Here’s the surprise announcement that I have been teasing you about. For many months a few of us have been planning a global convening of progressive Muslim organizations and like-minded individuals from the Muslim world and the West for the purpose of officially forming an umbrella organization - Alliance of Inclusive Muslims or AIM.
Meeting at a beautiful resort in Hammamet, Tunisia, member organizations from Latin America to Malaysia gathered to approve AIM’s bylaws and constitution, draft a three-year strategic plan, and elect the following individuals to its Board of Directors:
Chair: Mr. Aizat Shamsuddin (Malaysia)
Vice-Chair: Ms. Fenna ten Berge (The Netherlands)
Secretary: Ms. Supna Zaidi (U.S.A.)
Deputy Secretary: Mr. Bukuru Elie (Burundi)
Treasurer: Ms. Ani Zonneveld (U.S.A.)
Joining as Adviser to the Board is Mr. Frej Fenniche, the recently retired Chief of Asia, Pacific, Middle East and North Africa Branch at the U.N. office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, based in Geneva, who played a helpful role in steering the sessions resulting in the productive outcomes that we had.
What is AIM?
AIM is an umbrella organization that is founded to galvanize progressive Muslim organizations from around the world into action against the structural violences that are imposed in the name of Islam. AIM is founded on three principles:
1. Human Rights and Dignity for All: Advocating for the recognition of each individual’s
equal worth in society and equal protection under the law.
2. Freedom of Expression: Advocating for freedom of expression, thought, and conscience, and freedom of dissent. No one should be prosecuted, imprisoned, or detained for political, journalistic, artistic, social, or religious expression.
3. Freedom of and from Religion and Belief: Advocating to uphold the Qur’anic mandate “let there be no compulsion in religion” (Q2:256), and that freedom of conscience is not only essential to all human societies but integral to the Qur’anic worldview of humanity.
You can take action to uphold these three principles by taking the AIM pledge on MPV’s Website!
Why is AIM Necessary?
We Muslims are sick and tired of radicalism, of feeling ineffectiveness because of our disjointed efforts in countering this menace; of violence against women, and the myriad of human rights abuses perpetrated in the name of Islam. With this coalition, we hope to limit duplication of scarce resources, attain a shared mission and vision, and that collectively, we stand a better chance of securing funding.
I have seen many grassroots Muslim organizations doing remarkable work with extremely limited funding. They often do not meet the steep criteria of donors, not to mention the capacity to even apply. AIM will be the body to facilitate and administer funding for its member organizations.
We want to thank U.N. Women for partnering with MPV in this endeavour, for its funding of the travel expenses of attendees.
More information on AIM will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.
Onward and a leap upwards...