October 2016
Quick links:

October's LA Magazine publishes "A World Without Muslims: A look into L.A.’s future in Trump’s anti-Muslim America" by Ani Zonneveld. Read

MPV-Washington DC:
We will be organizing a networking event for young Muslim professionals in DC, and a social event held by Muppies DC entitled, ”Ideas Night with Yasmine Taeb.” Members of MPV-DC will get together to watch the second presidential debate. For details of MPV-DC’s activities, visit their Meetup page.
Coming Up in October

OCT 6—MPV-Australia:

Monash University, Clayton, Australia. Matt Awad and Reem Sweid will give an informative talk on "History And Application Of Rationalism In Schools Of Islam." Sponsored by the Rationalist Association of Monash. For more details visit here.  

OCT 8—MPV-Atlanta:

Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love is a storytelling performance that captures stories and experiences of being at the intersection of Islam and queerness and its relationship to family, lovers, one’s sense of self and relationship with our faith. The stories recounted in Coming Out Muslim range from tales on other people’s theories about where queerness comes from to the gifts of being queer and Muslim, the tension between one’s culture and religion, and love—romantic and spiritual. Coming Out Muslim is both funny and poignant. Sponsored by MPV and Human Rights Campaign. Click here for details.

October 9 & 12, Arizona:

​“al-imam” a documentary directed by Omar al Dakheel, will be screening at the Academy Award-qualifying Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. The documentary is about the work and activism of MPV’s founder and president Ani Zonneveld. For screening details click here.

Progressive News


As of September 28th, 2016 Muslims for Progressive Values in the The Netherlands is an official registered organization, or “stichting!” Congratulations to founders Fenna ten Berg, Linda Doornkamp, and Ani Zonneveld. Info


Attendees and professors conducting #ImamsForShe workshop in     Makhter, Tunisia.

September 25-26, 2016: MPV’s Tunisia sister organization Coexistence presented its first #ImamsForShe workshop in the city of Makhter, Tunisia. The workshop was conducted by scholars of Islam from famous religious centers of learning like Zaitouna University of Tunisia, and centered on educating women, girls, and men about women and girls’ rights in Islam. We are honored by the support we received from the Mayor of Makhtar, Mr. Badreddine Chebbi, who joined in the workshop himself along with members of his community.

The attendees were comprised of youth, teachers, and directors of youth and cultural centers. We salute the dedication of professors and Drs. Iqbal Qarbi, Monia Almi, and Mongia Suahai for their willingness to dive into tough topics for the good of Tunisians. Congratulations to organizers Ramy Ben Othman, Marwa Mansouri, Ashraaf Zalloumii, Omar Gmati, and our local partners Association Cultivons la Paix and Ambassadeurs Maktaris for a successful workshop.
MPV Communities
Komuniti Muslim Universal—Malaysia

On September 24th, MPV’s sister organization Kumuniti Muslim Universal (KMU) held a public forum “Countering Extremist Narratives” with panelists Dina Zaman (IMAN Research), Afiq M. Noor, (IMAN Research), Shafiqah Othman Hamzah (KMU), Adli Zakuan (ABIM Global) and moderated by Ahmad Salami (KMU). This was in conjunction with the Art for Grabs, a two-day event featuring NGO’s and social activists in their efforts to promote human rights via the arts, theatre, forums, exhibitions and many more  activities.
Also in Malaysia—Komuniti Muslim Universal

On September 16, in celebration of Malaysia Day, KMU co-organized WALK OF FAITHS, where religious leaders and members of their communities marched to show solidarity and unity for different faiths in Malaysia. Watch the video, and visit WALK OF FAITHS for more information.
MPV-Philippines joined the University of the Philippines’ Pride March on September 16th.
MPV Los Angeles: #illwalk with you on 9/11

On September 11th, 2016, Muslims for Progressive Values held a solidarity march and rally in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. In the weeks leading up to the march, American Muslims were feeling heavily the weight of Islamophobia due to the shooting deaths of two American Muslims in New York as they were walking home from their Masjid. Many feared walking to their own places of worship, and yet in response to this fear our non-Muslim American allies challenged this violence with the hashtag, #illwalkwithyou. This was a message to their Muslim compatriots that they will combat this fear by walking with them to their Masjids. As Muslims for Progressive Values, we followed this development and decided to put this sentiment into tangible action.  

We took the initiative to mobilize people into physically walking with Muslims in solidarity, and rallying our allies to combat the politics of fear. Ultimately, we challenged Americans of all background to come together to say #illwalkwithyou for solidarity, #illwalkwithyou for unity, #illwalkwithyou for community, and #illwalkwithyou for love. These ideals are at the very heart of what it means to be an American.

We began by gathering in Pershing Square and meeting and greeting one another. We played traditional Sufi Music (Qawwali) over a loudspeaker to set the mood for the walk as we waited for everyone to arrive in the square. Once everyone arrived we began our march to City Hall, and with Hazzan Mike Stein leading us on guitar, we sang songs like “We Shall Overcome,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “Kumbaya” to show the people of Los Angeles that we are a community united in love. Music is very powerful, it goes straight to the hearts of people and can turn enmity into alliance. That is why we sang as we marched, and people waved to us as we walked past, took photos, and stuck their heads out of their apartments to smile in appreciation. When we arrived at the South Steps of City Hall, we rallied and listened to speeches by our community partners and performances of spoken word and music.

