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May 2010 Newsletter 
In This Issue
MPV Retreat 2010
MPV's Sunday School
Media Watch
Marrying Outside Your Faith?
MPV Ottawa Update
Literary Zikr

MPV Retreat 2010
Announcing Muslims for Progressive Value's Fourth Annual Retreat
"Cultivating a Progressive Environment"
 August 7th - 8th
Atlanta, Georgia
This year's retreat, hosted by Muslims for Progressive Values and the American Islamic Fellowship, will include workshops on the history of progressive Islam, progressive movements in other faith traditions, religious education for Muslim youth, and developing community goals.
We welcome all who are willing to respect, listen and learn from one another with an open, non-discriminating heart. MPV strives to create safe spaces for everyone including LGBTQ individuals, mixed faith couples, and people of various religious and sectarian affiliations. Limited capacity, please register soon.
Click here for registration information and a complete schedule of events. 


 Light of Islam Sunday School

We are currently fundraising for the Light of Islam Sunday School in Los Angeles, CA, scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.

MPV is in the process of developing a holistic curriculum for Muslim children and their families to learn about Islam from an inclusive and tolerant perspective. Students will learn the history, traditions and rituals of Islam in an environment encouraging open inquiry and discussion, in addition to Arabic and Qur'an lessons. Emphasis will be placed on social and environmental consciousness, religious tolerance, compassion, and artistic expression. While the school will be based in Los Angeles, the curriculum will be made available for others who wish to establish a school in their own communities.
All donations, big or small, are much needed. Please contribute online or send a check today. Donations are tax-deductible.

Media we like!

Meet Anni Zola!

My Story 
Anni Zola is a socially conscious, 14 year old virtual idol/adventurer from outer space. Her mission is to inspire 9-year-old children and older to get involved in social and environmental issues both locally and globally. You can learn more about her at, design a water bottle for mass production, create music, and more.

Anni-Zola - My Story - is an enhanced CD incorporating four songs interwoven with three stories in audiobook format, bonus videos and jpeg images. Visit with your kids today!

Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflections on Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Muslims

kugle book

"This pioneering work is the first to tackle this complex and controversial issue from a religious perspective. Scott Kugle critically engages with scripture, law, and tradition to examine the foundations for prevailing attitudes towards homosexuality in Islam. Arguing that Muslims can reconcile themselves with the inevitable diversity in society without compromising their principles, Kugle makes a forceful case for a renewed Islam that accepts all followers, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (OneWorld Publications)."

Visit OneWorld Publications today to read a sample chapter today! Click here.
"Opening Verses of Ar-Rahman"
Saira Malik Rahman
zainah and sara
Muslim Marriage Officiant Available
 for Mixed/Inter-Faith Couples in
Los Angeles area! 
For more information please email

Free Nazia Quazi:

Updates from MPV Ottawa
Here is an update from our newest chapter in Toronto, Canada.
24-year-old Canadian citizen, Nazia Quazi, had been held in
Saudi Arabia since 2007, unable to leave without her father's consent. MPV Ottawa has been working tirelessly on this case
to make the international public aware of Nazia Quazi's circumstances in the hope that public pressure would force the Canadian government, the Saudi authorities, and anyone else involved, to do what they could to obtain Nazia's release.
Finally, we are pleased to report that Nazia was granted an exit visa and has safely left Saudi Arabia.

Shahla Khan-Salter, chair of the MPV Ottawa Chapter,
confirmed this weekend with Bjorn Singhal, Nazia Quazi's boyfriend, that Nazia is in Dubai. He is meeting with her today, invited by her mother to their hotel, along with his own
mother to discuss wedding plans. We await further news from Nazia herself.

We continue to demand answers from our government as to
the reason it allowed a Canadian citizen to waste two years of her life in a foreign country, after numerous pleas for help.
MPV-DC Chair, Kareem ElBayar, is in Dubai at this time. He is
in contact with Canadian media and we are hoping that he will be able to meet with Nazia and Bjorn soon to assist with an interview with CBC today.

While Nazia has safely left Saudi Arabia, this victory has come after far too long. We will continue to advocate for abolishing the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia and for women's self-determination in every aspect of their lives.

For more information and to get involved in our chapter, please visit
Literary Zikr

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Lit - er - ar - y   Zik - r: [lit-uh-rer-ee zi-k-ur] 
1. (Verb) Actively remembering God by engaging and challenging the intellect.
2. (Noun) The belief that critical thinking is essential to spiritual development. 

The Literary Zikr (LZ) project is in full swing! We are in the middle of our second adaptation and are currently fundraising for the third stage of the project. In the following months, we will be adapting Asma Barlas' "Believing Women in Islam."

 Literary Zikr is all about making theological knowledge and analysis of progressive Islamic thought accessible to young, curious and bright minds by: inspiring critical thinking, inviting youth to be a part of the dialogue of what it means to be a Muslim in today's world, and challenging them to address the multifaceted realities of human rights in our time.

Visit the Literary Zikr site at: and please make a contribution today by clicking here.

Your donations will ensure the success of this critical project!
We believe that it is essential for the next generation of 
Muslims to have confidence in their ability to interpret and
apply their faith to the changing realities of our modern world. By increasing accessibility to alternative interpretations of Islamic scripture and thought, we will promote a legacy of positive
and fulfilling Muslim lives. 
Donate Today!

Muslims for Progressive Values is an all-volunteer organization. 100% of your tax-deductible donation is used for our programs, campaigns, and services, including our new anti-domestic violence campaign. Support us today by donating online.