Monday, April 23, 2007
  MPV Principles
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.
Sounds like a philosophical approach that could, dare I say should, be used by all religions and governments. Good work!
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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