This past week I've been working on the MPV Statement of Principles. It's pretty much done. Here's a sneak peek.
1) We accept as Muslim anyone who identifies as such. The veracity and integrity of that claim is between the individual and God, not a matter for the state, nor an issue which other individuals can or should judge.
2) We affirm the equal worth of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, creed, sexual orientation, or ability. We are committed to work towards societies that ensure equality of social, political, educational, and economic opportunity for all.
3) We believe that freedom of conscience is not only essential to all human societies but integral to the Qur’anic view of humanity. As such, we resist the legislation of morality and endorse the separation of religion and state in all matters of public policy. We believe that secular government is the only way to achieve the Islamic ideal of freedom from compulsion in matters of faith.
4) We support freedom of expression and freedom of dissent, even when that expression may be offensive and that dissent may be blasphemous. In particular, we believe that concepts of patriotism, orthodoxy, or loyalty to one’s faith group must not be used to silence dissenting voices in the political, artistic, or religious spheres.
5) We support women's agency and self-determination in every aspect of their lives. We believe women’s full participation in society at every level and equality among genders is enshrined in the Quran.
6) We endorse the human rights, civil rights and civil liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-sexual individuals.
7) We affirm that justice and compassion should be the guiding principles for all aspects of human conduct. We repudiate militarism and violence, whether on an individual, organizational, or national level; we support efforts for universal health care, universal public education, the protection of our environment, and the eradication of poverty around the world.
8) We call for critical inquiry and dynamic engagement with Islamic scripture, traditional jurisprudence, and current Muslim discourses. We promote interpretations and rulings that reflect basic Qur’anic principles of tolerance, inclusivity, mercy, compassion, and fairness.
9) We recognize the danger of religious extremism in all faith groups. We view the politicization of religion and the intrusion of religion into politics as twin threats to civil society and humane civilization. We will resist the intrusion of religion into politics and the exploitation of religion for political ends.
10) We affirm the diversity of inspirations that motivate people to embrace a commitment to justice and compassion, including a profound faith rooted in religious traditions, ethical imperatives developed throughout the centuries, and secular and humanist values shared by many Muslims today. As such, we will to engage with and contribute to other philosophical and spiritual traditions and progressive movements in pursuit of the aforementioned goals and principles.