August 30, 2014
Islam for Critical Thinkers
ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Austin Dacey is a philosopher, author, and human rights activist whose work on issues of freedom of conscience and expression has been profiled by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC World Service, NPR, and Voice of America. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including USA Today, Dissent, and the New York Times, which ran his 2006 op-ed, "Believing in Doubt." He currently serves as an adviser to Freemuse: The World Forum on Music and Censorship and in 2010 he created The Impossible Music Sessions, a forum in New York City for banned music from around the world. His most recent book is The Future of Blasphemy: Speaking of the Sacred in an Age of Human Rights (Bloomsbury, 2012).
Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi is Assistant Professor of Religious studies and Director of Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She is committed to interfaith work, contemporary Islam and Holocaust education. She teaches a variety of courses on Islam, world religions, genocide studies, and contemporary Islamic Literature.
Her articles have appeared in edited books such as; Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, Qur'an as Literature and Culture, Not Your father’s Anti-Semitism: Hatred of the Jews in the 21st Century (2008). Her recent articles include: “The Role of Muslims and the Holocaust” in Oxford Handbooks Online (2014). She is the co-editor of a book entitled: Orhan Pamuk and Global Literature: Existentialism and Politics (May 2012). Currently, she is working on her forthcoming book, “Shoah through Muslim Eyes” (2014).
She serves on several boards for non-profit organizations , including Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University, FL, Committee on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust at USHMM, D.C., and WISE Woman’s Initiative Spirituality and Equity a Muslim-Woman’s organization, NYC.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, raised in Europe, and Middle East, Dr. Afridi brings with her a multicultural perspective. She earned her PhD from the University of South Africa and her Masters and BA from Syracuse University.
Dr. Sultan Abdulhameed is a Professor in the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres at Stony Brook University in New York.
From 1992 to 2000 Sultan Abdulhameed organized classes for adults and children at the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury. During this time he also taught interpretation of Hadith to adults. He served as president of the Islamic Center during 1994-1996.From 2000 to the present Sultan Abdulhameed has been teaching interpretation of the Quran, and its application to raise the quality of our lives at the Muslim Reform Movement Organization in their weekly meetings in Brookeville, New York.
His book 'The Quran and the Life of Excellence.' was published in 2010 in the United States and its Indonesian translation "Al-Quran untuk Hidupmu" was published in 2012.
John Ishvaradas Abdallah is a speaker, writer and the author of ‘A Sufi’s Ruminations On One World Under God.’ An independent activist Sufi, he is the founder of (the Sufi Order) World Without Borders Interfaith Sufi Ashram, and is passionately involved in interfaith dialogue and movement promoting a theology of love, peace and freedom through active nonviolence. Currently, he is on the Board of Advisors of Kochi (Kerala, India) based World Fellowship of Inter-religious Councils (WFIRC), a member of the Board of Advisors of the Southern California Committee for the Parliament of World’s Religions (SCCPWR), a past president and current member of the South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC), a member of the Christian-Muslim Consultative Group (CMCG), and a member of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim Leadership Forum.
Zeinab Eyega is the Executive Director of Sauti Yetu Center for African Women where she provides oversight and leadership in developing the strategic focus of Sauti Yetu’s programs and operations. This includes direct services, public policy and advocacy, community engagement and fundraising. She has over sixteen years experience working on issues affecting African immigrant women and girls in the United States and in Africa.
