Muslims for Progressive Values
A Community Where You Can Be Yourself and Be Muslim 
December 2013

MPV's Muslim Women's Rights Director is a Straight Arab Man
Mohamad Bassam Al-Jazairi


Arab women were the first to champion the Arab Revolution but sadly, what we see instead are Arab women un-represented in governement, and their rights far from being addressed. Sexual assaults go unpunished and discriminatory laws have gone from bad to worse, not to mention trafficking and child/forced marriages. 


We also see extremism whether religious or otherwise making in-roads when what we had hoped for is an Islam that is balanced, inclusive and just. We know many Arabs are jailed for expressing an unpopular thought. We also know that this form of injustice is an insult to the values of Islam.  


As such we believe it is time for MPV to establish itself in the Arab world. It is time we promote an Islam that is inclusive, compassionate and above the fray of sectarianism, a man-made construct to empower the powerful. 


People are fed up and are seeking for an Islam that is relatable to the 21st Century. Quran 81:27 states "This is a message for all people." 


We at MPV believe it is time we double down our message. We have recently appointed Mohamad Bassam AlJazairi as Muslim Women's Rights Director with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. That's right, a straight Arab man in the position of Muslim Women's Rights. 


Bassam was born and raised in Damascus, Syria and is a new immigrant to the United States. He graduated with a B.A in Literature and Human Sci-ences, from Damascus University. Surrounded by sisters, his awareness for the need of women's rights in Islam started at a very young age. According to Bassam, "with the 'Arab Spring' comes an opportune moment to change in the way we think, and therefore live".




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VerbalEyze Press, in partnership with MPV-USA, is currently looking for submissions for an anthology entitled "That Long Journey into Yourself", which is a special Muslim voices edition of an ongoing young  writers anthology series. Submissions from writers between the ages of 13 to 22 can submit poetry, short stories, non-fiction, songs, plays and graphic novels. Selected authors will qualify for
scholarship-based royalties.  
For more information, please click here.

Muslims for Progressive Values
 Two New MPV Chapters!


Join us in 



salma arastu allah image

Look out for our new website, with an Arabic site launching 
January 2014!



MPV-LA has started an MPV-LGBTQI meetup led by MPV-LA Board member Omar el-Haroui.  Click here for Meetup information.


MPV-Atlanta is looking for writers to contribute to it's weekly blog. Blogs entries can be stories, khubaths, poetry, pictures, and other creative expressions of the MPV Principles.
Please email submissions to

Reza Aslan Reception

MPV held our annual reception in DC on November 15, 2013.
In addition to an engaging (and interactive) talk with Reza Aslan, we heard from Ani Zonneveld - MPV President, Imam Daayiee - MPV Director of LGBT Outreach, Palmer Fletcher - MPV-DC, and Jeff Krehely - Human Rights Campaign. 
There was also heart-breaking testimonial of injustice toward Saudis from Madam Badawi, wife of Raef Badawi, who expressed liberal Islamic views.

For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela
MPV-Atlanta teamed up with MPV-Canada and Yemeni activists to create a petition on to help encourage the Yemeni government to change the marriage age in the company to 18. A goal of 20,000 signatures has been set and will be delivered to the Yemeni government by the 
Yemeni Minister of 
Human Rights Huriya Ahmad Mashoor. 
To sign the petition, click here.


MPV-Atlanta friend Scott Kugle hosts a weekly zikr in midtown Atlanta on Sundays at 5PM. 
Everyone is invited. For more information or to RSVP, please contact us at
From the Editor's Desk
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