We would like to thank our community partners and speakers for participating in this momentous event and helping us shine a light of hope in the City of Angels. Thank you to Keysha Baynes of LA Art Active for her role as MC, thank you to our dear friend Mayor Pro-Tem Ali Sajjad of Artesia for delivering the opening remarks and setting the tone of the rally. Thank you to our Director of Communications, Crystal Keshawarz, for her speech, spoken word, and for rallying everyone to the cause. Thank you to Reverend Kevin Downer of Founders Metropolitan Community Church for his moving and heartfelt words and the members of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), as well as the MCC Ensemble for their participation and songs. Thank you to veteran LA poet, Shaka Jihad, for speaking truth to power. Thank you to Hershl Hartman, Educational Director of The Sholem Community, for coming through for MPV once again and sharing his point of view with all who gathered. Thank you to Rahuldeep Gill, Campus Interfaith Strategist, California Lutheran University, for sharing with us the intricate link between Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and all humanity. May we all come to sip from the chalice of love.

Finally, MPV would like to thank two board members who went out of their way to ensure the success of this event. Momal Iqbal and Jim Ghaznavi, MPV appreciates every step and stride you both made for this momentous occasion! 
Sept. 21st, New York: MPV’s President spoke at Women Confronting Islamophobia Symposium at the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The symposium provided an opportunity for strategic conversation at a time when we are seeing dramatic evidence of how violent rhetoric and actions are being directed at Muslims in the U.S. Women leaders in our communities, including religious leaders and political leaders, have been underrepresented in the public debate of how to respond effectively to the rise of Islamophobic language and action. Participants discussed anti-Islam sentiments in the context of social, political, and educational frameworks. From MPV’s perspective: “Islamophobia didn’t happen out of a vacuum. The Muslim Right bastardize Islam with its misogynistic, homophobic, intolerant and hateful teachings giving Islamophobes the tools to slander Islam”. A video of the symposium will be shared once it becomes available. 

On September 12th, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB1015: The 2016 Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Over 300,000 domestic workers in California now have permanent overtime protections. This victory comes as the result of nearly a decade of organizing and advocacy and we at MPV-LA as member of the Steering Committee of Caring Across Generations am proud to have played a small part in the larger interfaith coalition in helping raise this issue from a moral perspective. A special thanks to Rabbi Jim Kaufman for being the anchor and to MPV members Momal Iqbal and Jim Ghaznavi for representing our community. To learn more about the initiative as we take it across America visit the website
MPV-Washington, DC on Sept. 10

MPV-DC held an interfaith Eid al-Adha dinner in Maryland which was attended by around 30 people from various faith backgrounds.
Also in Washington, DC on Sept. 26: State Department - #RaDCon

MPV’s Ani Zonneveld was a panelist on Religion and LGBTI Rights: Creating Opportunities and Overcoming Obstacles at the State Department’s Religion and Diplomacy Conference (#RaDCon). Pictured from L to R: Ani, Randy Berry (Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, U.S. Dept. of State), moderator Mathew Nosunchuk (Senior Advisor, Office of Religion and Global Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State), Ruth W. Messinger (Global Ambassador and past President, American Jewish World Service) and Rev. Jide Macaulay (Founding Pastor and CEO, House of Rainbow CIC, U.K. and Nigeria).
MPV-Columbus, Ohio:

We held our Eid prayers and feast on Sept 11th. Jean Parmir (left) was our khatib. She spoke about the courage and faith of Mother Hagar, urging us all to follow her example. Our organizer, Frank Parmir, was invited to participate in a rally protesting the shooting of a 13 year old child by our local police department. At the conclusion of the rally three prayers were offered, one Jewish, one Muslim, and one Christian. Many (perhaps most) of those present at the rally heard a recitation of Al Fatiha for the very first time. Here is the translation of the Arabic Frank read to the crowd:
Oh Thou
Source of All and All Receiving
Need of All and All Relieving
Judge of all and All Redeeming
Of You alone are we in awe
On You alone do we rely
Bless us to do Your blessing
Curse us not to Your cursing
MPV-Chicago will continue to have Friday prayers at Lake Street Church (607 Lake St.) in Evanston, IL. Sermons will begin at 1:00 pm. Info

Egyptianstreets.com: Muslims for Progressive Values: Promoting Progressive Islam in Modern Societies More

Bulatlat.com: Groups unite in UP LGBT Pride March More

MPV Atlanta:
Huffington Post: Critics Must Join Progressive Muslims For Effective Change More

Los Angeles Daily News: Where to Find 9/11 Remembrance Events More

89.3 KPCC: #illWalkWithYou: Downtown LA March Spotlights Safety for Muslims More

Broadwayworld.com Los Angeles: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM to Host Pre-Show Conversations at the Taper More

Vice News: Why Are There So Few Resources for Gay Muslims Online? More

And from the Political Right Media Outlets:
Breitbart: ‘Progressive’ Muslims Lead L.A. March Against ‘Hate Crimes’ on 9/11 More

Front Page Magazine: A piece titled “Islam And Liberalism” features a roundtable discussion that explores the question of how “the progressive roots within Islam” can “be strengthened.” More