Her commitment to the advancement of African women and girls was recognized in 2004 by the Open Society Institute, which awarded her the Soros Community Fellowship Award. She was also recognized by NYC Mayor Bloomberg during the immigrant week, a celebration of the contributions of immigrants to the City of New York. Ms. Eyega’s current areas of work include but are not limited to issues of gender, race and ethnicity in Africa, in particular the Afro-Arab border lands
Manizha Naderi Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women (WAW) was born in Kabul and raised in New York. She joined WAW in 2002 as a volunteer. She soon became WAW's second staff person, and helped launch their Queens Community Outreach Program in New York. In 2006, she moved to Kabul to launch WAW’s work in Afghanistan. Since 2006, under Ms. Naderi's leadership, WAW has opened 9 Family Guidance Centers, 8 women’s shelters, 4 halfway houses and 4 Children’s Support Centers. Four hundred fifty local Afghan women and men staff these facilities. Ms. Naderi has also built a massive women’s rights awareness-raising training program that has reached over 125,000 Afghans. Ms. Naderi’s goal is to have FGCs and shelters in every province in Afghanistan. Ms. Naderi has a BA in English Language Arts from Hunter College. She has 4 daughters and now divides her time between New York City and Kabul.
Ani Zonneveld is founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV). Since inception, Ani has presided over MPV’s expansion to include chapters and affiliates in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Columbus (OH), Ottawa and Toronto, Canada as well as Paris, France, Chile and Australia. She has organized numerous interfaith arts and music festivals, participated in many interfaith dialogues and is a strong supporter of women and LGBTQ rights. She is the brainchild of Literary Zikr – a project that counters radical Islam on-line and co-editor of MPV’s first book, an anthology titled “Progressive Muslim Identities – Personal Stories from the U.S. and Canada.”
Ani is also a singer/songwriter/producer and is the first woman to release an English Islamic pop album in the U.S. She performs Islamic wedding services for mixed faith and gay couples and in 2006, and was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by the American Society for Muslim Advancement.
Farouk A. Peru is a novice academic whose interests include the study of the Quran according to its Author - that is, the resurrection of the Author's voice in interpreting the Quran. He focuses on the study of Islam as a global culture, Islamofascism (which is the study of oppressive systems within the Islamic tradition) and Quranist Islam. He is also interested in Philosophy where he hopes to build on Heidegger's philosophy of being. His PhD thesis titled: Islam and Post-modernity is from Islamic Studies in King's College, London.
Omnia Hegazy is New York based musician. The daughter of an Egyptian-Muslim father and an Italian-Catholic mother, she grew up in New York City with an intense passion for music and storytelling. Her sound is informed by guitar-driven American pop/rock, maqam-based Arabic folk, and the politically-charged singer-songwriters of the past and present. Her most recent release entitled "Judgment Day" was released in May of 2013 and met with major press, including features on The Huffington Post, Fox News, The Daily Beast, and pan-Arab newspaper Al Sharq Al Awsat.
Leila Hegazy is a New-York-based singer, songwriter, inspired by past and present leading ladies from the soul and jazz scene. Her recent album "Looking Glass" was released independently, and is available in all online music stores.
Muslims for Progressive Values
Be Yourself. Be Muslim
For Hotel Accommodations, We Recommend:
1. Quality Inn Convention Center on 442 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018
2. Tryp Hotel on 345 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001
3. The GEM Hotel in Midtown West NY. 449 W. 36th, New York, NY 10018
Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is the only American movement that advocates for egalitarian expressions of Islam, for women, and for LGBTQI rights. MPV does this by creating inclusive spaces for religious discourse, the arts and social activism.
MPV envisions Islam and an Islamic community that embodies the ten principles of MPV. Further, MPV envisions a future where Islam is understood as a source of dignity, justice, compassion and love for all humanity and the world.
WHAT WE DO:
MPV establishes and nurtures vibrant progressive Muslim communities. We do this by creating opportunities for religious discourse, volunteer and community activities, and cultural events bringing together the arts, spirituality and social activism.
MPV is a progressive Muslim voice on contemporary issues. We voice our perspectives by participating in civil discourse, engaging with the media and government entities, and by partnering with both Muslim and non-Muslim progressive organizations.
MPV promotes theologically-sound frameworks for Islamic liberalism. We seek to reinvigorate the Islamic tradition of ijtihad (critical engagement and interpretation of sacred texts) and intellectual discourse. We do this by collaborating with religious scholars and developing position papers on theological issues that are accessible to a wide audience.
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