create employment opportunities for the community.  Their immediate family will benefit from higher income, education, and quality of life. And when women hold the purse, it is better managed in benefit of their families. That’s not just my opinion -- it’s proven statistics.

Of course, where there is progress, there is resistance. Islamists are attacking the recommendations in COLIBE’s report as "un-Islamic" with death threats to committee members. These threats attempt to preserve a model of family and economics that is rooted in the social circumstances of 7th century Arabia; the times have changed, and our understanding of the Qur’anic verse “man is the sole-breadwinner, and where women can keep their income for themselves” does not match today’s reality. In most instance, families need two incomes to make ends meet. Women are working full-time, contributing to family needs, supporting extended families, and in some instances are the sole breadwinner.  Why, then, would they not deserve equal inheritance? If Islam is indeed about justice and equality, as Islamists often proclaim, then equal inheritance is fundamentally Islamic.

Muslim women all over the world are counting on the Tunisian assembly to legislate this into law. Meanwhile, as a member of the umbrella organization Alliance of Inclusive Muslims, we are throwing our support behind this revolutionary initiative with an open letter. It would be darn nice if those 126 prominent authorities of Islam who challenged ISIS’ Baghdadi’s human rights abuses in an open letter, applied what they preach, stepped up, and threw in their support too!

Onward and upward...




Ani Zonneveld
 
 
 
 
 
  • President's Letter
  • Highlighted Events
  • Chapter Updates
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Highlighted Events


The documentary al-imam has  been picked up by FINE CUT Festival of Films premiering on Public TV in Los Angeles, KCET on Wednesday, September 26 and Dutch TV “Brandpunt+” interviewed Ani for a September broadcast. Plenty of good news!

On 27 September, as board member and founder of Alliance of Inclusive Muslims, Ani Zonneveld will be on a panel debate entitled “The Power of Art in Promoting Belonging”, on at 10:30 a.m. in Kesselhaus (room KH1) at European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Sept 25-27. Click here for more information about the conference.
  
Save The Date: It’s time for Celebration of Life again! This coming year we are honoring Khizr and Ghazala Khan with the Beacon of Truth award on Feb 10, 2019 at Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. You can’t miss this spectacular event of honoring Muslim human rights defenders from around the world!

 
 
 
 
 
Chapter Updates 

MPV-LA

On Saturday, September 15, Ani Zonneveld will be receiving an award from the
Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains at their annual fundraiser dinner. See the link for tickets and come join other like-minded individuals who are fighting for progressive causes!

  
MPV-S.F./Bay Area

On August 13,  MPV local board member Sabahat Ashraf was part of an interfaith LGBTQI panel in Fremont, CA addressing the issue of supporting young people in the LGBTQI community.

On August 17 and 18, local board member Naji Ali officiated two interfaith marriages. At the conclusion of the second ceremony, the groom came to Naji and said: “I looked for so long for an Imam that was willing to marry me and my fiancée, but no one was willing to let us get married in the masjid because she is Christian. Thank you for being willing to do this.”

Upcoming in San Francisco and the Bay Area!

September 21: MPV S.F./Bay Area will be holding another Jumm'a at Martin De Porres. Jumm'a will feature guest speaker Dr. Yarehk Hernandez. Please go to the meetup page for more information. All are welcome!

MPV-Boston

In August, MPV- Boston held its first Eid Al-Adha family picnic day. This event was held at Boston commons and all members brought their specialty dish to share. The evening started with Sister Hayat Imam giving the history of sacrifices from Prophet Abraham (PBUH) and how it could related to all of us in our lifetime of multiple sacrifices. Chapter leaders gave brief information about upcoming events. It was the perfect Eid Al-Adha, with a growing and diverse group of progressive Muslims joining us with each meeting. Join the Boston community here.  

MPV-Chicago

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 chicago.mpv@gmail.com.

MPV-Atlanta

MPV-Atlanta celebrated Eid Al-Adha with a jumm’a celebration and a lunch party with several friends from our community; continued its participation on the City of Atlanta LGBQI Advisory Board. Representing member, Kelly Wentworth, has joined the LGBTQI Youth and LGBTQI Economic & Community Development working groups to further the work and mission of MPV.

MPV-Atlanta has also participated as part of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival selection committee. Board member, Kelly Wentworth, has been representing MPV to bring a greater variety of movies that represent MPV interests, such as topics relating to human rights, critical thinking, and topics showing the diversity of the films shown through the festival through representation of women, LGBTQI subjects, and Muslim, Palestinian and Arab subjects, which represent part of the mission of the film festival.

Upcoming in Atlanta!
MPV-Atlanta will have representation at Black Gay Pride in Atlanta during the Labor Day weekend. Part of the khutbah for the Labor Day weekend highlighted black, LGBTQI Muslim accomplishments in the MPV and friend communities.

MPV-Atlanta will celebrate an upcoming wedding on Friday, September 28 directly after jumm’a. Please come and celebrate the momentous occasion with our community.

MPV-Atlanta hosts jumm’a on Fridays from 1:30-3pm  and a communal prayer/discussion group on Sundays at 10:30am at The Phillip Rush Center - 1530 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.

There is also a dhikr group hosted by MPV-Atlanta friend group Kaleemi Khanqah of Atlanta on Sundays in midtown. Please come as you are and be a part of us. Email kelly@mpvatlanta.org for more details.

MPV-DC
 
In August, MPV-DC members met for prayer/halaqa, kayaking and lunch, and a film screening.  In September, MPV-DC members will continue to meet for prayer/halaqa along with a film screening of Viceroy’s House, brunch, and a meditation event. For full calendar of events, please visit MPV-DC’s meetup page and join us!
 
 
 
 
 
MPV in the News